As MM seems to be a center of private school parent congregation I am hoping a private school parent can help me with some questions. As a precursor, my family cannot afford $50,000+ for a preparatory school, or even the $20,000+ BC High and St. John's Prep now cost. We are looking at Malden Catholic, Austin Prep, Bishop Fenwick and Arlington Catholic for our children. My husband and I are having trouble finding measurable from these schools. The schools won't release the SAT Score averages and as they don't do any standardized testing such as MCAS we really can't tell whether they are providing a quality education or not. We are also concerned as my youngest has a mild learning disability and for the most part these schools have told us they don't offer much by way of special education...its just not in the budget. They also don't seem to have many foreign language courses and a real limited number of course options. Any comments at all on how existing parents determined the actual quality of the education would be helpful. We are concerned we are just going to throw $70,000 away on each kid and are struggling to see where we find the bang for the buck. From everything we hear a parochial school education is superior, but there just doesn't seem to be any hard facts or data.
A great deflection attempt. You don't want people to respond to the other items raised on this string. You are trying to change the subject in order not to have more questions raised or more information revealed. Trying to distract from the Lincoln Principal Finalists, "fuzzy math" and the "hidden data" of the MPS budget process, "Angel" Driscoll, " Love, Love, Love" Thorp, "State of The City Address" by Lifer Mayor and the rising opposition to the Tax Override.
Hey Captain Obvious, you're a real fart smellah...but really private school parents who enjoy attacking MPS's, how do you know? It shocks me that parents are willing to drop $17,500 per year per kid to go to schools that are nothing but a smoke and mirror show...I think maybe the fact that they don't publish SAT scores, do no standardized testing and hand out A's to every kid in the school is a relief to some parents...and worth all the money...
I do know MPS. We have three children. One goes to Lincoln, one goes to MVMMS and one is a student at MHS. It is incorrect to assume our children go to private or parochial schools because we find fault with how MPS are run and funded. It is also false that only people who have children or whose kids attend schools other than in Melrose can have concerns and criticisms. You do not have to look far or "go searching for data" to understand that the MPS are in trouble. By talking to parents at all three schools our children attend has given us food for thought and reinforced our own experiences. As taxpayes we will be voting NO on any override initiative because of the recent and ongoing failures of accountability, transparency, leadership and results.
[ "schools that are nothing but a smoke and mirror show"...[/quote]
"Smoke and Mirror Show"
Freudian Slip by "Seaching For Data"
This is what MPS Administrators, the SC and Mayor are doing all the time.
State of The City Address tomorrow night will be another episode in the increasing saga.
"Private School help/Seaching for Data" is a City Worker
Who are they protecting and what did they do/not do to get their job?
Hey Private School Information seeker, you go to MM for assistance on your children's education? Really?
What are you going to learn from SAT scores? One kid gets 2400 and one gets 1200. What does that mean for your kid? Figure it out for yourself based on your children's needs.
"Looking at data for a whole school (like SAT scores) is very useful, particularly because that test shows what the cumulative effect of 12-13 years of education in a school system are relative to the rest of the country, which after all, is what top students must understand if they are going to be competitive. But like too many in Melrose who have to justify their own kid's poor performance, there is a defensiveness and unwillingness to want to know how poorly Melrose compares currently. Of course something like SAT is only one measurement, and any smart parent needs to consider many other factors. Paying for private school is not necessarily the right option, but making that investment earlier might mean that a student has a better crack at good scholarships for college (certainly not every student). We chose public schools but that was what we decided for our family and isn't the best choice for everyone. It's definitely a time to be concerned about signing up for MHS. But then again, it's a time to step up and be counted about things like the new math sequence. A kid's fate in Melrose can be sealed by the 6th grade at the rate things are going in this Rabbit Hole, where all these administrators continue to treat the kids like guinea pigs and don't really care that the poor guidance and administration are basically ruining kids entire futures before they've even had a chance".[/quote]
I would start worrying even before 6th grade. Worry about K-5 students at the elementary schools. My 2 young kids go to Lincoln. I am horrified that The Lincoln School Principal Finalists are not qualified or experienced. Neither has a number of years working as Principal. They both have had only short assignments as a temporary, interim or acting principal. NOT GOOD ENOUGH !
Friends who have children at Roosevelt and Horace Mann have been subjected to unqualified and inexperienced administrators and the ramifications are still being felt. We will keep our kids at Lincoln for one more year and give the "newbie" a chance. But my wife and I have begun to talk about leaving Melrose or sending our children to St. Mary's School.
Parochial schools very simply will not publish SAT scores or have their students take standardized tests because they don't want any measurable data available to the parent about to make a 4 year commitment of $15,000+ per year.
One of the above posters stated that 1) They are concerned and disappointed about Melrose Schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels. They have 3 children, and they will absolutely vote no on an override. An investment of roughly $300 per year, or in their case $100 a kid. However, they would consider parochial schools at $15,000+ per year per kid...based on a glossy brochure and a dislike of MPS. The ignorance is staggering.
We did the parochial school investigation process, and outside of St. John's Prep and BC High, which we couldn't afford for all of our kids, we walked through old buildings, with limited course offerings and underpaid teachers and couldn't justify the expense...on top of the fact that the college acceptance pool was less than that of MHS kids, and they wouldn't share SAT score averages.
I want to know what I am missing. Please enlighten me.
You contradict your first post. What is it?
The Override Vote is not only about money. Many Melrosians ( 25% of residents whose children attend MPS and find them a "mixed bag" ) will "Vote No on an Override" to send a "No Confidence" message. A majority of the 75% of Melrose residents who do not have children in the schools will also vote NO. They are worried about their own expenses and the economy. They have also heard about troubled schools and mishandled/hidden finances.
The schools are a mess and many people have lost trust in elected city officials and school administrators. At last night's SC meeting, DC said that other districts were jealous that Melrose had Super Cyndy. Constantine wanted to make sure the SC sent the message to the public about what a wonderful job CT was doing in her mid-term evaluation. Interesting that DC was assigned a scripted speech to read on behalf of the SC crazies who love, love love CT and her super job performance. I turned the TV off and went to bed when I heard him say that the SC needed to send a message of respect and support for CT and how she was meeting her goals so that "another district wouldn't steal her from us".
You're right parent...an override will not fix MHS and the MEF elementary gang are living on another planet. I have a right as a taxpayer to vote No on an Override and will VOTE NO if/when it is put on the ballott. I don't expect or accept that the "school side" of the budget continue to be so out of whack, waste so much money or reward people who don't ( or aren't capable ) of doing their jobs. I can't afford an Override and my NO vote will also be cast as a declaration of "NO Confidence" !
Vote yes on the upcoming override for it is a proven fact that government knows how to best spend tax revenue.
An override will not fix all that ails the Melrose Public Schools. However, it is undeniable that Melrose is below the 50% percentile in the three major indicators of public school performance. 1) Low teacher salaries 2) Low administration salaries 3) Low average dollars per year spent on each student. (which is largely driven by the lack of spending on teachers and admin)
You get what you pay for.
Paying below market value has lead to administrator and teacher turnover and an inability to attract the best teachers and administrators. I will be voting for the override. Melrose has tried to do it on the cheap for too long and its not working.
When will the public finally realize that money does NOT solve teacher/admin quaification issues including student outcomes! Accountability, transparency, good leadership at the top...none of which we currently have in Melrose - thanks to this dysfunctional school committee (Thorp et al).
Actually Myron evidence clearly states that money does solve these problems, most specifically student outcomes. You have to want to look though. I know its hard to see through all the hot air you are constantly blowing, but an analytical approach to looking at educational data proves that communities that spend more money get better results.
At it again...
Lyin Myron can't help himself. Go to the DOE website, search by average dollars spent per student, and sort it from highest to lowest. On a report with 320 plus districts only 26 spend less per student than we do. Melrose is clearly doing with much less then many north shore communities.
