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Time for all to step up for the truth, for the kids!

Glad to see that more are seeing the truth. Where are the letters to the editor or more people showing up at Public Participation? Plenty of adults in the community know about this corrupt administration and don't have any children in the schools to worry about retaliation. Where are they? Where are the parents of recent grads but who know first-hand just how bad this school administration is? How come parents and community members show up in Stoneham, in Malden, etc., to speak openly at public meetings, but here so few show up except as the wind-up shills with their formulaic talking points when the administration wants a raise for itself or a bogus override to pad its slush funds for future raises and lawsuit money?

Apparently Melrose is content to let things continue downwards, as it's been over and over again. Remember that exodus of almost every single administrator just 3 years ago? That outrage was pitiful and lasted a couple of weeks before most everyone left for the beach and gave up even the appearance of concern. Remember how some of those selfsame "outraged" parents were the very ones who praised Casey to the hilt? Well look at the ones who aren't saying a word now (after their emphatic calls and letters during the superintendent search to hire CT during another of those pre-scripted efforts to manipulate the public process with effusive pro-forma comments before the vote, punctuated by a certain local pompous opportunist HR "expert" telling us dummies in the public just how "excellent" this "hire" of his is/was, making sure to cast a pointed eye at the one member who had the courage to disagree right from the start with a lone vote for another candidate). Maybe things would still be bad if the committee had hired Mark Kaufman or Dr. Kelleher instead of the two it chose instead, but it's hard to imagine it could have been this awful had Melrose hired superintendents who already had a proven academic track record, two real educators who could speak (and think) in complete sentences and actually cared about students. There is still an available record of these things in the media archives, and it was quite instructive to do some background reading recently.

From 2008:
"Over the last two years, the Melrose School Department has dealt with significant administration turnover, with all but one of the city’s five elementary schools hiring replacement principals. Since 2006, there have been seven principal changes in the district"

or this:
"The mayor called Casey “dynamic” and “a great communicator,”
“That’s what accountability is and I think the public schools have to be in accountable in why are these people leaving,” he said. “I’ve spoken with some of them and it’s not all about the need for programming. It’s about how they feel they’ve been treated, what type of vision they’re getting at the local elementary school.”
Dolan said the kids leaving for charter schools are not high school age students attending private schools such as Malden Catholic or St. John’s Prep, but elementary age students.
Casey said some parents may have their opinion swayed by stories that have floated around the community about the public school system, and that those stories may be a “misperception.”
“You used to hear all sorts of stories about the high school, that there’s trouble up there and the kids are doing crazy things … I walk the halls everyday, you’re walking the halls — are you seeing anything crazy out here? I’m not,” he said."

or this:

or this:
"Dolan, who said MHS means more to him than anything else he deals with on a daily basis, was shocked to hear Richards would not be returning for the upcoming school year. “I never saw this coming and I’m usually pretty good at seeing things happening,” he said. “I am profoundly disappointed and I have to use the word, betrayed. I think I speak for a number of people, that there is a real, human, deep sense of betrayal.” However, Dolan said that in his 10 years as mayor, Richards’ departure does not make the list of the top 20 challenges the city has faced." " Over the last several months, four of the five elementary school principals announced they will leave for other districts, in addition to Richards. The most recent announcement came from Mary Alise Herrera, who will move to Tyngsborough...Despite the explanations from city and school leaders, many residents have questioned whether there’s an underlying issue."

or this:
"Casey's the Guy"
"The Melrose School Committee anguished over a decision Tuesday night, but each member voiced that it was the best possible type of difficult choice to face. After a stressful month that has seen a principal suspended and reinstated, and a superintendent released, the School Committee on Tuesday night interviewed two finalists to assume the superintendent position."
"The day after the meeting, School Committee chairwoman Christine Casatelli said that Casey's salary will be determined after contract negotiations, but will fall in the range of $120,000 to $145,000. According to Stoneham Town Treasurer Tom Cicitelli, Casey currently earns $105,373." "Wendy Golini [Mother Mary in the Cutting Board] referred to a quote from Casey, when he told her, "a great leader to me becomes successful by teaching others to become leaders through shared expectations."

or this:
"Mayor Robert Dolan, who also serves on the School Committee, said Senior Skip Day is a longstanding tradition in the city, but he didn’t condone the party. He also said teens learn by making mistakes, and he backed Claymore’s decision to not suspend any of the party-goers."

or this:
"this committee has already decided outside a public meeting that they wish apparently to expend more of your tax dollars denying any wrongdoing."

or this:
"In September, school officials received photos of 37 students drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, but the pictures could not be identified as being recent, according to Casey. School officials informed parents but took no disciplinary action."

Many of those people who insisted the SC had to hire CT know just how disastrous that decision was but are now just counting the days/years until they "are done" and their last child is "out," with zero sense of civic responsibility to speak up on behalf of all of the community's children, AND its chronically misspent tax dollars! These parents know exactly and personally that the administration is not telling the truth and has been grossly incompetent since the start. The truth is in the eyes of their children who have lost any love of learning or achieving, many of whom are just marking time until they are "done," where in a better school system they would be energetically pursuing everything they can get out of their education. Some of these parents have had to pay a lot for extra help or even psychological counseling for their children, and still they opt to stay silent or fool themselves into thinking that they are making a difference when they "speak up" at coffees or PTO meetings. They resentfully write checks for all the dozens of things the district duns them for, and some even volunteer. But they just keep perpetuating the system instead of speaking up when it counts.

It's the same cast of characters (several of whom sat on that superintendent search and the various principal searches) who flooded the chamber to give Mr. 26% his raise and who are now manipulating the process again, always currying favor for themselves in their social climbing and in their delusion that this somehow benefits their children (and with no care about everyone else's). Some have already had plenty of evidence right under their noses, with their kids who are struggling or who have lost the stars in their eyes, but these parents really don't care what the truth is (even when it is actually irrefutable). Even if their own children are suffering or not achieving appropriate to their abilities, these parents are mostly interested in their social and political agenda, regardless of the failed educational results.

Maybe this year will be different. Maybe more parents will come forward now that this sick and deceitful administration and committee have had the audacity to go directly after everyone's wallets. Maybe the fall will show that Melrose actually does care, that there is power in numbers, and that the truth actually does matter. Gotta hope!

Re: Time for all to step up for the truth, for the kids!

Could not have said it nearly as well. Thank you.

Re: Time for all to step up for the truth, for the kids!

This administration and this School Committee are entirely out of control. Not only should no one authorize a single dollar more for their coffers, they (and those advising them!) deserve every bit of legal scrutiny their unmitigated arrogance has invited. Shame on them and shame on our community for allowing this.