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School Committee member Dave McGeney has been an outspoken critic of Common Core and PARCC. Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Saber Walsh April 14, 2014 at 06:33 am
This is AWESOME -- FINALLY we see politicians representing us!
jen buchanan April 14, 2014 at 10:02 am
Topic is great. A necessary review for sure however, I cannot believe that this is an articleRead More relating to education and there is a typo, "roll" vs. role. No time for editing? What are our expectations of students?
Les Masterson (Editor) April 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm
Sorry about that, Jen. It's been corrected.
Clockwise from top left: Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman, Chalrlie Day, Laverne Cox, Capt. Richard Phillips and Michael Bloomberg.
Robert Norwood April 12, 2014 at 08:14 am
You can bet Ayaan Hirsi Ali won't be speaking at any of these higher institutions of liberal leftRead More hypocrisy. Too bad Che Guevara and Hugo Chavez aren't available.
Bob April 12, 2014 at 06:31 pm
Robert - amazing isn't it? She is speaking out against women being mutilated and for getting themRead More educated and the left hates her! Flipping up side down country we now live in! PC gone haywire. Let's not offend the practitioners of the cult that kills thousands of their own people over religion and shoot a little girl in the face because she wants an education!
malcolm nichols April 14, 2014 at 07:49 am
Amherst College?
Patch File Photo
Kathleen April 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm
Can't understand people on here advocating for their children to be 'friends' with their teachers onRead More FB...They are NOT friends, they are teachers, mentors and there are many other ways that they can mentor a child if they want to help them. How about the good ol' face to face discussion? Probably would do more to help a child that is in need of a little guidance better than FB. Also, many teachers today set up classroom blogs for day-to-day communication with their students, which is a great use of technology. Also, most of these kids shouldn't even be on FB since the rules of FB actually require that you be 18 to sign up. (though this is usually not enforced by FB or parents, me included). Once a student reaches 18 or 21 years of age and they are no longer students of their teacher(s), then fine if they want to be friends with their teacher(s). Just doesn't make sense to me that parents don't understand that their should be boundary lines while they are.
nedlam1968 April 9, 2014 at 06:48 pm
Unfortunately, we've become a society where too many do not understand boundaries. I don't thinkRead More it's appropriate for school staff to "friend" student's - there are "rules" that outline appropriate and inappropriate behaviors with students ... unfortunately, everyone thinks that what matters is being "buddies" with the kids ... too many professionals have forgotten how to be professional ...
Mrs. B April 10, 2014 at 12:09 am
Teachers friending students on Facebook is unprofessional. I would think a teacher would beRead More intelligent enough to know this without being told by authorities.
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School. Photo credit: Patch file photo.
mark April 7, 2014 at 11:32 am
Blah blah blah! Nobody cares about these 2 left wing socialist so called teachers! The Award is aRead More phony!
Kathleen April 8, 2014 at 09:28 am
Hey Mark, Stop being such a jerk. If you are going to bash the schools all the time, then at leastRead More be man enough to step up and give a shout out when credit is due. This is great news for the Peabody schools and for these two teachers. I for one think it's great and I am usually a critic. Kudos to these teachers and to the students for this honor!
mark April 9, 2014 at 07:59 am
Teachers are the enemy because they and their usurped union vote and support Obama and Deval!
Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Antonio Bragança March 29, 2014 at 12:56 pm
mark you are funny in a bizarre kind of way. Last Americans I voted for were Gus Hall and AngelaRead More Davis! ;)
mark March 29, 2014 at 04:30 pm
I hate the government and all organizations associated with them! Which includes your public schoolRead More system!
Jennifer Day Morgan March 31, 2014 at 04:07 am
If you truly live in Peabody Mark, then it's your public school system too. I love OUR city.Read More Perhaps you should consider moving to a place you don't have to deal with our multi-class, multi-cultural, liberal-leaning citizens.
Patch File Photo
Martha Magee March 23, 2014 at 08:32 am
You New Englanders really need to learn how to chill. Except for Prometheus. Prometheus is alreadyRead More cool. I say ban all shoes altogether. Require humans to walk barefoot on the Earth in the sunshine for a minimum of 1 hr a day and reconnect to Mother Nature. The problem is not flipflops. In fact, flipflops are a step in the right direction. The real problem is materialism ~ the disconnect with Nature.
