Watching the hideous little noir play otherwise known as Melrose School Committee Meeting. Good grief. "Disregulated" "part-time 3-year-olds".....
Strategies, Rubrics, Drilling Down--for 3-year-olds! Between the moronic presentation and the even more moronic "questions" from school committee members who just have to hear themselves talk (shut up Jess, Liz, Chris, you all sound totally ridiculous!!!!!!), the impression that comes across is one of total incompetence, low intelligence, lack of caring for the actual children...in short, low-hanging, easily graspable and unmitigated BS.
Now it's onto the high school. Pathetic. Glossing over the "challenge" areas and having orgasms over the improved data.
Here's the document they just talked about (or rather, glossed over completely), the College Board "Integrated Summary":
Taymore used her tired and totally inexcusable excuse that "SAT scores were a little flat again this year, as they were nationally." Oh really? Then how come so many school systems across the country manage to do well regardless of all the "mandates," while Melrose can't? That's why there is the term "mean"! And these are national tests. Quickly Taymore diverts to talk about there being rising numbers of students taking Advanced Placement tests and passing (regardless of whether those classes are appropriately taught or students placed are being served with the best options for them individually, or thinking about how documented successful schools are approaching these things--which Melrose educators apparently aren't even interested in).
Just a few quick readings of the scores.... (you'll have to "drill down" yourselves, but pour yourself a beverage first):
Graduating Class of 2016:
Reading Writing Math
529 527 533
Reading Writing Math
509 497 522
Taymore stated that things were improved with APs, which is a false characterization. There were a few areas of improvement, and quite a few more that demonstrated significant decline.
AP Biology 0% got a 5, last year 5%
Fewer students took Bio & Chemistry this (15-16) year than last.
Envi Sci last year 13% got a 5, this year 5%.
European Hist last year 9% got a 5, this year 0.
Calculus BC last year 69% got a 5, this year 50%.
Physics (Mechanics) last year 65% got a 5, this year 0!
(Lo and behold Dr. P isn't at MHS anymore!)
Foreign Language APs appalling across the board, as per usual.
Oh good. Now Driscoll is stating all of what she terms "impressive" (including marginal improvements resulting in numbers that are still pathetic).... Gag.
And lots of whining and excuses about poor MCAS and PARCC, the fault of the tests, etc. (Angela Singer).
Can't take it anymore. Time for a Family Guy palate cleanser....[:)s]
Based on the chronically poor performance of the MPS, there is no reason to expect that the district would behave responsibly with any taxpayer funds, let alone those that have gone to reimburse MValley. There is zero accountability here. It's a guarantee that the district is hiding huge lawsuit expense for its failures. It's also patently apparent that the MPS only hires, retains, and attracts the lowest caliber employees now. There is constant whining about lack of funds, concurrent with fanatic concealment of the facts. CT mumbles about making things "assessible" (she can't say or apparently doesn't know the word "accessible").... meanwhile the rest of them are just as ignorant and foolish, and totally taken with themselves.
It's fortunate that 220± from the area have an alternative, and it follows logically that there should be more alternatives for families where there are chronically poor school systems. Will advocate for the use any dollars possible to give students an alternative to the misery that is now the MPS, sadly. Have always supported the public schools, but the MPS are a disgrace. There is zero reason to expect that the money that Mystic Valley received would have been managed well by MPS. This administration rails about MV not managing SPED, for example. Anyone who knows anything about the MPS knows that this district is a total disgrace in its chronic mismanagement and documented SPED failures. The teacher's union (both the local one and the state & national) has itself to blame, also, with totally disgraced "leadership" (including the 8th-grade teacher found to have caused the OCR complaint that led to the finding of Melrose's "racially hostile environment", and the 7th-grade math teacher noted as one of the worst the city has ever witnessed). The teachers' union has spent many millions on TV ads against lifting the charter cap. Think what they might have done for students and education if they had chosen to do something reasonable and self-reflective with those millions instead? If they had been managing things well and policing themselves, maybe there wouldn't be a need for charter schools!
The fact that the MPS has so many documented disgraces and failures, including test scores that all can see (remember the huge percentage of MPS teachers in the Needs Improvement category this past year), there is every reason to vote for a lifting of the charter cap on general principle. The Melrose Public Schools are a perfect poster child for why an alternative is necessary and appropriate![:|]
You may not be aware that Melrose has a City cap on the number of students that attend the Charter. We are close to that cap. #2 is irrelevant for Melrose. Given the personalities and power on the board of the current Charter school it's pretty safe to say another will never be built anywhere near it.
