Impressions On Last Evening’s Public Forum…

images-7Here, I would like to share with you the view of last evening’s Futures Task Force Public Forum from my own chair, and hope you will do the same, whatever your position.  Please feel free to add your perspective to the comments section, or contact me at, atimberedchoir@gmail.com to join the author roll.  (Sometimes comments have a way of migrating to posts in any case.)

Throughout this process, there have been those who take my disagreement for disrespect.  Fortunately, none of them were at the table with me.  Discussions were very good, perhaps in spite of our tendency to go off on tangents, or, just maybe, because of it.  Oh, if every entry in the RSU checkbook could be discussed so by our readers, among whom lies such a wealth of educational expertise!  We could be sure kids are getting an optimal return on every.  single.  dime.  The community has some very serious doubts about that now, to say the least.  The disincentive to invest optimally in a school long targeted for closure; the determination of Board members to shield administrative costs from austerity measures fuels suspicion,  as well.

Early on, Mr. Tapley spoke to the distance of the FTF; the whole process of decision-making from the needs of kids.  He is absolutely right about that, according to the research that shows that regional Boards are, in fact, less responsive to them, as well as our own experience with the RSU governance.  A Board member who recently resigned, was not present last night, but has spoken to this as well, often in the face of fierce objection.  Her own resignation letter, read aloud by Mr. Ryan at the time, as well as Mrs. Lane herself confirm Mr. Tapley’s account of the circumstances spurring her departure.  It isn’t easy to say uncomfortable things  publicly, or anything for that matter, (I am sure I am not alone in regretting being tongue-tied) or to hear them, but we are better for it.  Thank you for that.

Ground rules for the recommendation process, like “every child, every community – matters equally”  are very good.  Admonitions that “some ideas need time to steep” “a good idea to some is scary to others” …are a bit condescending.  It suggests that people do not have a clear understanding of the issue of school consolidation, but our readers do.  Several scenarios being considered were discussed around small group tables.  (Well, at ours, kind of…).  Sometimes it isn’t what we debate, but what we don’t.  Assumptions surrounding school consolidation; putting kids together in a district that spans 400+ square miles will “enhance opportunity” stubbornly persist in the face of evidence to the contrary, and no proof is necessary.

““Few aspects of education have been more thoroughly researched than school size; few findings have been more consistent; and few have been more consistently ignored….”

Those who say small schools are not “efficient,” or effective, need to cite the evidence, not just the rhetoric. The nation’s 25,000 nonpublic schools have an average enrollment of only 200. The average size of Pennsylvania’s nonpublic schools is fewer than 160. That of the new charter schools is only about 200, and many have fewer than 100. – School Size: Bigger is Not Better by David W. Kirkpatrick School size: Bigger is not Better

So how to they provide a rich curriculum without bussing?  Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions.  Rather than “Can we afford to educate kids at the Katahdin campus” to, “HOW can we afford to”. At the moment, there is no choice.  Though the board has expressed a reluctance to invest in any school slated for closure, as long as kids occupy it… Remember the ground rule, “All children are equal”.  That means children today are as deserving of a quality education as those of tomorrow.  The prevailing impression is, that the administration is trying to do that via long-term (and unproven) consolidation measures, and is likely overlooking  other innovations, like online, careful scheduling, cuts in cost centers that don’t directly affect kids in favor of faculty etc. that kids need now.   Concerns surround, too, as I said before, of a disincentive to do so that may blunt support for the closure of Katahdin.

I have learned a great deal from this website, thanks to our readers who so generously share their views with us, and complete our polls.  I believed, (well, I still do) in the promise of consolidating the Katahdin side.   The idea enjoys tremendous support from our readers, and the community.  Representative Long has advised us that Katahdin High School was built for, and has, indeed, housed, more students than are currently enrolled at both of Katahdin’s schools, and I was not prepared for the vehement opposition to it from Chairman Ryan et. al. from the North Side of the district (I  apologize — I cannot remember names).  This was especially surprising given that Mr. Kesselheim initially pointed out that the SACS side would be unaffected.  …of course the savings supposedly benefits everyone throughout the district.  What does it matter where in the district support for this comes from?  Everyone matters equally, right?

I do hope that the Board will keep and open mind and consult with districts who have done this, (Schenck comes to mind, but there are others) and of course speak with our Representatives in the Maine Legislature.  Rick Long, of course, and also Sen. Roger Sherman understands consolidation issues very well. Both have been very gracious and helpful.

