Friday, November 1, 2002
Shorts from the Regional School Committee
· Later start time. Three students from the student advisory committee appeared before the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) on October 23 to discuss a later school start time. They were given a copy of a report the RSC had done. The idea was deferred until a new superintendent is hired. In addition, letters from students to the RSC covered a range of topics from school uniforms to ergonomic chairs.
· Support bilingual education. As follow-up to the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) Annual Meeting Resolutions, a letter will be sent by the RSC to the Concord Journal opposing the ballot question on bilingal education.Calling the question "education by referendum," superintendent Gene Thayer pointed to his own eighteen years' experience and noted, "When bilingal education is done right, students succeed."
· Oppose MCAS graduation requirement. The RSC also agreed to sign on to the MASC resolution opposing MCAS as a requirement for graduation from high school. It read in part, "MASC asserts the right of local school committees to grant high school diplomas to all students who meet their school districts' requirements for graduation."
· Deferring SpEd costs. The RSC sent a legislative proposal to the Concord selectmen that special education cost be charged to the following years' budget. Out-of district placements have been unpredictable and therefore wreak havoc with budgets. This would treat these costs like other unpredictable expenses, such as snow removal.
· MCAS school rankings. Nadine Binkley presented a new plan to rank schools based on MCAS results. It would categorize students by groups based on scores, and assign each student a score of 100, 75, 50, 25, or 0. Averaging out this number gives the school a "proficiency index." The department of education website will display this index for all schools. Concern was expressed as to the fairness and the possibilities for misinterpretation.
· Superintendant search. RSC chair Betsy Bilodeau noted that the superintendant search is progressing. Though a bit behind schedule, the committee still expects to hire in March. Community focus groups were "very poorly attended — but the feedback we got was great."
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito