An article today: "‘Arrogance.’ ‘Small-Town Insecurity.’ Here's Why Harvard Hesitates to Accept Some Applicants"
Small-town insecurity and arrogance explain so much of what is wrong in today's Melrose culture. In the rather desperate need to rationalize away much that is substandard, many here go to extremes of arrogance and deliberate ignorance to promote MPS as excellent, or that its difficulties are primarily about money. Neither is true. The culture epitomizes small-town insecurity and turns its back on the many obvious things that could be done to improve the MPS that do not involve infusions of additional funds. Deliberately constructing Melrose Alternate Facts, as the pols and school officials are frantically doing right now, to justify an override, is just one example of the kinds of things that supposedly intelligent and well-educated individuals leading this campaign are doing.
It was ironic watching JMcA last night bemoaning the lack of enough high school and middle school teachers during last night's School Committee meeting. In 2005 there were 30 MHS students in science classes, as there were in 2009, 2013, 2015, and basically every year that some caring person brought forth those unpleasant actual facts. But Jen was one of the most strident parents when her kid didn't get a first choice in kindergarten placement, and advocated rabidly for an override that was mostly designed to funnel more money into the elementary schools. And then she pushed hard at each and every turn in public meetings, with those little pre-scripted talking points, for more funds to be redirected from secondary to primary education in Melrose, over and over again. Why? Because it was her own kids at stake. Now, with kids in the higher grades, the shoe is on the other foot, and suddenly these arrogant and presumptuous types are screaming about a lack of money and teachers at the high school, something that has been known since at least 1999 and about which Melrose administrators and school committee have actively chosen to ignore. Now these arrogant and small-minded parents are getting worried because their children are being proven to have not gotten a competitive education, even against nearby and similar districts. Many are being rejected even from the state schools. And yet the Jens/Margarets and their Talking Points Brigade were quick and ugly when it came to promoting this superintendent, and then supporting her with a wall of strident, willfully ignorant voices at each exposure of another shameful situation (there have been many) at the hands of this dreadful administrator. These same ones shot down the voices pointing towards real solutions and sensible analyses, over and over again, and they continue still.
The Talking Points Brigade is trying new methodology this time around, with a bland and consultant-slick set of ironically entitled "Listening Sessions," coupled with the tired and typical fear-mongering, hand-wringing messages of doom that we've all heard virtually each and every year during budget season under Dolan (still, since GI is just a puppet continuing under his extremely small-minded arrogance). Enough already! You can't claim a crisis every year for the past 15 years and expect it to be credible, that is, unless you're one of the willfully ignorant who needs to believe these halloween tales. Sure, there is always a need for more money. But the context is so debauched, so twisted, with zero accountability for the many obvious things that have led to this situation that are absolutely not about money.
What's missing is an honest assessment and dialogue around the basic components that are causing Melrose to be so chronically substandard. Only when Melrose parents and pols decide to grow up and start acting like mature and honestly reflective adults who care about Actual Facts does this school system have a fighting chance to pull itself out of its self-made mire. If parents take a realistic and fair look at the sad and revolting spectacle that is easily observable on first and third Tuesdays at the Aldermanic Chamber, and can then pull themselves together to stand up to the wall of ignorance and bullying climate to demand better for their children, well then there might a good chance of things getting better. Even an override could possibly be valid if all the facts are allowed to surface (a forensic audit should be a baseline requirement). But as long as that half shell is allowed to carry on with its back-patting, Alternate Fact circus, and those grim, dumb, small-minded, and arrogant spiels week after week, the status quo will stay put. The smart and wealthy parents will create an exit path for their kids, and do it early enough that decent private schools can fix the damage of the mind-numbing, stupifying MPS approach under Taymore, Casey, et al. have allowed to kill the joy of learning in so many hundreds of students for too long.
Sadly, I can't think of a single thing I could dispute the prior post with. Concerning JMcA, it was clear long ago who she was and what her personal agenda was, but people voted her into office anyway. Doesn't speak very well for the Melrose electorate, does it? It's one thing to advocate for your kids. It's quite another to do it on the backs of taxpayers when your arguments are a pack of lies.
A housecleaning of the superintendency and related minions and enablers (including City Hall) is a necessary precondition before any more coin is thrust in its hands by ratepayers.
Agree with all of above.
Posted on BOA string:
MPS salaries are low for long-term teachers in Melrose. They are on a par with the average newly hired teachers from nearby districts, and this is an important distinction. The new teachers can enter at a fairly-priced position on the "steps" and then advance quickly, getting a master's and/or additional certification on the backs of Melrose taxpayers, and then move onto a better paying district very quickly. Veteran teachers (the ones Cyndy routinely tries to get rid of, and has succeeded hugely in doing, do not have any salary incentive to stay. Add to that the bullying, toxic environment where they aren't allowed to teach and instead made to follow "rubrics" that only the most naive/green and robotic "teachers" are forced to follow by an under-educated, ham-fisted administration that truly cannot put a coherent, articulate sentence together even if one were to get them all in one room with the head of the English department coaching and proof-reading.
Taymore can only hire rookie teachers because good ones with experience won't come near this district because of her, because of the school committee, because of a reputation that is rationally viewed and openly referred to as terrible, not just statistically but because of a toxic working environment. So the district appears to pay its teachers very little, when in fact a large part of this equation is that only rookie, C- teachers AND administrators are being hired. It's a win for this utterly corrupt administration because they can whine to all the gullible parents about how they can't pay teachers more (override boondoogle 2.0) while at the same time Taymore and SC are totally in control of a failed administration about which parents can't be bothered to learn the obvious truths. Rookie teachers here are pathetic and sycophantic (the vaguely decent ones leave practically as soon as they're hired), so they do exactly as they are instructed by Numbskull administrators.
The DumbBoards are fired up dutifully each morning and the teachers scribe their daily "talking points" as mandated by the Numbskulls, who will turn quite viciously on any teacher who fails to scribe their idiotic rubrics on the DumbBoards each day, exactly as ordered. Forget if any student needs help with anything or if the actual subject matter is thoroughly neglected. Forget it if anyone thinks the real learning isn't being fobbed off onto online learning, even at the youngest grades! Forget it if the students are being forced to go through the motions at every level, becoming pod people by the first or second grade, with basic skills falling by the wayside and the joy of learning effectively stomped on by the age of 8.
Go online and take a look at what 2nd-graders are joyfully doing in nearby districts (where there are certainly bad teachers, as well, but they don't define the district as they do in Melrose!).
A Public Safety Building won't be included in any override, that is a guarantee. This is all about another boondoggle to pay failed administrators and their pets more money and keep lots of revenue flowing towards the parents of the "babies" centered with the ECC and early elementary community. (By the time your kid is in the 4th grade, the local pols have truly moved onto the next batch of young parent marks.)