Evidently, getting all the kids for each grade across the district under one roof, or two at most, is a priority for the administration and much of the Board. In fact, “robust class size” was listed as a benefit of the sort of consolidation to one side or the other. No supporting research was offered, and given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I have no choice but to disagree. The Superintendent warned of costs to renovate the High School for younger students; moving monkey bars and the like, as significant to prohibitive while brushing aside transportation concerns.

And so, a picture emerges that is difficult to address.  We at Timbered Classrooms were advised some time ago, by a prominent local citizen that, for some, the RSU model represented an opportunity to utilize resources from a wider geographic area to fund and fill a new building that some on the Board have wanted for some time. According to the Superintendent himself, an interview question before he was hired was, “What do you know about building a new school?”.  Though people on the Katahdin side of the district are very eager to share central office costs, and yes, microscopes? …and the like.   …ultimately, they want to keep their children, and tax dollars close to home and continue to invest in local infrastructure to mutually benefit kids and the community. The AOS model; a single central office but separate boards and budget is also very popular.

The research tells us that the closer decision makers are to kids, the better. I haven’t found any interest on this end in a new school — either in attending it or paying for it.   It isn’t as simple as North and South, though, as there is ample discontent with the RSU model on both sides.  However, therein lies the point of contention between various stakeholders: those who want all the kids and resources under one (new) roof, and those who want to bring the resources to where the kids live.  The research is overwhelming in support of the latter, and no counter studies have been on offer as yet.  Of course they are welcome and Timbered Classrooms would happily publish them here.

At the meeting, we were welcome to point out biases.  Well, we are all human, and therefore are ALL biased in some way.  I try to be very conscious of what shapes my view of consolidation, and keep an open mind to the research.  Consolidation proponents, such as those who led last night’s meeting, are not accustomed to being asked to cite evidence and have long relied on our incorrect assumptions.  I used to believe that consolidation was worth the bus rides; size = quality, but I followed the studies.  Research is better than a crystal ball, and knowledge of how the world works is the best defense against the ravages of it.

That’s enough about me!  Your turn, readers:)  Thank you to the Task Force for hosting this meeting, and please, continue to welcome the expertise on our side of the Board table into your policymaking.

P.S.  There is a lovely little school in Benedicta, with a new, efficient geothermal heating system… built for 100 children.  Just sayin’…

 

 

 

 

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16 responses to “Impressions On Last Evening’s Public Forum…

  1. I must say I truly understand the concern of the community when it comes down to the education of our children. What’s apparent to me is we have people within our communities who care and I can tell you that there is not one person that has made the effort to be involved that does not have the interest of the children in mind. Parents , board members, administrators and teachers are putting in hours of their time not for personal gain but again for the best interest of our children. With that said, this may not be very apparent to some because there are so many other factors that essentially “force the hand” for those who have to make decisions or develop ideas or approaches that will potentially work based on the outside driving factors.

    Unfortunately, we are all living in an area that has seen a drastic decline in population due to loss of industry and as of late a major decline in our countries economy. We’ve all seen increased cost in our grocery bill, heating bill and gas bills. We’ve all seen us go from an area where we used to leave our house and be to work within to 15-20 minutes to now having to move away or travel an hour plus one way to find a decent job. I am one who travels but has not relocated my family because I care to have my children attend and graduate from the same area my wife and I did.
    Bottom line, is we have had to adjust and make sacrifices to live.

    We are currently one RSU yet our children enroll in separate schools. In a perfect world where money wasn’t an issue the idea of consolidation wouldn’t even be a topic of discussion. We all know the truth of the matter and is why we are involved today. With that said, I can honestly say although we are currently separate communities that our way of life are all the same. For the most part we all live pay check to pay check, afford a family getaway vacation maybe once or twice while or kids are growing up but most importantly enjoy the simple things we find and do in our own community. I don’t want to use or discuss school sports in any way shape or form as a factor in deciding our children’s education, but as a working parent this an area where I do get to see my children interact with children of other communities while attending the sporting events. They are not enemies. They are in fact friendly rivals and I can say friendly because I’ve seen my kids laugh, joke and even hug one another while bumping into each other outside our communities.

