Tuesday, June 11, 2019


"Elbows: the most important weapon in a politician's armoury."

from Yes, Minister

In the past several months, the Worcester School Committee has recognized or honored:
  • the winners of Worcester Regional Middle School (grades 6-8) Science and Engineering Contest at WPI 
  • the seniors who have been awarded the state Seal of Biliteracy
  • students for "exemplifying behaviors that meet the Core Values at the Goddard School of Science and Technology as part of their turnaround process." 
  • a South Central Noonan Scholar
  • the Doherty Memorial High Powerlifting team
  • an International All-Women's Choir member
...and I could go on.
The science fair winners did not have their projects reviewed by the School Committee prior to their being honored. The Seal of Biliteracy seniors did not have their language skills checked by the School Committee prior to their being recognized. The students with exemplary behavior, the athletes, the vocalist...none had the skills or performances for which they were being honored checked the the School Committee prior to their being recognized.

Thus Scott O'Connell is right to remark on the highly unusual hold Mr. O'Connell requested be placed on the item to honor student researchers who presented at Harvard. He has insisted--and the committee agreed, as the Worcester School Committee does not have a personal hold--that the research be given to the Committee first.
This is the research that students did outside of school on their own time and presented first at the Mayor's Commission on Latino Educational Advancement regarding student perspectives on teaching. These same students, based on the way their presentation and they themselves were treated at that meeting and subsequently by the superintendent and other administrators, then called for her resignation
That's the first indication that this is not about the research.
The second indication is that this research was presented to the Mayor's Commission months ago and has been in the news consistently since. If Mr. O'Connell and other members of the committee were as interested in teacher diversity as their introductory remarks in the budget hearing claimed, they would of course wish to have read it. They have had ample opportunity to do so. 

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