Friday, June 24, 2016

DESE Issues Southbridge Turnaround Plan

Southbridge Public Schools Level 5 District Turnaround Plan 
(Click on above link to view plan document)

By Brian Lee 

Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester is at Charlton Street Elementary School this morning for a press conference to unveil a turnaround plan that will guide changes in the chronically underperforming district of about 2,200 students.

The comprehensive 70-page plan includes priorities and strategies to accelerate student achievement and benchmarks connected to student outcomes.

The plan said that the district's state-appointed receiver has the right to lay off teachers and staff, and reorganize, consolidate, or abolish departments, positions or school functions, and create new ones, but does not specify how that would materialize. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Business Idea For Southbridge

After watching the candidates for Southbridge Town Council “debate” I remain essentially unimpressed.

As they have for years they all decried the town’s reliance on landfill revenues and proclaimed their opposition to steadily rising property taxes. The solution according to all of them was to stimulate new business that would expand our tax base as well as provide employment for town residents.

However, not one of them has put forward any kind of plan for such a business or a practical means for enticing any such business to locate in Southbridge. 

Southbridge Town Council Meeting - June 20, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

Moody’s Analysis Of Trump’s Economic Proposals

How do you suppose a Republican presidential candidate goes about “making America great again”? Well, if we use history as a guide, they implement policies that make America great for the very connected and rich, on the backs of the working class and working poor.

The Moody’s Analytics report on the Republican 2016 presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump’s policies, including policies on taxes, government spending, immigration, and international trade, isn’t pretty. Employment would be reduced by 3.5 million jobs and a heavy recession would hit the nation.  The economy will “weaken significantly” under Trump’s policies. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Southbridge Town Council Agenda - June 20, 2016

Town  Council Meeting

MacKinnon Council Chambers

June 20, 2016

7 PM


We’ve Lost

Bob Garfield
Editor-at-large for MediaPost; Co-host of public radio’s
Peabody Award-winning “On the Media”

Taking heart at Donald Trump’s plummeting favorability numbers? You think he maybe finally jumped the shark by taking a victory lap over the Orlando massacre? You think the Republic is now safe?

It isn’t. The Republic is already sick. It’s like we had a bad clam — a steady diet of bad clams - and the convulsions aren’t likely to stop soon. 

Income Inequality In Massachusetts

End Mass Shootings The Republican Way: Thoughts & Prayers - The Game

In the wake of yet another mass shooting, Americans of all political persuasions are looking for ways to prevent the next tragedy before it happens. And while gun control advocates often disagree about the solution, there’s one group that knows exactly what to do: Republican members of congress. They’re the only people with the moral courage to tell the country the hard truth: the best way to end the mass shooting epidemic—well, second best, after “good guys with guns” everywhere—is to offer thoughts and prayers to the victims. And nothing else. Now, thanks to the folks at GOP Arcade, a new online game gives everyone the chance to be just as effective as a Republican legislator: Thoughts & Prayers: The Game.

Thoughts & Prayers is available to play for free right HERE. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

27 Southbridge Teachers Given Walking Papers

Southbridge school district cuts 27 teachers
By Brian Lee

Twenty-seven teachers with fewer than three years' experience in the district have been told not to come back next year; the number is high, but not a surprise, given the state takeover of the Southbridge public schools earlier this year, the teachers union president said this week.

School districts aren't required to give teachers who haven’t held their positions for three years a reason for not being renewed. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Huizenga Reshapes Central Office

Ms. Huizenga
New Southbridge schools management team bears state receiver's imprint

By Brian Lee

A leadership team with restructured roles has been named for the school district whose woeful retention of administrators - 35 transitions involving 43 people in nine central office jobs in recent years - led to the district being taken over by the state in January.

Despite the district of approximately 2,200 students being 45 percent Hispanic, it did not even have a director of English Language Learners earlier this year.

But it does now, and then some.

Jessica L. Huizenga, the state-appointed receiver for the Level 5 chronically underperforming schools, said William Marinell was appointed chief of learning & innovation, formerly known as assistant superintendent. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Sanders Revolution Must Survive...

Ken O’Brien

Bernie Sanders improbable campaign for the Presidency has reached its end.

His quest to reform the American political scene must not.

The hope and goodwill that Senator Sanders generated among so many must not be allowed to go silently into that good night.

It must not be forgotten that the unique nature of his campaign was its growth from the bottom up. It was and is unlike virtually all modern Presidential campaigns that have been the product of wealth and privilege directed from the top down. 

Charter Schools And Southbridge

Southbridge Town Council Meeting - June 6, 2016