    The point I am trying to make is I fully support whatever is necessary to make our RSU a place where our children have the most opportunity to be educated from both an academic level and social standpoint. If consolidating our students together in one building is necessary then I fully support the idea. I truly feel the increase in enrollment would not enough to take away from the small school atmosphere but the increase would be enough to create a socially healthy atmosphere. It would allow our kids to explore more interests, form clubs, programs, etc.

    Again, small sacrifices will be required and I am not going to say there isn’t any bad along with the good. Point is we need to do what is best for our children and what is best for us as tax payers and find a resolve somewhere in the middle. Lets respect the input by all so we can make informed decisions as a community.

    Remember we are there because we care!

    -Father within the community

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful account of the issues at hand. We all share a deep love, and high aspirations for our children and certainly a pressing concern for taxpayers many of whom are also our own parents and grandparents. This shared value, sadly, is driving us to very different solutions. The failure of consolidation to work is as near a certainty as it can be.

      Your letter highlights what is, perhaps, the most difficult aspects of my position, and advocacy on this issue. The research; the reality of school consolidation in practice turns everything we know about “efficiency” on its head. So, to tell you what the research says, is to ask you to suspend disbelief. But, as a parent, you know that children have a way of doing that in any case!

      Studies clearly demonstrate that schools of our relative sizes are not only “viable”, but cost-efficient and advantageous for children, taxpayers and communities as a whole. The very strategies, for making small schools like ours first rate, actually would undermine the strategies they are using to spur building closure.

      In addition to the research on the cost effectiveness of small schools, there are studies of mechanisms policymakers use to press their consolidation efforts forward. They cut what parents value most; saying there is “no choice”…. Schedules become unnecessarily sparse and austere…. Parents like you, and like my husband and me who would do anything to give our children quality education abandon our communities valuable infrastructure in a desperate attempt to provide it for them. It is important for all of us to educate ourselves to the alternatives – online, to name one example…. Ultimately, the promises for a richer curriculum consistently fall to the costs of consolidation itself. Superintendents, present at a Small Schools Coalition meeting I attended at UM in 2005, were very candid, as well, about the difficulty in distributing a now-shared pot of property taxpayers’ money equitably in schools around the new larger district. Pressure would surely mount to starve one or more to force closure….

      We are “one RSU” but children are not regional units. Many decisions made with this mindset, make no sense on the ground to parents, and cause unnecessary harm in the name of uniformity between disparate peers, in different schools and different communities. That is likely why local school Boards are actually more efficient.

      While the RSU model of governance has caused so many problems here and around the state, the AOS model of “consolidating” has worked very well where it has been implemented, and enjoys robust support here. If this Board chose, it could, under existing law, create and empower separate school committees, and “…recognize and maintain the culture and traditions of the two districts…” in its governance, and save people the trouble of an admittedly daunting RSU withdrawal.

      The differences between the way children grow and learn and the way adults think don’t stop with regionality, and scale. ..but also time. Board members use pro-consolidation strategies comfortable in the knowledge that “kids will be better off in the long run.”. Of course, history and research say otherwise, but, more importantly, childhood is not “long”…

      In 2004, when I came to this, my instinct may well have been to believe as you do, in the promise of consolidation. I travel long distances to provide our children with opportunity, and we sacrifice a great deal in our own lives – too much to allow our children to do so unnecessarily. The research, though supports small schools “… with clarity and a confidence rare in the annals of education (Mary Ann Raywid, 2000)

      Let’s press for measures to make the most of what we have; to strengthen our schools, communities and local economies.

      “The “one best system” of education envisioned by many businessmen and lawmakers may be counterproductive to producing effective small, rural schools. When organizational members of small schools strive to become like large schools, not only do they develop an inferiority complex, they also lose sight of their strengths”

      https://atimberedchoir.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/great-things-come-in-small-packages/

      I hope you will look at what the research says, on this website and beyond, as you make decisions not only for your own family, but civic ones as well. Question every assumption, and ask the Board and Administration to back their words and behavior with sound research… Thank you.