Merry Christmas March 23, 2014 at 04:42 pm
I wear flip flops. Their especially good when you go to court because the judge likes people whoRead More dress well
Dark star March 26, 2014 at 08:49 pm
Photo credit: Patch file photo.
diane March 17, 2014 at 10:58 am
BeeKeeper March 17, 2014 at 02:23 pm
You are confusing "Common Core" which is a set of teaching/learning standards and theRead More "PARCC Assessment" which is a test similar to MCAS that assesses whether students are learning the standards their teachers are charged with teaching them. Massachusetts incorporated the Common Core State Standards in their 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Math and ELA so all Massachusetts students are currently learning the Common Core Standards. The MCAS is also currently assessing those standards in Math and ELA in Gr. 3-8. The Mass. State Board is looking at whether to replace MCAS with the PARCC assessments in 2016 or to keep MCAS and update it to better assess the new standards.
David McGeney March 20, 2014 at 04:38 am
To BeeKeeper. Common Core has become the catch-all title for the entire plot to Federalize publicRead More schools. The whole thing is nothing more than a money and power grab.
Photo credit: Peabody TV.
Kathleen March 14, 2014 at 11:00 am
Robin, no one ever said anything about moving to 'lily white PerfectTown, MA' because it doesn'tRead More exist! You must be a Democrat since you automatically assume that anyone on the board that expresses a different opinion (and has the capacity to illustrate it in an educated, informed way) must be guilty of incurring the 'wrath of the lunatic fringe' on people like you. No one is saying that Peabody isn't a nice community. I think both myself and Andrew pointed out a lot of the city's great qualities. Just because Peabody better reflects the demographic reality of our country, doesn't mean that our children are going to be better equipped or prepared to adapt and thrive in it. There are many other cities and towns that have similar demographics to Peabody that have much better school systems. It's because they have better leadership in the schools and prepare their kids better. If you checked the top ranked schools in MA for MCAS scores in 2013, you will see many Charter schools that are certainly not located in 'lily white PerfectTowns'. They are in Boston (in areas like Roxbury, Dorchester & Hyde Park) Cambridge, Malden, and Worcester which are all equally as diverse as Peabody. You will also see regular public schools in towns & cities like Burlington, Arlington, Canton, Chelmsford, etc. that consistently out perform Peabody and are also demographically similar to Peabody. What are they doing right that we are obviously doing wrong? The people in these town and cities aren't paying a premium as you say. They are paying taxes like you and I but are obviously getting a better bang for their buck when it comes to education.
mom March 14, 2014 at 02:08 pm
Well said Andrew & Kathleen. Robin you sound like you were born here. Peabody people takeRead More offense to any complaint about the school system and that is part the problem. The Peabody schools have been. an "issue" for the last 20+ years I am one of those parents that has chosen to send my kids to private school. I pay the same taxes as you but dont use the services. That is my choice. For me I wanted the focus of their education to be on getting into and FINISHING college. I did not want to worry if they had the right classes or the right levels. I wanted to be able to enjoy the last few years I have with them before they go away to college with them & not on top of their curriculum. I wanted a school that was as invested as I am in their success. Now Peabody could do that but it will require big changes. This city is so busy only saying happy things they don't want to hear the unpleasant truth. They are spending months talking about taking voting out of the schools and not why the test scores have been going down !
mark March 14, 2014 at 09:53 pm
Diversity = disfunction in society Multiculturism = white politicians (usually Irish and ItalianRead More Democrats) selling out the white race to get elected into office by stealing tax $$$ from whites and promising minority voters better education better schools , better social programs, blah blah blah!
File photo.
Steven Sadowski April 15, 2014 at 09:47 am
Joe: Actually, you are sort of correct. Public Education was founded by English settlers and itRead More did mostly focus on the Bible. So far so good. BUT, there were two schools of thought (pardon the pun) on public education: the English view that education had a responsibility to conform the individual to the collective (as you described) and the Dutch version which educated based upon individual needs. To this day, the Dutch have a workable and very successful voucher system where parents choose where to send their kids and competition creates efficiency and excellence. I believe they are #1 in the world? Outside of New York, the Dutch had very little influence in the New World and so we got stuck with the English view on public education which is that the individual must conform to the ideals of the collective. In the old days that was religion, but now, that is the state. I completely agree with your criticisms of NCLB. I don't know, maybe you're so indoctrinated in the two party system that any criticism of Obama automatically means the other person must be a republican, so whip out the Bush card? It would be nice to have a discussion that did not involve the same old tired finger pointing based upon political parties and just solve the problem, which is that testing as a means of determining quality of schools would not need to exist if school choice and competition allowed parents to support whichever school they felt gave their child the best educational outcomes. In lieu of such choices, we are stuck with these idiotic barometers that teachers hate and parents loathe.
