Yes and Casey brought his cronies Zammuto and White-L here. MPS has an increasingly stellar record of managing to make the worst hiring decisions possible. Have known several highly qualified candidates even in the last week who were literally not given a second look by CT (with her amazing record of appalling judgment), so that the preselected totally unqualified candidates could sail into their final interview and "win" (never a legitimate race) the positions via the sham search processes. It's just a great big crooked mess.
Melrose school district is the laughing stock of the Middlesex schools and why not? Margaret Driscoll must be so proud of the school system that she helped put together - now that I think about it - she probably is hearing angels singing her praises!
I am asking this with sincerity: Does Melrose really employ unqualified paras to work with special needs children- I mean to actually fulfill their Ed plans? If so, I think that is illegal. I the district where I work, any Sped para must be certified. Really, I am wondering.
Shouldn't be surprised given the track record of Super Taymore and her accomplice Ms. Driscoll. Don't expect straight answer from them.
A lot of what "Mom" said is true, but some of it isn't. First, the regulations now are so strict that even those hired without prior qualifications have had to become certified in a number of areas. The district tries to get out of paying for this, outrageously (bad enough that under/unqualified staff are hired and then put in front of the toughest, most needy students, but then that they have to fight even for fractional reimbursement of required coursework is disgraceful). Many of our long-term paras are by now quite highly qualified (including one who is braille-certified, some for hearing loss, etc.), though they are still treated quite contemptuously by this administration as a whole. They make peanuts, and their benefits are only small consolation for annual take-home wages that are an actual embarrassment. These and the couple of remaining hall monitors ($13,000 annually and CT just cut one of them!) are the district's lowest-paid staff, and they are tasked with helping our most vulnerable students, including even taking over whole classrooms when IEP meetings are taking place, for example.
"Because the current paras have seniority , and are protected by the union, they cannot be replaced." CT wiped out their seniority clause, and any "protection" from their union is a mere joke. They don't even have a real union attorney, just a former teacher from Framingham or someplace who is a nervous nellie (of whom CT and her unethical legal hack take full advantage) with only the barest of qualifications for representing them.
This now predominant Melrose practice (can't call it a "standard") of hiring/promoting locals is extremely damaging, even getting beyond the nepotism and patronage factors. But demonizing the paras is wrong. They deserve our thanks because generally they have become a core of extremely hard-working and under-valued staff, and they take care of the students that literally no one else is looking after, thanks to the appallingly awful SPED administrators. That being said, these paras are not "co-teachers," and never should be conflated with fully trained and experienced educators. Nor should our vastly underpaid substitute teacher pool be considered anything other than a total disgrace, one that Rob Dolan and the Melrose School Committee must wear. $50 per day isn't even minimum wage, when all is said and done. The federal laws require fully certified teaching staff be the ones educating our children, and that's what our tax dollars are suppoed to be paying for. Melrose's disgraceful $50/day negligent end-run around the laws should be exposed and corrected. (Even if it's now $60/day, if that got approved, that is still so far below anything acceptable that Melrose should be ashamed, outraged, and demanding of correction!)
Basically this mayor and school committee have managed to ruin the schools with hiring practices that are laughable at best. There are no "Best Practices" in effect when it comes to MPS Hiring and RETAINING qualified staff. Quite the opposite in fact, as even a cursory view shows. (The PR Firm Guilfoil just can't hide all the skeletons or euphemize all the ridiculous things happening!) The only rules are the defaults that result from atrocious mismanagement, despite the extensive window-dressing verbiage in all the school committee and superintendent documents around policy, etc. Proof is indeed in the pudding. The MPS pudding is now quite rotten at its core, despite the dedicated and sincere professionals still remaining and the decades of fine work by so many. MPS used to be a reputable and in fact good system. Not so anymore. Worsening almost by the week with each new revelation. If the public continues to allow this, there won't be anything but the massive verbiage and pretentious incompetent officials left.
At one point, the district was using a co teach model, with actual MSN teachers in the classroom, instead of just hiring paras all the time. They reduced the number of classroom paras, and hired an MSN to float between classrooms. My understanding from parents was that this was successful, and a much better model for students. What happened to that? Why did we stop doing it?
And if we need more skilled SPED teachers, why didn't the override focus on that? Why did the override ignore the problems with staffing and substitute pay?
"What happened to that? Why did we stop doing it?
And if we need more skilled SPED teachers, why didn't the override focus on that? Why did the override ignore the problems with staffing and substitute pay?"
What happened is that the Melrose population voted in (for the past 15 years) a set of pompous, self-serving, self-proclaimed "education experts" on the school committee, who proceeded to hire one bad superintendent after another, who in turn hired a fleet of crap administrators equally self-serving, vastly underqualified (mostly incompetent in fact), who degraded the teaching staff in leaps and bounds into the ground with their demeaning and ignorant mismanagement. No override could ever be constructed to address those self-made disasters. Now even if an excellent educator arrives in the district and makes it past a first interview (many don't because they pose a threat to the idiots in charge, and also many discover quickly they have stepped into a dog pile of a school system), they learn before long that the environment is toxic and totally lacking in any kind of appropriate checks and balances for accountability. Those in power manage to stay there abusing it, while those without power or those with ethical imperatives driving them to try and make things better are up against The Darkness of Mordor (without so much as a few fighting hobbits). This community has failed utterly, and it continues to be in denial about its own role. The crapa$$ administrators and politicians are known entities with proven failures. Substantive change for the better can't happen until the community decides to get past the shame and actually admit it has a problem. Melrose has a lousy history in this regard (think Y rapist). But acknowledging the problem and who has ultimate responsibility is the only way to start making it better. Honesty anyone? Going, going... gone.