      Peace.
      Lisa

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  2. I hear everything you say, farther in the community. Everybody has his or her way to deal with what is being said, and done to our schools. But a little meeting like the TASK FORCE last evening was once again a circus, in my opinion. Let me explain, went there to start a new vision of my own. I was in a good mood, and had a open mind. So i tested the waters, raise my hand like my ten year old daughter and asked the first SIMPLE question. It was, has the kids been polled on there feelings on this matter,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Mr. Ryan jumps in and says yes,yes, yes. Mr. Tapley if you came to all our meetings you would no that. “LIE”. I said to the speaker why haven’t you mention the children, another CHEER LEADER comes out says he did,,,,,,,he said STUDENT. By now im feeling the same way i felt before. This is the reason why the community is divided on this subject. There so into this AGENDA, when someone asks one question, they go back to the lies. The real story is, they want this so bad they will do anything, say anything, as long as they get there money, heavy ministration, and these schools closed. I as a farther of three want the best for my kids, education, sports, to grow within the community, and them to be PROUD of there school. We have allot of great teachers at our schools that show and teach more then meets the eye. EVERYTHING has to be considered not just what is good for there top heavy over paid ministration. Compaction for the kids feelings on this subject is warranted.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree Mr. Tapley. If you want people to trust you, you have to be honest with people and that has not been the case. They do not want us to know everything. Research proves that smaller school districts educate well. I do not believe we will have any more opportunities just because we are bigger. I am curious if people don’t think of the long term cost of consolidation to our communities. I want the best for my children too. The education can change without consolidating us in one school, which eventually they will push us to build a new school. I feel that they think money grows on trees. If you want to save money, stop spending so much and cut the Superintendent’s pay. If you care about kids, put your money where your mouth is and cut, not teachers, nor progams, but start at the top. Bureaucratic education is not what I want for my kids. Also roll back the standards based grading because it does not have to be in effect till2020. That will give you time to know what you are doing. There are plenty of simple things we can do to save money.
    And you are right anonymous we are all part of one community” and we all want what is best for our kids. I do not feel that this is the best answer.

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  4. That is right, the community, with our kids, parents, grand-parents,and retires, that are just barely making it. Parents that are working two or three jobs, or working 12 or more hours in a day. Retires that had a good retirement years ago, but it is not enough now. House values going in the to-lit, but taxes going threw the roof.
    Now all they hear is, raise your taxes every year. For what they ask?

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  5. This is where your wrong Mr. TAPLEY. When your making $109,000 a year, that does not matter. You say cheer leader, i say cant make a decision on there own. You say lies, they say, we asked a STUDENT. You say a waste of time, they say meetings.
    Get with the program and nod your head yes, smile and say you people are the greatest.

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  6. Oh ya, i forgot. if you learn to shake your head yes, you also can become a board member, or even a TASK FORCE person. Snap out of it, and shake baby shake, YES

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  7. Not making fun at you, tap. I reed everything on here. you have call it every time. i dont think everybody sees that, or maybe they do. just like a while back you said, and i quote, closing the little school was stupid, i guess your not alone.that is why in my opinion, some of the people say to you all these lies, they can not let fresh people hear the truth. it takes 10 meetings to program these people, and you shoot it down with a couple of sentences.

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  8. What confuses me the most is the comments on this site appear on the surface to have good intent and concern yet there is an underlying concern that keeps boomeranging back to the cost of the administration. Are the issues with the consolidation or with the administration? I’m not here to defend anybody but you do have to keep in mind that professional level positions do require professional levels of education which do come with a price tag. Let’s be honest with what the issues at hand are and not go in circles. Administration costs have always been there and will continue. It takes management to run any organization or successful business.

    With that said, it is very apparent that if we want to maintain the current status of our schools and the price tag it costs to run them and repair them then guess what – our taxes will need to go up.

    Folks our taxes are never going to go down – that’s a fact. What we need to do as a community is find a resolve that will continue to provide our kids with a good education and a healthy social life at a cost we can afford to live with.

    I for one have a good job and truly care about my kids well being. I pay my fair share of taxes and work hard to provide for my family. We all cringe when our tax bill goes up but truth be known if it favors my children’s education, provides them with the resources they need to excel in life then I consider it a small price to pay now for rewards later.

    it’s apparent the current tax base and school funding can’t support the budget required to maintain the current status of our schools. It always comes down to money and the taxpayers vote as always will determine the final direction. It’s up to us as a community to help steer things in the right direction with positive valuable input.

    • Father in the community

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    • If I may, I think I can speak to this.

      Spending priorities are not as separate from consolidation as it might appear, but more on that in a moment. Parents and communities value faculty the most, and the research says that these professionals offer the greatest return for children and taxpayers.

