Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For…


Southbridge politics have forever been defined by coalitions sharing grudges and vendettas.

Last night’s meeting of the Southbridge school committee cemented in place a new brick in that relentlessly growing wall of infamy. 

The endorsement of Superintendent Ely’s proposal for a single principal at the new Middle/High School confirmed the shift in power and philosophy on the committee that began with the July 3rd meeting. As a consequence newly minted committee members Donovan and McLoughlin have almost certainly been assured the ongoing enmity of the three minority members of the committee.

The transgression in which they shared was nothing less than diminishing the self-perceived legacy of a closely knit group who sees “their” school being wrestled from their grip. The repeated apoplectic invocations of ten years of blood, sweat and tears underlined the sense of ownership and entitlement that was being threatened.

These perceived slights will not be forgotten. The sores will only fester and grow with time. The visceral anguish will find its expression in ongoing and relentless dissection and criticism of every action taken by the Superintendent and the majority of the committee from last night forward. Any disagreement among the new majority will be amplified and exploited at every turn.

So sit back and strap in. It’s going to be a long and bumpy ride from here on out. We’re all about to get an education why, in the real world, once change is started it rarely goes hand-in-hand with hope.

14 comments:

  1. After watching this meeting last night I could not believe the way some of the members were acting regarding this issue. I am so happy to see new members with fresh outlooks for this district. I do hope that there is some public input as to who the principal will be and I hope we are bringing a new principal with new fresh ideas for this school. Our children need positive attitudes from our administration.

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  2. I found two elements of last night’s meeting especially interesting.

    The first was Lauren McLoughlin’s data on combined schools in Massachusetts. She pointed out that of 14 such schools, 13 had one principal. What didn’t come out was that the 14th in Ipswich, which has two principals, is going to one principal because of the unsatisfactory results that it has experienced. This calls into question Mr. Lazo’s earlier statement that he and Dr. Hanley had reviewed numerous studies that supported the two principal plan.

    The second was Mr. Lazo’s comment that Superintendent Ely had told him that Southbridge High had progressed from a Level II to a Level I designation. I was surprised to hear that SHS was Level II to begin given that it had failed to meet minimal acceptable progress for the last two years. What miracle could have moved it to Level I status?

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    1. Mr. O’Brien: Regarding your last question. The preliminary reports of the MCAS data for Southbridge High School are causing serious concern regarding legitimacy. Changes in personnel may reflect concern and possible review.

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    2. If that claim has any substance I would be most anxious to see documentation to support it. I am absolutely certain that I would not be alone in that request. It would be of major import.

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    3. Ken sometimes you choose words that are confusing. Look at what anonymous said. There seems to be something weird with the insider info on the results. Was there cheating? Let’s call it out and get some answers. Southbridge High a level one school ? Really? Let’s stop playing games about let’s all be positive. Let’s get to the truth and root out the problems and lies and then rebuild.

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  3. I am glad you pointed the Ipswich district out - especially because our new school is modeled after that very one. I am glad for Lauren's research she is on the ball and very informed. Transitioning to one principal will save us a lot of grief and potential turmoil between conflicting personalities. I for one was appalled by both Dr. O'Leary and Dr. Dominko's behavior towards Kara. It was uncalled for. There are ways of disagreeing without attacking. This is not "Mr. Lazo's" school it is the Town of Southbridge's school. Everything he says is distorted information for his benefit. I KNOW he has been in government, 28-29 years. He says it constantly. Just because you have been serving that long proves nothing. It is time for new concpets and fresh ideas that I think is happening. I am sure that when schools open, it is going to be a mess. Be patient, give it some time and the wrinkles will work themselves out....the sooner we get back on track (which is what I feel is happening) the sooner we can get out from underperforming.

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  4. Every time Lazo says team concept what he means is your the team and I'm the coach and I call the shots.

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  5. Scott Lazo should be next on the chopping block.

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  6. Who is this Tammy Perreault he as already appointed as principal? How was she chosen and does she have any experience? Does anyone know?

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    1. I got caught up in this rumor game once already. If you want to pursue it again, take it elsewhere.

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    2. It looks like the above Anonymous was correct! Noone knows how she was chosen and she has no experience. Another stupid decision by Mr. Ely.

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  7. Talk about School Committee Members that have just entered themselves into a new realm (i.e.) T. Dominko, S. Lazo, & T. O’Leary. Nothing like witnessing the preliminary stages of “Power Detox” 1st hand!

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