Public schools are a mess, Melrose performance is terrible as usual and not getting better. If you are fine with privatized education and a time where MA eventually doesn't have any town or city schools at all then sure, vote 2. But there is a larger problem in education right now. Question 2 doesn't solve it and will create a larger funding deficit for taxpayers state-wide.
Everything you say is probably true. As a long-time public school supporter our family has always been vehemently against charters in the past, for the reasons you state and many others as well. But the "public" school machine now includes a completely privatized corporate payoff system--Bill Gates, Common Core, Pearson, Koch bros, ALEC, PARCC, US Dept of Ed, US Dept of Defense, College Board, Walton, ACT, and on and on--making the corporate "dark money" backing of the charter initiative fairly meaningless. Many of these corporate entities and many more are "in bed" with the Ed Dept and "educators" making obscene profits off of "public" education now, especially since Bush NCLB and more importantly since corporations were deemed "people" by the court.
If you want to fix the system, it'll be necessary to start by making sure the Supreme Court overturns Citizens United, and then spend the many years dismantling a frightening monster that has evolved--the military educational industrial complex that now controls the whole shebang, including the the supposedly "public" school system and its charter schools. The same system that is backing the charters now is also funding Pearson, PARCC, College Board, etc., and has brought you the kinds of administrators (and the racket that keeps these charlatans circulating and making obscene salaries like the $180,000 that CT earns while she and the clowns on the SC continue destroying what's left of our school system). Whether Melrose students benefit directly from lifting the cap is not the only factor in the big picture as far as some of us are concerned. Some of us actually care about all students and not just our own! (Naturally that concept is deemed anti-Melrose for those so limited with their parochial and selfish attitude that sadly typifies all official stances now.)
Connect the dots and you might understand better.
Everything you have written is correct and I completely understand how the dots connect.
The reason I voted NO is that despite everything, there is still some visibility into the public school budgets. I can speak at a meeting (well, maybe not in Melrose) place my vote for candidates I think may erect change, or say vote down an override that I believe is putting funds in the wrong place.
With Charters we have zero visibility and no control over how much money or where the money is spent. The funding model is flawed - like why should Melrose pay $11,000 per student if Stoneham only sends $10,000 per student for the same school? The state reimbursement to the sending schools is only at 63% and will be even less with more Charters in place.
I already pay a lot of my salary to the State of MA, and a lot of taxes to Melrose. If #2 passes there is no doubt that my income tax is going up. And maybe it just goes up by $1000 per year - but that's a lot of money for my family. I don't want to part with more money so Hedge Fund investors can enjoy million dollar tax breaks. And ultimately I don't think that Charters are the answer to what is wrong with public schools.
The Yes campaign is playing the "poor children choice" card which is so ironic when you consider what will happen to the children left behind with significant learning needs that can't be met by Charters. Charters are an expensive "band-aid" that all the wealthy people and companies (you list above) want us to believe in so they can make more money and distract from the real issues (you so eloquently described) in public schools.
Thanks for posting this. Very disappointing. It would be great to see these stats posted against Reading, Wakefield, Stoneham for comparison to neighboring towns.
From what I've read these numbers are much lower on the SAT than 10-15 years ago. At that time I don't think 9th graders were taking AP exams either. Which was a good thing.
Read Ms. Kourkoumelis' Superintendent and School Committee Self-Evals and you can find her comprehensive analyses of these stats next to other districts. Read Colleen Murphy's excellent letters (can be found on MM and by googling) about those analyses for further insights. You are correct. Melrose stats are inexcusably bad for the demographic. There has been zero accountability of this administration/school committee. Mrs. K was the only one holding the system accountable. She and Mr. Mroz are still working and attending meetings (have seen them on the broadcasts). She'd probably be glad to send you what she has.
I don't get it. YOY there's improvement across the board and with SAT scores it's at a better rate than state and all public students.
AP scores are generally better than last year.
I mean, just based on facts I'm trying to understand what would be the better result that you are looking for. I have no frame of reference. What would you like to see instead?
"Don't get it" is why things are this bad.
"Calculus BC last year 69% got a 5, this year 50%.
Physics (Mechanics) last year 65% got a 5, this year 0!"
Can't make the connection? Do you really think that hovering near the state average is good? Melrose kids go to school with food in their bellies and plenty of cash to go to the mall. Most have smartphones. They are being compared with kids across the state who have none of that.