      Since 2010, faculty and ed. techs — professionals who are educating our children, are down 15.4 FTE, while administration is down only .4 FTE, while salaries have grown. Though not intended as a spending cap, Administration is over EPS by 2/3. If faculty was over as much (the Commissioner has spoken to the necessity of overages here) would the Board tolerate that? ..and that does not include positions that did not exist pre-RSU? How many of those are in the classroom with kids? How many are managerial? An apt quote from journalist Sam Smith holds true: “Fifty years of consolidation, and the main effect has been to replace educators with bureaucrats and wardens.”. If you look at the Futures Task Force analysis of the various scenarios, it alludes to the plan to hire Assistant Principals and a Curriculum Coordinator in a new consolidated school. How many “bureaucrats and wardens” would trade salaries with a teacher? Hands? Anyone? So much for savings for the classroom….

      Last year, faculty cuts upset parents terribly and shook kids to their (not-so-common) core. Their objections were rejected, with “..we have no choice”. Subsequent spending on items our readers find frivolous at best, exposed those claims as patently false.

      Teaching is a profession, though there are those who do not treat it or value it as such; others who elevate business acumen over the art of teaching. I liken it to a hospital. Of course, CEOs, business managers and the like must be highly skilled and well compensated but when you need a doctor… Teachers are the lifeblood of schools as doctors are to hospitals, in the view of parents.

      Do the qualifications of RSU #50’s Superintendent; his need to hire a consultant to do his work…. justify a salary $17,000 higher than the Superintendent in Houlton? …or others among our readers here, who make substantially less? While teachers labor without a contract, what justifies offering up a raise with little to no negotiation?

      Chairman Ryan stated that, “Everyone wants to cut administration, but you really can’t”. When Mr. Knowles occupied the Chair, he said, “If you cut administration, kids are going to start losing services real quick.” Both failed to substantiate their claims, and we are left to wonder what sort of fairy tales they are being told.

      Our readers include educators, active and retired; Superintendents and administrators from other districts… None of them can justify any of this, and find it as repugnant as the rest of us in the face of such austerity in the classroom.

      Cuts that fall on children the hardest naturally subject every other penny of expenditure to scrutiny from a hurting public.

      We all work very hard to provide for our children. (My husband teaches, established a successful hot lunch program from the ground up, and will soon manage a new restaurant as well.) That is all the more reason to make every dollar count for kids.

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  9. Very well said lisa, your research and facts are dead on. Some do not get the long term and short term affect on every thing. I do believe every body on here wants the same, but i believe theirs to much ambiguous language from the board and higher up.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree Lisa and Jerry. What I find upsetting is that every time you mention cuts in spending, they say it can’t be done without cutting positions and classes. That is bull! We need administration but just not so much of it. The superintendent should be the first to go. His salary is ludicrous. They don’t want to look at all the creative ways to educate without spending so much. Why not have principals teach a class, cut guidance too. We do not need four guidance programs, also the after school program could go, as well as iPads, etc. how about people from the community who have expertise in many things come in and do a woodworking or automotive class, etc. there are plenty of solutions. Think outside the box.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmph… Vile threats to cut from kids first? ….if people cut the budget in hopes of reducing administration et. al? Is that “..all for the kids..” ?

      You can’t invest in kids if you don’t invest in their school; especially faculty. “If we have a building condemned, that would solve our ‘problem'” Is that how you invest in kids?

      A while back, I got the very same speech from Chairman Ryan that Mr. Tapley got the other night; you know, the one where “..everything we do is for the kids…” (suggesting, that the rest of us are against kids, Mom and apple pie, etc. etc.)

      “..for the kids..”? Prove it.

      Look at the innovative ways small schools educate their children! Look at the relative sizes of charter schools — less than 200, and some less than 100. In this day and age of tech, I can’t think of anything more archaic than bussing. Failure to do this is a failure to recognize our natural advantages, and, ultimately, destroy them. ..along with opportunity for kids.

      The question the Larry referred to; the one where he was asked, “What do you know about building a new school?”, translated, “What do you know about dismantling a school?”

      We need a Board that will ask, “What do you know about running small schools?” and a Superintendent that is able and willing to do it.

