Friday, November 23, 2007
Shorts from Regional School Committee, November 13
· METCO Program will pass constitutional muster. Early this month, METCO Director Kim Bovell, METCO Counselor Sheria Morrison and Assistant Superintendent Diana Rigby went to a METCO Forum about the potential for legal challenges arising from the Supreme Court ruling barring Seattle and Louisville from using race in school assignments. General Counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Education Rhoda Schneider assured the gathering of superintendents, METCO staff, school committee members and state legislators that the METCO program is constitutional and could survive a constitutional challenge if it were brought forward. Schneider said that the METCO Program did not have to change its admission practices to accept white students because it is not based on a quota system. She said the program is clearly aimed at diversifying the suburbs and giving minority students better opportunities. Quota systems which are narrowly defined do not pass constitutional muster.
· Trip to China. CCHS Mandarin Language teacher Tracy Tsou was granted permission to plan a trip to China in April 2008. The ten-day educational and cultural trip is for third- and fourth-year Chinese foreign language students. They will visit some of China's architectural treasures and schools in Beijing, Xian, Suzhou and Shanghai. Principal Peter Badalament said the trip encourages global citizenry and international support. The cost is estimated at $2,800. Some fundraising will be done to make the trip more affordable.
Tracy Tsou has taught for 20 years in Boston schools. She started at CCHS this fall. "I have had a wonderful experience here so far." She sees parental and student interest in traveling abroad. She is also investigating a school exchange program, but wants to be very careful picking a school. "Many schools want to be our partners for exchange."
· Naming the new fields. Should the two new athletic fields be named? RSC member Peter Fischelis said the Cushing Field at Peabody Middle School was named for the person who left money for the field to be built. RSC Chair Michael Fitzgerald said, "It would be hard to turn down a benefactor who wants a name on it." Shannon felt that putting the names of civic-minded people on buildings or fields is good; those people become role models for the community. "We have all benefitted from people who have donated to Concord."
The RSC agreed to consider names recommended by the fields group.
© 2007 The