Do you really think that shoving more kids into AP classes means that MHS kids are getting a good education? If so, you are the perfect gullible parent for this administration and we should feel sorry for your kids.
Do you actually buy the excuses of the administrators about scores even they know are not good and are actively covering? Do you understand why a third of the current MHS graduating classes (including some of the large unselective bunch gloating about being in NHS) going onto public colleges are being forced into remedial English and math classes because MHS grade inflation and cheating is well known to admissions officers? This is a fact. If that's good enough for you, then too bad for your kids.
There are plenty of frames of reference to delve into if you can, including both the DESE and College board links in the first post.
SAT scores would average above 600 if the schools were competent.
I see that 41% of kids failed AP Stats, ( which is considered the easiest of the math APs) 43% of kid failed AP Italian. 86% of students failed AP Computer Science. I see that 28% of students failed AP English Lit , up 16% from last year.
50% of the kids failed AP Physics 1. 67% of students failed AP Psych, up 25% from last year.
Of the freshman class taking AP History Euro, 28% failed, and 52% got a 3, which is NOT accepted for college credit at MOST colleges. ( the students have been lied to by administrators and told they will get college credit for a 3)
What does it mean to fail your AP exam? The message sent to colleges is that you are a student who may not be capable of college level work. The administrators at MHS want you to believe that it "doesn't matter" if you fail, they tell students that all that matters is that you tried, and it's better to get a poor grade in AP and fail the AP exam, than to take an honors class and do well. This is the current mantra at MHS that is destroying kids GPAs and college admissions chances.
This report does not break down the scores by classroom; if it did, you would be able to link poor scores directly to specific teachers. This will be the challenge for the parent cheerleaders for the district, the know it alls with younger kids who have big ambitions, and lots of opinions, but no real experience getting kids into college. You won't know, or have any control over, who your child gets for a teacher. Or when it turns out that little Johnny isn't actually a genius, just a normal, bright kid, who actually needed to take that foundational content class before jumping into AP.
What happened to the good old college prep classes most high school students took back in the early 80's when I attended MHS? Only the smartest kids took AP classes and you knew who they were, taking an AP class were the kids you knew were going to Harvard, MIT, etc. The majority of our classmates were happy we got accepted to a state college or our number one choice. Are parents that persistent to have their kids take and possibly fail an AP class that could hurt their chances of being accepted to a few good colleges or universities, or do they put al their eggs in one basket and shoot for the most elite schools. OR is this our school leaders "conning". Parents and students just to look good? I'm trying to se when it got so wrong for public schools to prepare our kids for college and if the student Ned's to start their first year of college retaking math, and English just so they can function in college, there's something definitely off with our schools leadership.
Not only did Dr. Peterson teach some of those AP subjects (and CP) expertly, she also taught the AP Saturday training sessions. MF and the idiotic former math chair rewarded this renowned and incredibly dedicated teacher who spent on average 12-13 hours a day at MHS with nastygrams and ignorant complaints for not posting enough moronic rubrics on her white board and other such nonsense (in order to be in compliance with Frau T and her band of eduhacks). You didn't see the great Dr. P applying for or receiving any of those MEF hack grants, either. She simply and masterfully defined and defines (she's very happy in her new school) the finest of educators. She didn't play any games. Frankly she was too busy teaching the students, around the clock. This year's AP scores (and collectively the SAT/ACT) reflect the enormous loss of this great educator.
The consummately awful foreign language scores point to the chronically poor performance of the chair and many in that department, the same chair now put in charge of multiple subjects now and not just foreign language (because it wasn't enough to ruin one department!).
Instead of heeding all of the many obvious warnings and facts, too many parents will respond just as idiotically as "not getting it," and buy into the Margaret Driscoll/Jessica Dugan/MEF BS about how "outstanding" it all is. It's a choice. Buy into the BS or raise hell and demand the education your kids deserve and your taxes pay for.
"Instead of heeding all of the many obvious warnings and facts, too many parents will respond just as idiotically as "not getting it," and buy into the Margaret Driscoll/Jessica Dugan/MEF BS about how "outstanding" it all is. It's a choice. Buy into the BS or raise hell and demand the education your kids deserve and your taxes pay for."