Who has (or should have) the ultimate responsibility? Our very own education expert, the Pillsbury Doughboy.
If you're waiting for him to accept responsibility or to admit that he is a miserable failure with regard to anything school related, I wouldn't hold your breath.
You forgot to take your meds again.
NO, the $ has been used for admin bonuses.
I don't know who the paras are that say they are doing their job because they love the kids. Who are they kidding? Perhaps themselves because the real reason they do it is because of the hours, summers off and weekend and holidays off also.
Boy, am I glad my children don't go to the Melrose Public Schools. I would refuse to put my child and put their health at risk by having them have their class in a modular. Where is your backbone? Speak up and refuse their option.
Actually it is for the monthly retirement check after you leave and the health insurance!
"They also danced around the "difficulty" of enrollment projections or in having strategic long-range planning, which was a cheezy way of admitting that they had failed miserably despite all their phony focus groups and pretend (pre-cooked) 5- and 10-year planning efforts. They even paid a consultant to do an "enrollment study," though of course it was a poorly done one that relied on The Word as spoken by the local realtors (known for their unbiased and intellectually strong assessments when it comes to education in Melrose)."
Aside from the venality of too many of those making decisions for all of us these days, the rank incompetence and dishonesty of RD's crew is quite astonishing. It's all about unmitigated arrogance and unwillingness to let any sunlight into any arena, especially if it means listening to alternate views or ways of doing something. Every big mistake in the huge building projects so far (like the screwups at the middle school) are simply because RD will only allow his cronies to provide input and hire the same-old same-old regardless of whether there are more qualified choices. The same is true for hiring of major personnel, with a couple of exceptions. Wearying....
I think I'm finally on board with the people who want to give Taymore the boot.
Paras do a ton of work, but if they have not been trained (have a degree) in special education, they should not be delivering services to SPED students. Period.
Well unless the job description has changed you only need to have passed the Para Pro test.
Mr. Mayor - we know you read this blog - do your job and get Taymore to do her job - and protect the children!
Band in Melrose
Someone with more direct knowledge should be filing a complaint with Malden DCF (781) 388-7100. Any educator who has knowledge or even suspects is required by law to report as a mandatory reporter.
The Mayor and Taymore that these portable classrooms would cost 2.5 million dollars.
They have no shame.Taymore has performed so badly for our school district that the school committee members may be too embarrassed .
"They have no shame.Taymore has performed so badly for our school district that the school committee members may be too embarrassed ."
These two statements are contradictory/mutually exclusive. People who have no shame or conscience aren't capable of being embarrassed. Angry at having light shed where they are actively trying to get things by the public, sure. But embarrassment, no.
These a$$hats in charge (mayor/school Committee, superintendent, w/ full cooperation/neglect of BOA) are too arrogant to care. They might be uncomfortable with negative press because it is inconvenient and gets in the way of completing their self-serving agendas, but they do not feel embarrassment or shame. Only people with a conscience feel such things.
But don't bother trying to bring your concerns to anyone. No one will listen to you, and no one cares.
It is what it is.
Wow, another summer is coming to an end and before I knew it my kids are going back to school. I think we can all say that we had a good summer we had some good weather. We've all been on vacation mode even after going on vacation and going back to work. In about two weeks folks those yellow school buses are going to be back out there. And all of us are going to have to slow down because those children are going to be walking all over the place. Safety is the number one factor for all of our school children. So all of you that are rushing off to work, please remember to ease off the accelerator. Because we have a lot of children that do walk to school here in Melrose. I'm talking about grammar school, middle school and high school. Please plan your route properly because you know that it'll take you longer to get to work. Please we don't want any children to get hit in the cross walks especially near the middle school and high school, it has happened, we don't want it to happen this year, to all of you allow extra time to get to work or anywhere else you are going where children are going to school. Safety is the number one factor at all times for our children.
You must be talking about somewhere else. First, there are no yellow school buses in Melrose. Second, there are no grammar schools. The elementary schools don't teach grammar in the least.
The first day of school for Melrose Public School children entering kindergarten through grade 12 is TUESDAY, August 30, 2016.
MELROSE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd AND MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5th IN OBSERVANCE OF LABOR DAY.Safety is the number one factor for all of our school children. So all of you that are rushing off to work, please remember to ease off the accelerator. Because we have a lot of children that do walk to school here in Melrose. Please plan your route properly because you know that it'll take you longer to get to work.
Not bad advice, of course, Uncle Joe, but if my memory serves me correctly (and it still does once in a while) this isn't the first time that school has 'started again'.
Back to School on August 30!
Tuesday, August 30, is the first day of school for students in grades K-12 in the Melrose Public Schools. The first day of school for students at the Franklin Early Childhood Center is September 6