Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Worth Considering

Ken O’Brien

The O’Zone has received the following comment from a reader calling themselves Pythagoras. It is worth considering.

The average person may not understand just how easy this is for the school district to give you an answer to...and they are NOT!!!

 As a previous school employee and someone who had access to this data, let me explain.

Every current administrator in the Southbridge Public schools can access the MCAS data warehouse and run a simple query on the Grade 10, 2013 results and see who failed which tests. They can also see what retake results came from November 2013 and March 2014 retakes.

 Why won't they publish these results? You don't have to list names.... just list them as Student 1, Student 2, etc. but clear up the issue!!! It would take you a simple 5 minutes at the computer. 

Furthermore, all student MCAS information used to be uploaded into iPASS as soon as it was available in the Southbridge public schools. All high school teachers should look up right now and see if their students have a passing 2013 Math and English MCAS score, if there was a failure and no subsequent score, then there was either no test or no follow up and/or posting of it.

 Any of these scenarios are not acceptable. This is easy and quick to clear up but it is not being done.

 If there was only a way that the people of Southbridge could demand Pat Gardner to log onto the Data Warehouse at a public meeting and query these results in front of a camera, you would have your answers. 

 It IS that simple.

[See an additional comment from Pythagoras below]


  1. So True! Just answer the question. Did they take it or not?

  2. If you saw the most recent Telegram article Gardner has changed her story. Now she’s maintaining that there were only 6 math and ELA students who weren’t retested. The problem now, she argues, is that EPP’s weren’t prepared and that was only just discovered. She is claiming that Amy Allen has, in her letter (http://www.telegram.com/assets/pdf/WT18050103.PDF) , accepted full responsibility for that.
    Allen explains at some length what happened to her and the head of the math dept. and the ELA department head. What she doesn’t say is that she herself went on sick leave as well. While she accepts responsibility, we still have to ask where the backup was on this. And Gardner’s constant argument that this wasn’t something that came to the Superintendent’s attention doesn’t hold water. She was director of teaching and learning at the time. What was her role in that capacity?

    1. In Saturday's T&G articles she also says those students "missed" the MCAS retests, not that they were deprived of the opportunity to take them.

  3. I wonder how many letters went out to parents saying that their students were not tested before they found this out.

  4. Is Ms. Allen trying to point fault on the fact that the Math and ELA department heads were on leave during the fall of 2013 as the reason why EPPs were not written? When the move was made to the new building in 2012, there were many changes to job descriptions. During the 2011-2012 school year in the old buildings, I cannot speak to whether or not the department heads for Math and ELA wrote EPP's or not. Their roles were different during that time. However, I have a copy of the job descriptions for department heads at the new building for 2012_2013 and the following year, and can tell you that the department heads absolutely did NOT write the EPPs for those school years. An administrator at a higher level must have written them, not sure who but it was not the department heads. Therefore, it is not reasonable for Ms. Allen to think that the EPP's the following school year (2013_2014) were going to be written by the department heads, as she eludes to in her letter. Furthermore, she knew about the ELA leave well in advance (maternity) and was very involved in the termination of the math department head so any vacancy in responsibility should have immediately been dealt with. In fact, all administration in the district knew about both leaves and could have addressed any issues cause by their vacancy but chose not to.

    1. Hmmmm...and if the 'job descriptions' were changed beginning w/the 2012-2013 school year (the Super Ely/ PrinciPAL Tammy era) -I do believe it was Ms Allen that was the 'Director of Curriculum' - and most certainly she was an administrator....did she not have input into and access to the 'job descriptions' - for everyone, including herself ????? Bet she did...

      There is more than enough blame to go around....and personally, I believe all roads lead back to BUZZ....who, remember folks, said over and over and over again that MCAS was a TOP priority of his...hmmm...and this influx of Springfieldites - that must be because their schools and MCAS scores are soooooooo tremendous...not.

      BUZZ who also said he was reviewing all the job descriptions, responsibilities, job titles etc etc etc ..yada..yada..yada...geez, Buzz, what happened???

      What a circus...even Medusa doesn't have enough fingers for all the pointing...

  5. More Testing FailuresOctober 9, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    I am was so angry when my daughter came home from school yesterday and informed me about the upcoming PSAT tests at the middle/high school.

    Her entire class was summoned to the auditorium where a presentation was to take place in preparation of the test. Aside from the fact that this assembly should have taken place weeks ago, the presenter was not fully prepared. She had to hurry and find the prep booklets that lay the test out for students and parents, a;long with offering sample questions. This test is so much different from the MCAS, and kids need to develop strategies to do their best.

    To add insult to injury my daughter told me that the assembly was a circus. Students were unruly and did not stop talking and listen at all. The presenter, Director of Teacher and Learning, Sheryl Stanton, had no control of the situation. To top off the failed presentation, Ms. Stanton gave the kids the wrong date for the upcoming test. I understand that Ms Stanton is another person from the Springfield school system. Do they give PSAT tests in Springfield.

    With all the hoopla surrounding last year's missed/not missed MCAS tests, you would think that the school administration would get this right! Where was the principal and the assistant principals? Where were the guidance counselors?

  6. Move to Springfield !October 9, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Another Springfield reject? Can that be possible? If McLoughlin and Donovan are so enamored with the Springfield Public schools (I don't believe that district is winning any awards) why don't they just move to Springfield themselves!

    June can't get here fast enough!

  7. Dear 'More Testing Failures' - please please share this w/the SC members - call/email ALL of them, and get other parents to do the same...this is what comes of allowing one person (Buzz/Ms Gardner) to hire w/o a review process - hire anyone to plug the holes - hire your friends - this is what comes of hiring clueless administrators - principals/guidance counselors that have no HS experience do not know what the process is @ the HS level it is a totally different animal than Elementary or Middle School...

    So..is anyone helping the seniors w/college apps??? probably not - hope they took the SATs last May (they are usually given @ Tantasqua on a Saturday) and the junior year SAT scores are usually the ones that get submitted w/the applications.

    And you are correct - there should already be in place workshops for these students to 'practice' and do sample PSATs - then of course there are registration deadlines and fees that need to be paid - this is so pathetic - maybe the parents/students can band together and file a Class Action lawsuit against the school administration and SC for depriving the students of their right to prepare and take these exams.

    Oh wait, I can hear the BS excuse now - 'well, colleges aren't really basing admissions on SAT scores' - to which we say - that's not the point.

    One also must remember that the Big Mac and Cry Baby Donovan do not have children in HS...perhaps they would pay more attention if their kids were in the 10th, 11th, 12th grade....

    1. I could be mistaken, but I thought McLoughlin had a daughter in high school.

  8. Ken....I believe she has twins - and I remember them when they went to Trinity - smart/talented girls - I just looked @ honor roll for last year - they were in the 8th grade...so they are freshman right now - all the more reason to get their act together....

  9. The McLaughlin girls have never gone to Trinity. They have been in the public school since Kindergarten.


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