Maine School Consolidation: a Reorganization Report Card, and Food for Thought in RSU #50

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“A wave of research from around the country shows that consolidation does not improve schools or lead to better academic results.  Spending on education does not go down; indeed, budgets often balloon with increased transportation costs and more administrators to run enlarged districts.  Consolidation leads to schools closing and to bigger schools, with less parental involvement and community participation.  And, in many parts of the United States, it has led to children on unconscionable bus rides lasting several hours a day.”

Elaine McArdle  “Together We Won’t”

The Boston Sunday Globe  March 8, 2009 p. C3

A concise, thoughtful statewide assessment of how Maine’s RSU Law has performed relative to its goals of Efficiency, Equity and Quality, along with his recommendations to improve the lot of Maine schoolchildren.

Maine School Consolidation Report Card

What would YOUR “report card” for RSU #50 look like?

~ Are schools in RSU 50 really more efficient than before?

~  Are children in RSU 50 educated more equitably with wealthier areas of the state than before 2011?

~  Has the quality of education for children of RSU 50 improved since the 2011 reorganization?

Would you please share your thoughts and/or experiences? We look forward to hearing from you!

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7 responses to “Maine School Consolidation: a Reorganization Report Card, and Food for Thought in RSU #50

  1. Concern citizen of RSU 50

    Yes the schools are run more efficiently than before. Since consolidation you haven’t seen the costs sky rocket like they would have if they stayed a part. No wealthier have more always will. It definitely hasn’t gotten worse. The less students the less money to go around and turn less classes and opportunities for our children. This us verses them mentality is what is hurting our schools. Someone from Oakfield in no better or no worse than someone from Stacyville. Let’s accept things are changing and move forward instead of being stuck in the past. The only constant in life is change!!!
    Purple/Red who cares folks. In the real world it shouldn’t matter what color you wear but, instead the person you are. Spreading misinformation just leads to hate and envy. Let’s come together. The area doesn’t have the students it once did. So paying for three buildings doesn’t make sense. Instead it makes sense to put that money back into our children instead of spending time living in the past and worrying about where people leave or where they are from. No more other side of the tracks mentality. Let’s move forward together!!

    Thank you RSU 50 School Board and Administrators for doing your very best to make the best decision you can with monies and information provided to you. I know it is thankless job but, please keep up the good work and fight the good fight knowing that you’re doing your best. Change is hard for some to accept but, almost always necessary.

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    • Are you kidding me? “it definitely hasn’t gotten worse” Try talking to the students, see for yourself what they have to say. The kids aren’t learning what they should. We have less students because they are moving to better themselves. It’s sad when you hear a student say they wish their parents would sell their house, so they can go to a different school. The kids have no classes to look forward to. Shop..gone, Technology..gone, and Physics..gone. “purple/red who cares folks” again really. If I wanted my child to be purple I would have bought a house there. We are Katahdin Cougars. As for the spreading misinformation I think the superintendent has done his fair share in that. If you are looking to save money on buildings listen to the people. We would rather consolidate the Elementary school over to the Katahdin High School instead of a new building, or going to Southern Aroostook. Better yet go back to the MSAD. As far as the RSU 50 school board and administrators goes, from my opion, does what ever Mr. Malone says. There are only a couple on the school board that actually listen to the community, but it’s a losing battle.

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    • Welcome to the discussion! We all benefit from a deeper understanding of the very different aspirations that are emerging from the two SAUs in the district.

      You don’t say where you live, but your post reflects what we hear, anecdotally, from the SAU of SACS?

      “…paying for three buildings doesn’t make sense.” Which one should be closed, or all of them? Is a new school in the works? If so, where should it be located? I can tell you that we have seen quite a bit of support for consolidating Katahdin Elementary into Katahdin Middle and High School.

      What “misinformation” have you found on our blog or facebook page?

      “Let’s move forward together!” There is, actually, quite a bit of support for remaining connected via an AOS model rather than an RSU the difference being the maintenance of separate finances and boards but sharing administrative offices, and anything else where it is mutually beneficial. Would you support this? Why or why not?

      Change IS often hard, but what sort of changes do YOU envision? Do your neighbors feel the same? Do you know if your Board representatives are pursuing your vision adequately?

      People all over the district are, of course, as worthy. Decisions surrounding the investment in educational infrastructure go far deeper than red vs. purple.
      I do feel compelled to address the “hate” “envy”….. Though a useful narrative for those who seek to discredit supporters of RSU withdrawal, it does not exist. The heartwarming show of support of KMHS for their brave young friend at the October board meeting dispels that myth better than I could.

      Again, welcome to the discussion.

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  2. The schools are not run more efficiently. There is too much administration, more money spent, and less for students. The kids education has declined in favor of technology. Too many foolish rules and not enough focus on students educational needs. The RSU 50 board might want to open their eyes a bit to how things are truly going.

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  3. My report card for RSU 50 would be an F. We need to get back to tried and true educational methods. We need to get rid of the Superintendent first, iPads second. How about we start a charter school or a Christian school, since they outperform the public schools. Lose the bureaucrats and focus on what is best for the students. And stop demanding all these teachers do all this stupid training. Let them do what they do best. Teach!!

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  4. Reblogged this on Timbered Classrooms… and commented:

    “Timbered Classrooms” has been devoting this week to the issue of School Consolidation, as the RSU makes high-stakes decisions in this area. Please come out to the public forum on February 10, @6:00pm in the KES Cafeteria. These decisions are too important to make without you!

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