Oh yes. And the PTO hacks are very eager to play games with the SC hacks so they can all impress each other. The ignorance is flagrant. Don't leave out Lizbeth, Rob, Chris and Ed in the lineup of self-important mockeries they make of themselves and of their job. They are ridiculous and damaging, across the board. Students continue to pay the price, as do the parents who have to deal with kids who get sub-par futures and far less scholarship/financial aid as a result of the deep harm the hacks continue to perpetrate wantonly. But sure, go to the MEF "Parent University" and convince yourself that the whole thing is just terrific. Whatever helps you sleep at night. When your kid comes home devastated as a result of some incompetent teacher who can't be bothered to return papers or exams and is a bully (besides being incompetent), just turn to Margaret or Jess or Martha or Maribeth and they can console you. They are total know-it-alls, and they'll be very glad to tell you how it is.
I'm not sure if the same person is posting all these statistics but they are very illuminating. You seem smart and have your head on straight? Have you considered running for SC or BOA to hold everyone accountable?
The goal for Melrose should be a top 10-20 district, right? Maybe you can be our Mr. Fix It?
"Mr. Fix It" a little sexist, doncha think?
No, not all the same poster, for sure. That is patently obvious.
Apparently "Honest Q" doesn't recall the six years of Mrs. K reliably bringing the real statistics to the forefront despite the constant obstruction of the rest. She's the reason any of these facts are even posted now, having fought for years to make that happen. It will take more than one intelligent and ethical representative to be voted in. Even when there were two (J.D. LaRock served with CKK for a year or so originally), the rest made sure to obfuscate anything and everything unless it was the massive stream of self-congratulatory bullpucky that the rest wave around constantly instead of the real stuff. Where were you the past 6 years?
Since there is no election of SC members for quite some time, what is it that "Honest Q" proposes meanwhile? Let the kids rot and suffer some more, or step up to the plate and force some accountability now perhaps, as the parents in Watertown have been doing with their public campaign forcing a vote of No Confidence in the administration....? How about it?
That's a good point. There have to be more people like CK out there who can lead a revolt. There's no leadership. Like the song goes - where have you gone Carrie Koukomelis, our little town turns it's lonely eyes to yoooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuu!
Whoever you are you are weird. Everyone knows that this is a serious forum. No making fun of people. You must be new to town.
We only make fun of people who deserve it.
"Physics (Mechanics) last year 65% got a 5, this year 0!"
If this isn't a kick in the pants for a school system, then nothing will be. If there was an AP class in the school system where I work, and 0 kids scored a five, the teacher would never teach that AP class again. Who taught AP Physics last year? Is he/she teaching it again? If so, can you imagine being a kid in that class? You would have no confidence that you would be prepared for the test.
After reviewing the 2015/16 School Integrated Summary I think the report show really good things happening at MHS. For starters, the scores are improving on the SAT test and most of the kids are taking them. But the real good news and interesting data is in the AP Scores. Consistently since 2012/13 more kids take these classes each year and more kids score 3,4 & 5 on them...from 197 in 2013 to 407 in 15/16. That's great news and the kids pushing themselves in these classes are working hard and should be proud of themselves. The most interesting data is the AP Calculus AB & BC scores. The positive results are way up over the year before...which is surprising because many on this board predicted the sky would fall without Peterson teaching these classes. The reality is her replacements produced 57 test takers compared to her last year with 50. This year a total of 32 Students got 4's and 5's in AB Calculus compared to 19 in Petersons last year, and 16 kids in BC got 4's and 5's compared to 14 in Petersons last year. Looks like the new teachers were every bit as effective and overall the Calculus program improved tremendously. Props to the Math Department at MHS. AP also has a national average score distribution. Unfortunately they don't include it in this report, however, in Melrose kids measure up pretty well to the National Averages and better in Calculus across the board. My guess is the morons previously posting doom and gloom based on this report had SAT scores below the current averages, if they even took them, couldn't pass an AP class if their lives depended on it and their offspring are struggling academically at MHS. Unfortunately for their kids genetics can be a real kick in the @ss. Look for another phenomenal college acceptance list from this group of seniors. 3 years in a row Melrose kids have been killing it with the schools they are going to and this class could be the smartest in the last 4. Way to go MHS and MHS Students.
It's another point of view, alright. Unfortunately it's from another planet - or the superintendent's office, one or the other. You make Josef Goebbels look like and amateur.
"Another point of view" almost got through the post without revealing it is really Clown Patrol. What does she always like to say? Oh, yeah, ahh...Waka, Waka, Waka
Lies and deception.
Not on this committee.