Joe Beckmann April 15, 2014 at 11:30 am
While it's refreshing that you know about the colonial foundation, and your observations about theRead More Dutch system are interesting (actually it's the Finnish system with the highest scores, until, at least, the Chinese really get into it). But my view of public education is Horace Mann's (neither British nor Dutch, nor colonial). The justification for public funds for education is to create a public - a community with some common skills (largely interpersonal and career, less academic and data driven). That means that public schools are a public investment to assure all generations that the youngest can join a culture of success. This "magic" of school choice merely re-frames the segregation of pre-civil rights with a penumbra of "individual rights," a false kind of consumerism. In fact, there has always been "school choice," and private and parochial schools have always offered an option to those who either paid or took vows. For that matter, I personally think Secretary Duncan is one of the worst possible representatives of "educational change," and that testing, while a worthwhile means of documenting curricular impact, is an abysmal means to "evaluate students." Any 7 year old now knows that any standardized question is online via google, and dismisses the utility of putting such junk in their head. They're not all right, but...they're not all wrong either.
Steven Sadowski April 15, 2014 at 04:01 pm
Joe: It is a half truth that educational choice exists in this country. Property taxes are taken,Read More whether you send your kids to private school, or homeschool. You have zero choice to pay property taxes. If you don't, your home goes to land court and you lose your home. It is coercion. A regular family is stuck sending their kids to the town's public school because they can't afford to eat the taxes AND pay tuition. Instead, only the top earners can afford to pay the town "vig." and send their kids to a private school on top of that. The private schools then have to charge a higher tuition since they have to make budget through higher prices as opposed to higher numbers/volume. This in turn creates a viscous cycle of only the rich being able to attend private schools and further cements a caste system of elitism based on income. Furthermore, where one lives can determine where one ends up in life. A student, for example, on the Lawrence/Andover line could have an entirely different existence depending upon their zip code. I am luck we live in Westford, but I could have easily lived in Chelmsford. Same area, different schools. There should be a voucher system so that parents could send their kids wherever best fit their needs. I think your way f public education creates segregation, not the other way around, because the rich tony towns have their great schools and the poor towns are stuck, unless they can have a Charter school, but those are sometimes given by lottery. I agree that testing is not a good metric for evaluating students en masse. In the classroom to insure you know the material, yes, but as a blanket test to determine compliance or aptitude, no.
Higgins Middle School. Photo credit: Patch file photo.
David McGeney March 10, 2014 at 06:33 pm
Saber Walsh March 11, 2014 at 06:59 am
I am SO GLAD my kids are long out of public school. If this isn't enough to give private schools aRead More boost, I don't know what is. The fact that our elected "representatives" have supported this pile of pooch-doodoo with questioning self-annointed "experts" is a shame and means that term limits are long overdue. If this gets into our schools, we are so, so, so screwed.
Photo credit: Peabody TV.
Andrew Denaro March 10, 2014 at 10:40 am
@ Sun Okay, I tried to read that and my head damn near exploded. Some punctuation would go a longRead More way in helping get your point across in a more understandable fashion.
Bjean March 10, 2014 at 01:13 pm
+1 ^ that
File photo.
commonsense March 16, 2014 at 05:17 pm
Fred, Do you think the changes will make it less biased? If not, what do you recommend as anRead More alternative?
deb of see-attleboro March 16, 2014 at 05:24 pm
According to his Patch profile, he is chairman of the Foxborough Democratic Town Committee. NoRead More mention of teaching. Reading his comments, I hope I am wrong about that.
