There are so many threads on this site linked to the schools, now Colleen's letter, the newest middle school investigation. I've also seen a few people saying stop complaining, what would you do? So how about if on this thread post the top 5 things you would do to improve the schools*? I'll print it and mail to the Superintendent and every member of the school committee.
*in the interest of coming up with a robust list, please don't judge or critique what others write, or say they are not possible. Simply put forth your own ideas.
My top 5.
- Hire an independent consultant to evaluate why Melrose special education budget is so high - and what can be done to bring it closer to state levels. (Better use of 10K than a PR firm)
- Explore getting back the Beebe or a different configuration of elementary schools to stop the over-crowding and large class sizes
- Begin to pay teachers more with the idea that we will retain and bring higher caliber staff.
- In the HS, stop using AP classes as Honors and as a substitute for actual classes. (For example, all students should take Biology before AP Biology.)
- Change the public comment period/protocol at SC meetings to allow for actual dialog.
1. Get rid of the SC "norms" that serve only to muzzle a member who may disagree about
2. Do not renew the Super's contract.
3. Do not give Driscoll the business manager's job when Tweedledum leaves.
4. Amend the charter to get the Mayor off the SC.
5. Insert an impeachment provision into the charter for every elected position.
5. Rule the Mayor out of order whenever he speaks as anything other than a SC member
at meetings. His constant politicking is offensive and totally inappropriate.
Have OCR designate a truly independent ombudsman who would accept, actually investigate and issue outcome letters for all formal complaints filed against the school district.
Sorry - but these people have no shame. Their thought process now includes, "circling the wagons" and defend the indefensible - that's Chairwoman Driscoll's goal right now and hopes that all these issues blow over!
Thanks for an excellent posting, on all counts.
"Martha Grover who according to a letter to the Weekly News should have been paying better attention to her, I mean the city's green energy partner. Hopefully she is evaluating the new company if her MEF duties don't get in the way."
Yeah, how exactly did this "energy manager" for the city not know that the company she had selected as THE city's "green energy partner" was fini?
Precisely. When she's not shilling for Rob or Cyndy or SC or MEF (of which, outrageously, she is on the Exec Board as Treasurer) or on and on.... How many ethical conflicts of interest do you count?
And since when did this obnoxious hack suddenly become qualified to dole out arts dollars? Just heard that she's also on the Cultural Council! Would LOL if it weren't so patently absurd, and menacing for those of us who care about such things.
This charlatan is about as much of an "expert" in these things as her boss is a self-named "education expert"! And we all continue to pay the price as long as we sit back and allow their continual power grabs.
Did you ever notice how well-connected most city employees are to senior city management? This breeds a culture of sycophants which is exactly what we have at many levels of city and school departments. Is this how best to run our city and schools?
When he was President, Abraham Lincoln added many of his enemies to cabinet and senior positions because he felt that they would give him straight and honest answers and also alternative solutions to problems - and he firmly believed that you need to keep your enemies close to you to know what they are planning.
Today, we have city, state and national governments operate on the principal that nepotism and connections are the only way to govern - now how has that been serving "we the people" lately?
"The MEF realizing that they do not speak for all parents. Again a simple show of respect is what's needed. Stop ramming your ideas down everyone's throat. "
Yes, yes, yes.
The citizens of Melrose voted 2 to 1 AGANST the MEF's position for an override that was very unfocused, unnecessary, and where only 14% of the 2.5 million was going to go towards adding teachers in the classrooms. But yet the MEF believes they speak for the parents?? Give me some of what they're drinking because I want to believe that elephants can fly..
You can get that special drink from the chair of the school committee, Margaret Driscoll - she found a large supply of it - as you can tell from her whispering to angels and detachment from reality.
It wasn't parents that voted down the over ride; it was non-parents. While I was one of the no voters; I give MEF credit for staying involved with the schools. They didn't get what they wanted, but instead of crying about it, they are taking direct action. Good for them.
I am a parent and I voted No on the Override. My children go to Horace Mann. Enough said. Many other parents in many other schools ( MPS and private schools included ) voted No or didn't even bother to vote. Don't pit people without kids against parents of MPS students. This us against them tactics are not helpful to anyone.
Lets make two more lists:
1) The number of ideas or changes implemented by the bozo's on Melrose Messages
2) The names and percentage of Bozo backed candidates that got trounced in an election or quit
We can make the answer short and sweet: Zero and 100%
Honk your nose twice if you think this message board had anything to do with the defeat of the override. Parents and non-parents alike voted no on the override for the simple reason that it didn't make any sense. You can't run a campaign that says life is great, and we don't the need money, but please vote yes because it would be nice to have extra aides and para-professionals in the system. Ill conceived plan and a worse campaign, but that doesn't change the fact that the Bozo's on this board are a bunch of do nothing clowns that sit behind their keyboards whining all day.
Honk, Honk. Melrose Messages is THE reason the override failed. This is where the true back and forth, question and answer dialogue took place, not at the fake override "public" meeting where only politicians and school executives got to cheerlead for their ridiculous override without specifically indicating where exactly the money was being allocated, where the general public was not permitted to be heard in violation of open meeting laws. It was so mind-numbing to listen to these buffoons that even the MMTV camera-man passed out, toppling over his camera tripod. You forget that Melrose Messages gets several hundred hits a day, many more than any other Melrose public website or local paper's website for that matter.
So yes, this site took down the override by a margin of 2 to 1.
It also shamed two school committee members, one an SC chair, into not running for re-election.
MM also exposed two Civil Rights violations and the district's violations of federal law in ignoring and retaliating against victims: kids and their parents.
In addition, other civil rights violations against other protected classes,( in particular those with disabilities) have been exposed here on MM.
