Open letter to the School Committee, FinCom and BOS


Editor’s note: The following letter is being reprinted in the Canton Citizen at the request of the authors.

There are a number of big issues currently before the School Committee that many feel should not be rushed and should be delayed. We feel compelled to bring the following issues and comments to your attention for consideration. Here is what is out there and unsettled:

MCAS: Currently the School Committee is awaiting a recommendation from the interim superintendent and will vote on what form of standardized test we will use in the spring of 2016. Canton had chosen to stay with MCAS for the spring of 2015. Just last month, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education decided that we will not adopt the PARCC test and will move instead to “MCAS 2.0” in the spring of 2017. We don’t know as of yet what that entails as far as funding, infrastructure and training. So for 2016, why would we switch from the MCAS, the test that teachers and students are familiar with, to a new version for one year?

Full-Day Kindergarten: Although this is a worthy and supported cause, it can’t be rushed. The town of Canton already offers full-day kindergarten, and in the past two years no family has been denied a placement. Do we as a town have the ability to incur $743,000 per year to fund full-day kindergarten for all students? Space is also a concern. The Hansen addition is not being built with the intent to make free full-day kindergarten possible and will not be completed at the start of the 2016 school year. In addition to the project being months behind the original projected completion date, the space is already spoken for.

New Superintendent: The town of Canton is in transition as far as hiring a new superintendent. This process will not be completed, with a new superintendent in place, until July 1, 2016. We should consider offering the new superintendent the ability to weigh in on these big issues affecting the future of our schools.

FYI: The Common Core ballot initiative was successful and will be on the 2016 ballot. If it passes next November, Massachusetts would restore the English Language Arts and Mathematics curriculum frameworks that were in place prior to 2010.

Thank you for your consideration,

A Group of Concerned Canton Parents

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avatar Posted by on Dec 11 2015. Filed under From One Citizen to Another, Opinion. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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