There are clearly many other challenges with MPS than lack of adequate funding, however, it is undeniable that many of these problems were caused because Melrose took the cheap way out with teachers and admin over the years and Melrose students are paying the price for it.
Great. So let's start over by allocating 250k for a competent and proven Superintendent who has no priors for retaliating against students and families. Unfortunately, there is no guaranty that the SC won't goof this up again. CKK was the only one who made the right call last time with Kelleher.
[/quote]There are clearly many other challenges with MPS than lack of adequate funding, however, it is undeniable that many of these problems were caused because Melrose took the cheap way out with teachers and admin over the years and Melrose students are paying the price for it.[/quote]
This guy seems to think that stats don't lie...well in this case they do. The town of Westford has a superb school system and their per pupil costs are similar to ours. Lets' find out what they are doing differently than we....and their school superintendent has been there for almost a decade earning less than what we had started paying our own inexperienced, no prior experience, Ms. Taymore.
Given that we had a new Middle School built with the latest technogy not that many years ago, built new science & math labs, gave our teachers recently a 25% pay raise, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on text books, one would think that in the past 3 plus years that Ms. Taymore and her admin staff have been around, that we should be further ahead in substantially improving student outcomes. But looking at recent SAT results which put us bearly meeting state averages, it's no wonder that people are frustrated with this current school committee and school admin.
Agree,will you be at next SC meeting?
Whether an individual personally likes Taymore, Dolan or any members of the school committee is completely irrelevant to the issues in the school department. So Taymore can be a b*tch and Dolan can be a bully...who cares. I've seen both at work and quite frankly don't blame them sometimes. When a handi-man shows up at every SC meeting for two years and talks likes he's Horace Mann I'd get short tempered as well.
The bigger issue is that for years, over a decade, Melrose Public Schools were led by Rosemary LeBlanc Considine and Joe Casey, who both saw fit to keep Pat Muxie as the director of curriculum. To add injury to insult we had Dan Burke as High School principal followed by Joe Dillon (when he was actually awake, which was rarely)
That is a decades worth of incompetent super's, curriculum directors and HS principals. It was a cluster f*ck. Dan Richards got one look at the mess, fired 20+ teachers and ran away like his hair was on fire. He couldn't get away fast enough. Unfortunately, the building was still filled with teachers who spent the last decade with no expectations, no supervision and no accountability.
It was a sickening situation to walk into as a parent and a new Super. My personal opinion is the place has improved dramatically over 4 years. Sure, the teachers are p*ssed. Mainly because they are now dealing with a curriculum director and super with expectations and is holding them accountable.
My opinion is there is still a long way to go at MHS, but its improving. Throwing Taymore out will set the process back. Farrell is irrelevant. She's a steady hand and a public presence (yes, she goes to many events that her predecessors did not) Taymore runs that building and is grooming one of the asst's to take it over in a couple of years. Time and money are needed to fix the situation. I'm voting for the override and hoping Taymore continues to work her way through the mountain of issues she inherited.
Hey "Real Deal", You are the cluster f*ck, and it's pretty easy to tell who you are, also. Won't say because your family doesn't deserve it, but you really are a huge part of the reason Melrose is in the state it is.
Wow, you are full of garbage...you have no idea who I am. Go ahead and out me you clown. You'll be wrong. Then post your own name you worthless piece of garbage.
"When a handi-man shows up at every SC meeting"..." So Taymore can be a b*tch and Dolan can be a bully...who cares." Incredible the inherent bigotry and bullying of this poster. Who cares, indeed!
"Sure, the teachers are p*ssed. Mainly because they are now dealing with a curriculum director and super with expectations and is holding them accountable."
Really? The mail-order "Dr. A" who can't put a simple sentence together and the super who can't find anyone qualified to hire? How about that teachers are justifiably disgusted and demoralized having a boss who demonstrates nothing but contempt and ignorance?
