Scenario 4 varies little from Scenario 3a and b. In fact, it varies so little, that the Futures Task Force has apparently cut and pasted many of the benefits and challenges from Scenario 3a and b. Here in Scenario #4, the Futures Task Force considers consolidating only the high school either at SACS (4a) or Katahdin (4b), but leaving the elementary grades in place. (Well, it isn’t really considering consolidating the High Schools at Katahdin, for reasons outlined in “A Tale of Two Scenarios”.
“Administrative roles and support staff can be diversified, (i.e. Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Principal)….” — This is actually listed under “Benefits”! A cue, certainly, that the hiring of “Bureaucrats and Wardens” , which has frustrated taxpayers so will continue unabated, or, more likely, grow precipitously.
Another item, seemingly mis-filed under benefits is, “Co-curriculur opportunities may become more competitive, thus contributing to higher levels of performance (not limited to sports).” So much for maximizing opportunity. This is the very thing that researchers cite as a disadvantage to kids. Does this Board seriously have such an issue with the “performance” of our fine young people that it wants to “weed” some of them out of the opportunity to participate? I, for one, am proud of every one of those precious children, and I know I am not alone. Readers? Feel free to jump into the comments section anytime. You can always come back to this part later. I don’t know why, exactly, the prospect of “climbing” to Class C is also touted as a “benefit” — these aren’t letter grades, and one is not superior to another.
The striking thing about the “benefits” claimed by the FTF is WHO actually “benefits”. ….and it isn’t kids or taxpayers, but administration itself. Please keep this in mind, as we look at “Challenges”; on whom they fall the hardest:
“Challenges presented by both options include the assimilation of students and staff from one of the district’s facilities into the other… …”lost identity”… …loss of intimacy… …more competitive selection process for co-curricular opportunities” (Wait! didn’t we just see this under ‘benefits’?) … …longer bus rides for some secondary children” Anyway, these challenges fall squarely on the shoulders of kids. But taxpayers are hardly spared, as “bureaucrats and wardens” are not alone in lining up to claim a share of their dollars. The committee refers to bus route redundancy; “PK-6 students bussed separately than 7-12 students, even if they stand at the end of the same driveway” and “remodeling of classrooms and other school facilities that must be repurposed” will cost our coffers dearly. It looks as though “50 years of consolidation” has replaced educators with “bureaucrats” “wardens” AND a crap-ton of very expensive bussing… …as expensive to kids and communities as it is to taxpayers.
The analysis of benefits and challenges unique to 4a and b appear to have been copied and pasted from 3a and b, and are every bit as questionable. 4a, like 3a (consolidating the High Schools at SACS) is strongly favored by some on the committee, reflecting its dogged determination of some to shift resources and kids North. I want to acknowledge the fact that others on the committee are acting in good faith, but it is safe to say that those who posed the question, “What do you know about building a new school?” to the Superintendent during the interview process, has an outcome in mind.
Under “data still required” the committee trots out Spruce Mountain and Oceanside – (sigh) AGAIN. “Optional: contact schools where student relocations have occurred in recent years to gain their perceptions on the experiences of students, teachers and families.” So why would research like this be “optional”? Why would you not do likewise with schools that have opted to remain small, local and use their natural attributes to their advantage? …and why, for the love of Pete, are you so focused on Spruce Mountain (geographically much smaller, so that expenditures in the receiving community benefit the sending one as wel… Oh, and by the way: the communities of Spruce Mountain coughed up $44,000 each to keep the sending school open for Adult Ed., community purposes etc. because they recognized the liability and cost of abandoned infrastructure to a community. Is RSU 50 planning the same thing?). Oceanside? …a hot mess from Bangor Daily News accounts. If THIS is what Craig Kesselheim puts on his resume? I’d hate to see what he leaves off….