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  11. There are two issues concerning parents: administration and further consolidation! The two are becoming one as parents and students frustrations grow. A lot of the frustration is from parents and students not being heard, as we have said before. Many parents have tried expressing positive valuable input and have been told statements such as, “We have to start somewhere,” “It was a joke,” “We don’t have the answer to that (a year later),” “We had no choice,” – it goes on and on with unprofessional feedback coming from administration. People eventually have to throw their hands up and search for alternative educational choices for their children, knowing that time is slipping away in their education. Taxpayers would be more willing to pay for budget increases if they were hearing positive feedback from the community on the education of the children, but they’re not!!! There is definitely a trust issue with our Superintendent. People do not trust him after the decisions that were made during last year’s budget process. He spoke to a group of staff in the KHS auditorium last April and presented the consolidation scenario of KMHS moving to SACHS and discussed some of the reasoning, saying that we cannot go on this way. Then he denied saying this many times, losing trust. People like honesty and they need to know they can trust the people who are making decisions for the education of our children. It is not easy being in the public eye and working for public education, but that goes with the position of superintendent of schools. His salary of $109,00 a year surely constitutes the handling of these issues. The majority of the board and superintendent have spoken to us as if we are working against them for the past year and a half. We began by hoping that if we gave positive valuable input and expressed what we, as parents, wanted for our children’s education, that they would listen and work with us towards that goal. They have never validated what we have for input. Jerry is absolutely right in his statements to Mr. Ryan at Tuesday’s meeting – the only board member who listened and was willing to work with us as parents, was “driven” off the board. Mr. Ryan can spout all he wants that it was “her choice.” Yes, she wrote her letter and resigned. It is difficult to serve on a board where you are working for the people who elected you, and are constantly reprimanded and ignored when you actually support the people and the students! She can make a stronger more positive impact for our students being involved as a parent and citizen. Yes, I agree and understand the intent of administration and the board in putting our children first and working many hours in the best interest of children. There seems to be a disconnect between what parents see and what staff and administration envision. I totally respect the points that staff and administration are making about consolidation: more students interacting with each other, collaboration with larger staff, more educational opportunities, etc. But, I also know that these were all things expected when we became an rsu. They are not happening, our kids do not have more opportunities, etc. The only thing that has increased is more people in administration. These people do not increase our kid’s educational experience. Parents are more concerned with quality education, community, and relationships between students and teachers. You have read over and over the research Lisa has posted that bigger is not better. Many families have moved to this area for the purpose of educating their kids in a small school and small community – they are not looking for bigger, even though a school of 200 is considered a small school. We can have small classes with quality education – it just takes the right creativity from teachers. Also, you have read over and over that if you take the school from the community, you lose your community! This will definitely happen in our case as we are so geographically separated. Families from Katahdin and SACHS will have no community when we close one or the other – is this worth it??? Your schools are your community!!

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    • Very astute, Anonymous! The perverse spending priorities; administration over faculty is one of many that upsets parents — absolutely is connected to their consolidation efforts.

      In addition to that, I think this leadership has placed all its faith in edu-products from Pearson and Marzano, and is underutilizing the expertise of the faculty in our employ. I listened to the business program on the radio recently, and was repulsed by the profit opportunities touted in public education. I will give you an example: I was told last fall that the curriculum at Katahdin was poorly aligned for kids planning to attend the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, and they are of the opinion that “Connected Math” reflects low expectations. Some years ago, at the urging of a parent, they got rid of it in favor of algebra. Well, back it came! Anyway, I contacted the head of the math department there, and he was very gracious and helpful. He recommended a text he had used; he even knew the author personally. I found used copies of student and teachers’ editions for $5 each. That, plus a teacher to teach him the material et Voila! The gold standard. No curriculum coordinator, $30,000 Pearson crap… needed. That is where the value in education is, but they don’t see it!
      I liken it to having a talented chef in every classroom — then giving them TV dinners and telling them to follow directions EXACTLY before holding them “accountable” for quality.

      There are certain things people are very willing to pay for — like teachers. …and some things they are not, like six figure salaries, consultants (hired explicitly to push consolidation through) etc. I was told that, if the community cuts the budget to try and “force” them to cut this waste, then they threatened that “positions would be the first to go”.

      This Board is dysfunctional in its non-responsiveness to the community, over-deference to the Superintendent, and failure to educate itself outside of Larry’s pervue. Fix that, and you are well on your way to solving other problems.

      We here at Timbered Classrooms are here to support your effort to do just that. Thank you for sharing your perspective:)

      Like

  12. Amen Anonymous!! You are absolutely right!!

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