"who both saw fit to keep Pat Muxie as the director of curriculum"...apparently failing to remember the great and wondrous Dr. Jeanne W, or failing to recognize that JC used PM as the dumping ground for every problem he couldn't spell or deal with, leaving the poor lady with literally mountains of mess on her desk that no human could have tamed. She was a convenient scapegoat and does not deserve the bile from this ugly poster! She gave many years of caring service to this community, and it's shameful the way she has been treated. The same with DB, who continues to give generously to this community despite the demonization by such bullies as RealDeal.
"It was a sickening situation to walk into as a parent and a new Super." Is this supposed to be a sentence? It walked into a new super? What?
"Taymore runs that building and is grooming one of the asst's to take it over in a couple of years." And this is appropriate how? If CT hired an "irrelevant" principal, why should anyone trust that her next hiring move for MHS will be any better? Why is the super micromanaging MHS? How on earth is it appropriate to think that "grooming" one of the two gym teachers who are now No. 2's to be the next No. 1 demonstrates anything approaching competent management of the "flagship school" of the city?
"Time and money are needed to fix the situation." Oh really? Just exactly how much time? Still blaming the troubles on the priors is pathetic and immature. She billed herself as fully capable of managing all of it and as ready to hit the ground running when she arrived. After her "Induction Year" it was full tilt into running the district into the ground, and this year is all about retrenching and blaming, now that she's got her 3-yr contract extension and another $10,000-plus. (She's up to something like $171,000 before benefits. The governor only gets something like $244,000, including the $65,000 housing allowance!)
And she and Robbie are bemoaning the lack of enough money for competitive hiring in the district, as if this is the reason Melrose can't hire or hold good administrators or teachers. Yeah, right.
Money? By June it will have been 3 years. CT got an extra 2 million plus in her budget last year (plus $425,000 textbook bond), is asking even more on top this year, plus all kinds of bond filings in the multi-millions. AND there will be an O request.
Posters like "Real Deal" are the clearest indication of the blindness and pathology in this community with such ignorance, to say nothing of the lack of common decency with oozes from every infected line of that poster's message.
"clown".... Vuvu has emerged from her dark hole
"The current principal has the distinction of almost driving out the most loved and respected teacher in MHS history"
still a likelihood
"Start where you have a legal right to air these concerns, with the School Committee." Except now you'll have to wait until 10 p.m. or so (end of meeting) for Public Comment because these creeps have moved it until then so that no one will show up and also all votes will have taken place by then.
Moving public comment to the end of the meeting is the consummate example of the petty, vindictive, vicious nature of this SC. Someone try to convince me that it isn't directed at one person in particular, and that, since you are only allowed to comment on items on that night's agenda, by the time you are allowed to comment the agenda has been gone though, making it a fait accompli.
This SC is a total disgrace, and it absolutely baffles me how they haven't been sent packing. Is there any provision for a recall?
A prior poster said it well - this is what you end up with when you have a gaggle of moonbat women running things. I'd be overjoyed if a few competent, real-world men or would run. Is that a sexist comment? Not at all, since I am a woman. The results speak for themselves, and as a professional women, the conduct of these moonbat shrews offends me.
1) Two new asst. principals brought professionalism and discipline back to building. Fogarty's presence in the hallways cannot be underestimated. Impact was tremendous. Merrill gets it, and resolves issues quickly and professionally.
2) Burke and Dillon were addition by subtraction
3) At least 20 truly incompetent teachers are no longer teaching in the building.
4) My kids actually got their work corrected and back to them in a much more timely fashion, had homework, and regular intervals of tests and quizzes.
5) More teachers reporting grades in Aspen. 4 out of 5 of my kids report. 3 years ago is was 1 out 5.
6) Some new teaching hires have been really good
7) New Science labs have made a huge difference in the Science teaching and kids enjoyment of the work.
8) Regular presence of administration observing classes and making sure different teachers are teaching the same stuff and in the same chapter if they teach the same subject.
9) National Honor Society completely overhauled
10) New department heads are a giant improvement in all core subjects over their predecessors.