Kathleen March 17, 2014 at 10:17 am
Obviously Dennis hasn't been reading the local newspapers. Is he even remotely familiar with what isRead More currently going on in neighboring Salem MA with the Bentley school? There's an example for you. The school is a Level 4 under performing school that is in it's second year of a three year turnaround program with not much success. (Next step would be for the state to come in and take over the school). It's to the point where the Mayor now wants to contract with a private company to have them take over the day-to-day management of the school. Despite lengthening the school day, revamping the school schedule, seeking outside help and securing a $500,000 federal grant, MCAS scores have actually gone down (during the 'turnaround') under the current administration. To make matters worse, the school has been without a principal since December due to the current principal being out on an extended family medical leave. Seems to me that this is a perfect example of our public schools failing our children. Does the fact that the school has one of the highest percentages of poor & limited English speaking students make it OK with him to just sit around and let the school fail these kids? You only get ONE chance with a child's education. These kids deserve better!
The new construction traffic pattern at the Higgins Middle School starting on March 10. Photo credit: Peabody Public Schools.
Bjean February 28, 2014 at 05:18 pm
*Both*, pardon the typos
Kristie Smith DeLoreto March 1, 2014 at 05:08 pm
While the new building is being built, traffic has to be re-routed. The police, fire department,Read More school committee, Mayor's office, Higgins Building Committee and Higgins staff have been working on this plan for quite a while. It has been tested and appears to be the best TEMPORARY solution. If everyone can be patient while the kinks are worked out, then it will work. If there are problems that appear, then the plan could be tweaked to address those. The end result is a beautiful new middle school that is going to be a welcome addition to Peabody's school system! : )
Bjean March 1, 2014 at 09:12 pm
Very well put!!! Just have to make drivers more alert.
Patch file photo
Janine Patera March 3, 2014 at 06:21 pm
Sense I'm in the Midwest.
Iron Mike March 3, 2014 at 06:24 pm
Congrats Janine! You're NOT in MoonBat Mass-a-2- [can't write the rest here]. ;^)
Iron Mike March 3, 2014 at 06:52 pm
Common Core Informational Session! Wednesday March 12, 2014 – 6:45p.m. Watertown PublicRead More Library 123 Main Street, Watertown MA 02472
Tina Mqs February 27, 2014 at 02:11 pm
now *THATS* what we need to see here! thanks!
Brenda February 27, 2014 at 04:42 pm
Natick parents cared about the 2 school meetings this week, which Patch ignored and did not cover.Read More We do NOT care that Wilmington is getting a new high school! How about some school news that is actually happening in Natick?
Heizenburg February 27, 2014 at 05:54 pm
What's in Nebraska? You are!✈️
Boston College. Photo Credit: Boston College
Linda Kollett February 27, 2014 at 09:00 am
Why did you use BC when Williams is number 1 and of course in Massachusetts?
Laura February 27, 2014 at 09:41 am
Maura, you're right - it is now a picture of Gasson Hall. But the picture that was originally postedRead More with the article was St Ignatius Church. The editor, Liz Taurazi, changed it to an on-campus picture in response to my post. And Linda, I'm a big fan of BC (my husband worked there for many years and my son graduated from there), I'm also confused why they didn't choose a picture of Williams or one of the other top-four schools.....??
Maura Kenney February 27, 2014 at 09:46 am
Laura, good point!
Sunny February 26, 2014 at 05:43 pm
I don't want anymore 40B housing in Chelmsford on Littleton Rd. There are too apartment dwellingsRead More (one burnt down to ground even though the fire station was less than a mile away), condos, and trailer park (sorry that taxes as permanent housing). Now, Chelmsford Crossing (40B) is in the future. Who's going to live there? Not Chelmsford senior citizens on the waiting list or layoff Chelmsford citizens but outsiders? Problem families with troubled kids. Chelmsford should get assigned social worker. Note: Westford / Chelmsford town line is another 40B, Princeton Apartments.
Steven Sadowski February 27, 2014 at 08:09 am
Bob: I think this is a fair article that takes in both of our POV's:Read More http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/business/21admin.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
John f caruso February 27, 2014 at 11:33 am
Does this mean that if any kid feels like he is bullied he can get suspended and we pay them to goRead More to school even at home. Does this that the total of kids say 100 in a district the school get the monies for their education but if the kids drop out of this also who gets the monies. Sounds like unfounded and back door tax payers tax on the monies. Sounds like say a school in boston that is mismanaged by management could reap profits when and if the students rebel and don't go to school. This sounds great but seems just another way to tax the taxpayer after all the poor people do not have the monies to tax so it is another middle class sham.
An artist rendering of the new J. Henry Higgins Middle School. Photo credit: City of Peabody.
