Futures Task Force Findings – FINAL

lavendar cougar


The work of the Futures Task Force completed, Timbered Classrooms would like to share with our readers a copy of its conclusions.  Many thanks to our readers who brought this to my attention.  How did I miss it?  Good question, but thank goodness for you!  Trying diligently to bite my tongue, (or my fingers!), for the  moment, anyway, I hope YOU won’t!  We always love to hear from you, whatever your views.  I have a great deal of confidence that our readers will perform a careful, critical reading and ask the deeper questions this report undoubtedly raises.

RSU 50 FTF Report (1) FINAL




12 responses to “Futures Task Force Findings – FINAL

  1. Surprise surprise. Push for consolidation. Smaller schools can educate very well. Be creative, stop wasting money with teachers being out of classrooms for training during the year. You can easily save money that way. Consolidation will not offer more, and it will drive costs up. Leave Katahdin as it is. The year has already started better. I question the real reason for consolidation, is it just to build a brand new school eventually? Which no one can afford. Consolidation thus far has just driven taxpayer dollars up.
    Environmentally speaking, how is it a good use of your resources to close a building and bus kids further. We should have saved the money we payed to Great School’s partnership and put it into making repairs where they need to be made. It is always easier spending someone else’s money. Big shock the way the findings turned out. Not.


    • Norman Ralph Augustine said that if you ask a consultant “What is two and two?” he will reply, “What do you have in mind”

      GSP was hired to “steer the ship” in a direction not only the Superintendent but those who hired him, have been doggedly pursuing for some time.


  2. task force, is a joke


    • I had to ask myself, while writing this, is “Task Farce” really a typo? Back along, I was scolded for posting an image of Lewis Carroll’s mad tea party alongside a notice of the FTF’s first meeting – they get it now.

      This report is frought with assumptions, largely unsubstantiated by actual evidence (a common critique of Great Schools Partnership among Mr. Kesselheim’s colleagues)

      What he leaves out (small school success and the harm of bussing long distances to name two issues) speaks as much to his bias as the absence of empirical evidence to support his claims.


      • Bussing kids that far doesn’t make one bit of sense. How does that help kids? Keeping our schools in our own community is so important. A newer, bigger school does not mean a better education. Using the resources we have, spending less on programs and curriculum that do not work would be one way to save money.


        • You are absolutely right – bussing children that far harms not only their education, but overall well-being. The fortunes of communities and their educational capacity are, further, inextricably linked. The FTF’s Report is rather dismissive of these problems, perhaps because the author is unaware of the rather definitive research surrounding them. More likely, though, it is because the consolidation experiences of sending vs. receiving schools are profoundly different – children and communities surrounding SACS are unburdened by diminished achievement, lower participation rates, falling property values, depressed economic activity, shrinking tax base etc.


  3. For the people that can get through reading this ridiculous report, you will see why people questioned spending $20,000 on it in the beginning. That is the amount that the board approved for this “study.” Larry Malone is ready to spend another $60,000 for a feasibility study now. As they spend money to work towards their agenda of consolidation, the bottom line will come down to voters voting to close a school or schools in the rsu no matter what their “studies” find. Please stay informed on this and attend the meeting scheduled for next week. There has been very low attendance at these meetings thus far, other than the committee members who are mostly teachers, administrators, and board members. This committee needs input from the parents and taxpayers or things will go along the way they have to this point. These people will be making the decisions about where education is going in the rsu. You as parents and taxpayers have the right and opportunity to be part of this process.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Taxpayers have not only the right and opportunity to be part of this process, but to control it; take control of your money and children.

      The experiences of consolidation differ wildly between the receiving communities and those that close their doors and bus children away. The latter bears the costs, the losses. Perhaps that is why when Spruce Mountain consolidated, participating towns agreed to pony up $44,000 per to keep the old school building open for adult education, community functions etc.

      If the communities surrounding Katahdin want the opportunity to run their schools, using all the resources from their sending communities, tuition revenue from the Unorganized Townships; wrestle with priorities make the most of every penny available, then, they will have to stand up and demand it — BEFORE the question is offered at the ballot box.


  4. this is where you are wrong, you do not have a say, sports, and gym is
    all people care about. lets not forget athletic feet, that’s a big deal for sacks. these so call parents are a joke.


    • Yes and no….. Yes, you do not have a say; neither the Board nor Administration will GIVE you a say, BUT you DO have the power to take charge of the direction of education in this region IF you are willing to use it.

      The ballot box will be too late — better to demand separate school committees, and the resources of the respective towns settled into the schools their children attend. …and take closing schools and shifting resources off the table.

      Only then can we begin to wrestle with difficult decisions surrounding priorities.


  5. ya, after school programs, { dare care } lay down and make them, but have every-body else take care of them. after school, sports, nurse, any thing but them. every body thats for this budget, must just pay rent.
    no real ties to there vote, { just take care of my kid }.


    • I would love to hear the various reasons people are for or against this budget. From what I hear so far, reasons are complex and varied.

      I’ve spoken with people who have taken an interest with a great deal of skin in the game. Many pay property taxes, for others it comes down to employment and the desire to provide for their children what their communities gave them as they were growing up. Mostly, though, I am hearing concerns about waste! Money wasted on consultants, bureaucrats, studies, etc. while kids go without.

      I think the after school program is frugal, and well run… Our daughter goes once per week to play guitar. I’m grateful they are offering it then, as there is no instrumental music for that age group during school hours. It’s hardly a convenience/daycare for us as I go and collect her after — there is no bus within miles of our home.

      I understand share your frustration surrounding the overwhelming health and social needs children bring to the classroom due to the shortcomings of parents and society at large. Children cannot begin to learn unless and until they are met, and all too often these issues shortchange other children as well. I favor meeting those needs, and understand that the school is the most sensible venue in which to deliver services. I do NOT believe, however, that it is fair to burden school budgets. When taxpayers say “no”, where do they go for the money? Other children. …the sort of children of whom officials will say, “Oh, they’ll be O.K. no matter what…” and freely shortchange their education. The healthcare system and social safety net should be there for these families in need (as well as decent jobs with family wages).

      I was heartened by the willingness of communities to leverage recreation budgets to serve children during the after school hours; clearly a recognition that schools can’t do it alone.


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