Antecedent site:

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Our headline editorial – March 2013

The moment for choice

Tuesday [March 19], Concord elects a School Committee. How will we choose?

This past year, difficulties unfurled in Concord's schools – a system that spends 70 percent of Concord's taxes.

  • Most seriously, widespread distrust of management, across the system, surprised many in Concord – and is unprecedented.
  • The new high school construction process was, according to those responsible, "broken" – so much, that the state stopped that process for months.
  • Decision-making about our school bus system proved also to be broken - so much, that Town Meeting had to act last April.
  • (Details, for those unfamiliar, are at this "File Access" link, also in the nav to the left.)

Will we see change - by the choices we each make at the polls Tuesday?

The School Committee, by law, has complete authority over the school system – not anyone else, nor any other government body, only the SC. So, in fact our individual votes Tuesday, for School Committee, are the only opportunity – to mandate change for the better, in Concord's schools.

How do we make our choice, when we vote? There are four candidates – for just two seats on the Committee. All are mothers with children in the schools, all with presentable backgrounds.

We suggest posing three questions to yourself, as you choose:

1 – Which pair of candidates has spoken for a new day, in Concord's school governance? Not just offered to 'smooth' the atmosphere.

2 – Which pair of candidates has offered a renewed standard for the School Committee? Listening to, and considering – genuinely – all points of view? An open school governance process, visible to all in Concord – and so, accountable? Not just more of the same.

3 – Which pair of candidates has demonstrated integrity? In the campaign process, among others? Not negative campaigning to try to tear down another candidate – rather than underpin a productive dialog, when problems in Concord's schools most need that quality exchange.

Generally – with answers to these three questions in hand – which pair of candidates will, most of all, insure the best for our students, the paramount concern? And retention, and attraction, of the best teachers, for the long term in Concord?


Bill Plummer (via the Concord list):

Excellent editorial! It is fair and balanced, but clearly states the options we have for thirteen hours today.

The polls have just opened!

This year our votes will be especially important. The two new School Committee members we elect will be voting on the next extension of the School Superintendent's contract. As the Concord Journal said last week, many of our best teachers are polishing their resumes and may be lost.

We have four candidates with fine paper qualifications.

But we can evaluate them by the work they have done over the past year to understand and help deal with the many difficult problems in our school governance, beginning with the covert and unwise attempt to outsource school busing.

And we can evaluate our candidates by the named supporters they have listed in their Concord Journal ads this week. If we keep managing the schools the same way we can't expect an improvement.

Please join me in putting the needs of our students ahead of the other priorities we have been experiencing.