Not even your loser bozo MM buddies believe the garbage in your post. Look at your historical election results. Every clown you were in favor of got slaughtered or quit when the entire community rejected their ideas. The override had zero chance the second Dolan said the community didn't need it. No override has ever, or will ever pass in that scenario. The OCR investigations occurred when the parents of the children involved went to the State you lying sack of dog poop. The only thing exposed on MM is the delusional mental illness and OCD of a small number of Melrose haters.
I seem to have pushed one of your buttons (honk, honk!)
The first public stories that these two cases had gone to OCR (Federal, not the State )for investigation was here on MM. Meanwhile the mayor, city solicitor, superintendent, SC chair and a select few insider SC members were diligently working to suppress this information from other more caring SC members and the general public to the point of repeatedly violating OML laws and public records laws.
The mayor and MEFers thought they had the Override in the bag until late into election night. MM blazed the trail in exposing it's unfocused weaknesses. Why do you think Dolan tries so hard to discredit MM, shut it down along with the 1st amendment?? Because it is a powerful tool to pull back the curtain on the shenanigans that have been going on in the city for the last several years.
Now run along and cry to all your MEF buddies.[:)s]
Delusional. As you indicate "The first public stories that these two cases had gone to OCR (Federal, not the State )for investigation was here on MM." Meaning the cases were already being investigated and you idiots patted yourself on the back because you "reported" it to the public. So basically the town criers raced to the key boards. The clowns don't impact the reporting or the outcome...as was the case with the override. For the record, no one in the community except you losers cares about the MEF either. Its a glorified PTO, but its nice how the paranoid delusional conspiracy theorists on MM worry about them night and day. Keep on believing you matter. Hold a rally, get your coalition together. All of your champions have plenty of time on their hands now. They will be much for effective as ex-politicians.
Completely agree with the prior poster’s last comment. Many of us have waited very patiently to get the SC we were hoping for. It certainly was a bitter time. We now have that and look forward to the new SC continuing to bear fruit like the positive momentum of the last meeting!
PW, you and the rest of the fools trying to make Melrose a better place would be much better off spending your time chipping the paint off your houses. Try making your personal kingdoms better places first, and see where it takes you.
"It most certainly has been a bitter time over the last three years for Melrose residents. With only one school committee member (Carrie Kourkoumelis) willing to fight for residents to attempt to preserve ever-eroding public participation that has been under attack-currently by Margaret Driscoll and formerly by Kristin Thorp. Two OML violations and two Public Records Law violations later, we are still in an even worse place. Sadly, Ms. Kourkoumelis was bullied out of her SC seat by the mayor, city solicitor, SC chair and various sicko school committee members who care nothing about transparency, ethics or public participation. The only encouraging sign is that the former SC chair and one dimwitted "yes man" to the mayor were shamed into not running for re-election for SC."
Actually, Ms. K served for six years, and no, she was not "bullied out of her SC seat" (if that had been the case, she would have left 6 years ago). She stated very clearly why she resigned (below), and she has been in touch with many in the community (including my family) who are now organizing to effect the drastically necessary changes that the School Committee and mayor refuse to make. The bullies are clearly in damage-control mode and getting dirtier and dirtier in their tactics, as previous posts here indicate. With multiple press announcements of "inappropriate" conduct (including physically assaultive behavior) by faculty and students coming from the middle and high schools just in this past week alone, the situation is spiraling downwards. Community action for the safety and well-being of our students is direly necessary.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 9, 2016
To the citizens of Melrose and members of the Melrose School Committee:
In January 2016 the U.S. Office of Civil Rights published the finding that our school district violated its Title VI responsibilities. After receiving notice of a civil rights incident in April 2014, Superintendent Taymore was responsible for complying with our district's Title VI obligations.
Instead, OCR found that "the District had actual notice of racial harassment; the harassment created a racially hostile environment for the Student; and, the District failed to take adequate action to redress that environment."
In light of these findings, I had expected this School Committee to demonstrate leadership in holding those responsible accountable. Instead, I consider the responses of this School Committee to be inadequate and inconsistent with an ethical course of action. The self-congratulatory culture of this School Committee perpetuates harm, shields those responsible, and impedes necessary change. Even as recently as February 23, 2016, during Superintendent Taymore's Mid-Year Evaluation, my colleagues did not address what I see as critical failures and continue to offer praise—even commending the Superintendent for planning remedial actions mandated by OCR.
As a matter of conscience I cannot continue to countenance these actions of my peers and must register a vote of no confidence in this School Committee. The recent enactment of "Norms" consolidates authority in the Chair of this Committee and requires that we speak with only one voice, the voice of the majority opinion. In my view, this contributes to a culture of obstructionism and diminishes my capacity to serve constructively. I feel my role as a member of this univocal body legitimizes actions that conflict with my moral compass and are not in the best interest of students. In my opinion, these Norms codify a broken system that cannot be fixed as long as the current leadership remains.
I hereby resign my position as a member of the Melrose School Committee. It has been a great honor to serve our city as a twice-elected official. I will continue my advocacy and will continue to assist in the process of redress and reconciliation.
As a citizen, I call for the immediate resignation of Superintendent Taymore. I consider this a necessary first step for Melrose. Furthermore, I urge this School Committee and Mayor Dolan to address problems openly and honestly and to re-enfranchise the public as partners in the process. Now, more than ever, we need competent leadership.
Isn't this extremely similar to what Concerned asked in the "Please explain for the rest of us" thread a few days ago? That person was trashed and called "a heinous troll" for asking essentially the same thing! Maybe there's a mole in the midst - not a heinous troll, but a HEINOUS MOLE!