DEBBIE February 25, 2014 at 11:34 am
It is beautiful. I am assuming the different buildings in the front are the auditorium, cafeteria,Read More library, gym, etc..... The only problem I have is what took so long to build this school? Look at the photos further on the article or drive by the school that now stands on King Street/Allens Lane and it is despicable. Nothing less than a dump. This should of been done within the past two administrations. Jeez, how about our kids, don't they count?
Karl February 25, 2014 at 01:11 pm
Ever hear of a down economy, Debbie? They built 2 new elementary schools during that time. StuffRead More costs money and lots of it. Hopefully they will take better care of this one than the existing one.
Kathleen April 3, 2014 at 05:55 pm
Karl, Debbie is right. This facility is way overdue. The city missed the boat. Should have built itRead More years ago when costs were lower and state reimbursements were a lot higher. How did all of the surrounding communities like Danvers, Beverly, Ipswich, Lynnfield, etc. manage to get it done in a down economy? If the city had built a new middle school or renovated it along with the two new elementary schools the combined costs would have qualified for a higher reimbursement rate from the state. This project is long overdue and actually should have taken precedence over the building of two elementary schools. It's the largest middle school in the state.
Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Johnny D February 13, 2014 at 01:59 pm
Do the half-days for PD still count towards the 180? I may be wrong but I think that they do. I amRead More pretty sure the reason they won't do PD on weekends is because the city doesn't want to pay them any more to do so...but in Peabody the teachers do go back a week before the students in order to minimize these "half-days." Also, I don't know a teacher on on earth that wouldn't want to go to school year-round...as long as they were compensated accordingly. A teacher (in Peabody) with a Master's degree and 10 years experience makes about 62K...if they went year round I think that figure would be more in line with other qualified professionals with comparable credentials, and be closer to 80-90K.
Johnny D February 13, 2014 at 01:59 pm
Like many things around here, common sense is trumped by $$$.
Saber Walsh February 14, 2014 at 09:25 am
Everyone expected a half day. Because politicians ultimately make the call, and they don't evenRead More sneeze without checking their poll numbers, this is what we get. Along with plow drivers who almost kill people clearing snow by driving the wrong way on one way streets ("because I CAN you @$!$&") and a poorly cleared hill to the high school, we seem to be back in the 70s around here.
Photo credit: National Weather Service.
Valerie Ralston Govaert February 13, 2014 at 06:55 am
Is there a reason we don't use the "Early Dismissal" option? I, for one, feel it is moreRead More of an inconvenience to extend the school year, than to disrupt a work day...
Bjean February 13, 2014 at 08:20 am
Agree, Valerie!! Great point!
Johnny D February 13, 2014 at 09:56 am
This was the perfect situation for an early release. Would count as a full day and the kids wouldRead More get home before the real messy stuff. I do, however, applaud the super for calling it this morning instead of last night...that way we are more certain of what is to come, and (hopefully) will avoid a repeat of a "snow day" with less than 2 inches of snow.
Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Saber Walsh February 12, 2014 at 10:27 am
This is nuts. With the worst financial bubble in history about to burst, and the economy draggingRead More on families' ability to pay private tuition, we are now seeing several colleges in the area sending out panic letters to their faculties, and private schools will be next. Whomever is on the board, and whomever at the bank approved this, must be living in an era now gone and probably lost forever in our country. I'd suggest revisiting this, hunkering down and gathering up as much endowment as possible, and trimming everywhere I could to keep the doors open when the markets finally take the hit.
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School. Photo credit: Patch file photo.
mark February 12, 2014 at 02:27 pm
MCAS is a joke just like the public education system! Waste of taxpayer $$$. Blah blah blah, raiseRead More taxes for more education blah blah blah! Same old bleep!
mark February 12, 2014 at 02:42 pm
To the editor, What happened to Castellucio the Communist? The Peabody Patch editor.
mom February 12, 2014 at 02:47 pm
Mark i'm not sure were you're getting you info from but if you look at what is required to pass theRead More state boards to get a nursing degree you will see that the courses are very tough as are the classes you need to take in college to get the degree. Lots of chemistry and anatomy with grades not falling below a B. Not that easy to do for most. That being said you can go to a state school for nursing and not pass the boards so you have a nursing degree but can not practice. The field is far from low paying what are you comparing it to? As for ex druggies, anyone that is capable of turning themselves around is free to pursue a new path and nursing is one of them. They may have a unique take on things from their own experiences too.
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