Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Okay, We Listened – Now Go Away

Ken O’Brien

Two weeks after dropping matching stink bombs on the town, the School Committee got a sample of public opinion last night.

First, of course, they put the lie to their charade of holding a search for a new Superintendent. Having carried out the process with all the speed and devotion we might expect from the Chair’s pursuit of relection, the four member majority extended the contract of the Acting Superintendent for another year.

Not to be outdone as a symbol of mendacity and reprisal, the newly ensconced Acting Superintendent unveiled her deeply researched and thoroughly vetted plan to restructure the Middle/High School. 

A palpable hush fell over the public as they sought to digest the fact that, while there was no time for a search for a new Superintendent, there was more than enough time to once again re-imagine the structure of the not-so-new school and the amply staffed central office.

The Town Council was appalled at the revelation of what was touted as a plan months in the making. How was it, they wondered, that they hadn’t heard a peep about this restructuring of the troubled flagship. After all, they had just been through an arduous budgetary process where all the elements of the school’s finances had been evaluated.

The Council and the bulk of the public were well aware that the restructuring proposal was little more than a thinly veiled exercise in vendetta against those responsible for the shortened pristine tenure of Mrs. Gardner. Foremost among those, of course, was the Principal of the Middle/High School, Ms. Earls.

Nevertheless, those willing to confront the question denied it with all the candor that a parent mounts in assuring an inquisitive eight year old that Santa Claus is indeed real.

Well, having had that hearing last night, the fumbling four are ready once again to give the community the finger. Contrary to all logic and the statement of public opinion they are expected to approve the restructuring plan at tonight’s meeting.

Acting Superintendent Sheryl Stanton told the Worcester Telegram that the comments of those at the hearing were appreciated, but she noted that the  underrepresented parents and staff, who would offer the other side to the story, had not come out to speak publicly, for whatever reason. 

Or, in the admonishing words of the Chair:

It seems any semblance of concern for the public has gone the way of the Committee on Family and Community Engagement.


  1. Ken would have thought that the pro side would have shown up en masse - hmm..could it be they were not aware of last nite's 'hearing' ?????

    hmmm...could it be there are not that many????

    or is it most likely that they felt since it was 'in the bag' anyway - why did they need to inconvenience themselves to sit in a hot auditorium - it would not have changed anything - since the SC had no intentions of taking anything under advisement.

    1. Whatever the case McLoughlin and Donovan are leaving the committee and the schools in worse shape than they found them.

    2. you got that right - and Quinney & Company will continue the death spiral....

  2. They May Not Be DoneMay 27, 2015 at 4:31 PM

    Knowing how this comitee likes surprises I wouldn't be surprised if they are lining up supporters to show up tonight during the citizen comment portion of the meeting.

  3. History Repeats ItselfMay 27, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    History will remember the damage the fools have done; just as we remember the 3.6 million dollar deficit Tarantino, Laliberte and Prencipe gave us.

    1. I've heard this far too many times and as others before me have pointed out, while Tarantino and Laliberte walked away from the problem, Prencipe stayed and helped fix it.

  4. Does anybody have a clue what the talk about potential criminal charges was all about at the conclusion of tonight's meeting?

  5. .Where's the Beef?May 28, 2015 at 1:13 AM

    Saying something over and over again may make some people believe you but it doesn't make it true.
    Have you seen this firing claim in writing? Do you have a copy?
    What vetting have you done on this issue?
    Were you in the room when what ever discussion was held between Stanton and Earls?
    Until there is hard evidence provided and shared there is no evidence and no reason to condemn one person over another. Yet here you vultures are pouncing with little if anything to back up the claim. So I ask where is the Beef?

    This blog has clearly aligned itself with Mrs Earls over Mrs Stanton Is it because Mrs Earls is younger? Is this another case of age discrimination case in the making ?No one here has provide any solid evidence but instead has provided a boat load of unproven conjecture. A certain candidate seems to know a lot about Mrs. Earls and Age discrimination cases which can be interpreted by the reader in many ways. I encourage people to think for themselves and examine the evidence before making any decisions or believing unproven conjecture.

    Also before anyone attacks me for saying the unpopular thing let me make a few things clear:
    When the supt search wasn't conducted after Buzz fail left that is when the TC should of taken a vote of no confidence. They were quite a bit late to the party.

    I think the leadership of this SC has been disastrous and detrimental to progress out of level 4.

    I think Stanton shouldn't be lumped in with the death spiral SC and held accountable on her own merits. Which, means she should be given a chance that Southbridge has failed to provide her yet. Seriously How would you do with them looking over your shoulder and the state looking over your shoulder on everything? The restructure process isn't rushed and its following the same timeline as the last restructure - decide before end of school and make moves over the summer to be ready for opening of the next school year. So, Where is the Beef?

    I want a search for a supt. that involves the public and is as transparent as can be within the law, Allow Stanton to be the place holder during the search and allow time to bring the selected person up to speed on Southbridge before taking over - (Provided it is someone else besides her. )

    Lastly what ever this criminal charge discussion is all about if it goes forward and amounts to anything it better be on rock solid evidence and announced to the public before the T&G runs the story.

    So there it is Southbridge "the middle ground position" from someone not in anyone's camp or political alliance but just wants better than the political fiasco I'm currently seeing. I'm just like you in wanting answers but only answers that can be proven with facts and documents and not hearsay.

    1. It's a matter of fact that Stanton asked for Earls resignation and that Earls refused to give it.

  6. Letter from DESE stopped the SC from making any changes until & after they do their evaluation in the Fall and provide their recommendations...finally, someone w/some sense. I understand that copies of the letter were shared last nite and I'm sure that someone will get a copy to you, Ken; nothing in the paper today - but I know that Brian Lee was busy yesterday w/Mr. Langevin's retirement from the Fire Dept.

    Not sure what the reference to 'potential criminal charges' was all about; will have to investigate further.

    1. DESE Already Running the ShowMay 28, 2015 at 2:05 PM

      After reading this DESE letter it's more apparent than ever that DESE had too big a part in our school district's operations.
      It's also apparent the McLaughlin, Donovan, Quinney and Abrahamson are clueless in running our district.

    2. Could you or anyone else provide me with a copy of the letter at ?

  7. Too much wuss to use my real nameMay 29, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    My restructure suggestion:

    1) send the little middle schoolers back to old Wells Building, until they can show they earn the privilege to attend the new school.

    2) fire all of the so called specialists, adjustment councilors, and instead hire minimum waged babysitters, 1 aide per 5 middle schoolers, have aid transition with each group 5 kids all day.

    3) stop running sprinklers all day long at McMahon field. let grass go dormant in drought. (sorry this has been really annoying me lately)

    4) bribe students with fun field trips etc for good grades and behavior

    5) duh we have attendance issues, so start school day at 10am. have practice for sports in the morning. let athletes out early on game days.


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