All true. In some cases its pretty pathetic, but 5 years ago the halls were being run by the students, the kids never got regular homework, never got their work back, the course level of difficulty was completely dependent on the teacher your kid had, Aspen was never used, the lab space was down right depressing, and the NHS was run by a woman who legitimately was not qualified to teach a real class. I'll take the progress and hope to see more in the future...and it still beats dropping $70K at MC, AC & AP.
"Two new asst. principals brought professionalism and discipline back to building. Fogarty's presence in the hallways cannot be underestimated."
Oh Really? The guy who told 2 African-American students in the hallway, "You're black, go see Ms. Ward because she's black..." (and these were Melrose residents!)
"Merrill gets it," Gets what? You wouldn't know professionalism if it were kicking your butt.
"Burke and Dillon were addition by subtraction" The fact that you would even lump these two demonstrates your own profound ignorance (and your agenda).
"At least 20 truly incompetent teachers are no longer teaching in the building."
Yes, and you are a big fan of the former and present school committee that brought in most of these incompetents via their brilliant hires.
"My kids actually got their work corrected and back to them in a much more timely fashion, had homework, and regular intervals of tests and quizzes."
Well, gee, you mean a few basic school functions are functioning?! Why don't you ask Dr. P who knew how to administer a building and curriculum or not? Or maybe you are one of those dumb and arrogant enough to be critical of her, too (or your kid(s) never managed to qualify for one of her courses).
"More teachers reporting grades in Aspen. 4 out of 5 of my kids report. 3 years ago is was 1 out 5." Well this is a high bar of educational excellence, that's for sure! 3 years ago the system was in chaos because it had just bought Edline for Dillon the year before that ($55,000) and then IT Dunce decided to dump that (and the $55,000 plus the investment in training) and go to Aspen, without making sure the infrastructure he supervised was functioning properly. But go ahead and reveal your anti-teacher agenda more and blame it all on them.
"Some new teaching hires have been really good"
Why not most or all of them?
"New Science labs have made a huge difference in the Science teaching and kids enjoyment of the work."
Didn't do much to help MCAS scores, which showed that 40% of the district was still failing science. With that department chair, there won't be improvement, just more slide.
"Regular presence of administration observing classes and making sure different teachers are teaching the same stuff and in the same chapter if they teach the same subject."
Shows what you know (and don't know!). These administrators would have a clue about what really constitutes education, let alone how to evaluate it, if it were spelled out in Kindergarten print.
"National Honor Society completely overhauled"
Oh it's a real winner now. Remember, that woman "who legitimately was not qualified to teach a real class" was hired by CT, and then to put icing on the cake, CT put the same woman on the MHS principal search committee.
"New department heads are a giant improvement in all core subjects over their predecessors."
This is the piece de resistance. These are without doubt the least competent, least professional department heads (with the possible exception of the history dept.) in any kind of recent history. Charlatans incarnate.
"and it still beats dropping $70K at MC, AC & AP." Now comes the real agenda. Got to beat down those private/parochial families, or you're not doing your perceived "job"! You fail, by the way.
Correction: These administrators would NOT have a clue about what really constitutes education, let alone how to evaluate it
You're being nice, calling it baloney. I'll call it what it really is - bull$hit.
So much negativity here in Melrose, if people from other communities read this board they would never move here. Myron, The Fellowship of the Miserable’s is alive.[:)][:)]
Baloney, I know you your zealous hate and dissatisfaction of the Melrose Public School system seems completely justified in your mind. However, you should allow for the fact that the large majority of parents agree with the position that MHS is improving, and more importantly are happy with how things are going. P*ss, moan and insult away, but the reality is your crowd couldn't fill the first row of a SC meeting, even with a free buffet in the hall.
I'm conducting an officially unofficial poll. Its unofficial because the whiners on MM are a pack of habitual liars. The question is how many are there really of you. I am aware of MFD and his 3 alter ego's. Then we have the woman with the big vocabulary and her 10,000 word responses and habit of responding to her own posts. We have the real fraud private school lackey and what, 2 or 3 others? The MM whiners couldn't fill a phone booth never mind the front row of a school committee meeting.
Give it a rest, Mike. You're going to get calluses on your knees.