Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Tribute To Student Achievement

In the midst of all the criticism I level at our town and its government, the accomplishments of individual citizens are often overlooked.

Such achievement is especially noteworthy in the youngest of our community. These accomplishments are not only a tribute to their own efforts. They also represent the embodiment of that all-too-often forgotten commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother”.

Success in the academic realm has been all too rare in our school district. The third and fourth graders who excelled in their performance on the MCAS are worthy of recognition for their efforts. They are a tribute to their parents. And they are a reflection on the teachers who are all too often the subject of criticism.

It is with the utmost respect that I am pleased to play the video of the ceremony held at the most recent School Committee meeting honoring their accomplishment. I can only hope that this small gesture will contribute to their being recognized as role models whose efforts and laurels will encourage others among their peers to emulate them.


  1. APPLAUSE !!!!
    Lets hear it for last years 3rd and 4th grade test takers currently in the 4th and 5th grade. Let them repeat the feat!

  2. I would also like to offer my hearty congratulations to all the students who have excelled on the MCAS. However, I take umbrage at your comment that "Success in the academic realm has been all too rare in our school district." Students are succeeding academically at all levels of the system. The problem is that the state does not care about the individual successes, but the collective scores on one series of tests. The state takes a one size fits all approach to education.

    It is this cookie cutter collectivism that will be the downfall of our society. On size fits all ... seldom does. The state expects students who are severely challenged by documented disabilities or by language to perform just as well as students with no such challenges. (They break things down demographically, but they don't want to here that demographics do make a difference.)

    Another part of the equation is that social promotion is alive and well in our schools. (Johnny may not feel right about himself if we don't pass him along, even if he can't read.) So, all the students make it to 10th grade and all of the sudden they can't pass MCAS, and we react with shock. We then need to blame someone.... Ah, it must be the teachers. Especially those teachers at the high school level because the students have passed all there grades until then... Right?

    Therefore, the high school must be "bad", and well meaning parents take their students out and send them elsewhere. So, all the "good" students are in other districts. And this leads me to a possible solution to the inequities of the MCAS assessment system as it is applied to schools and district: If a student leaves a district through school choice after the 8th grade, that students MCAS score should belong to the sending district. This is only fair because the sending district has spent much time and money on that student as compared to the gaining district.

    1. It's unfortunate that you choose to take umbrage at my remarks. But I stand by them. Your comments appear to me to be little more than an effort to rationalize failure.


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