My Goal in Blogging

I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Away for Three Days

I'm taking off today on a much needed family vacation, where I will have no internet access. So, posts won't appear until I return. Just FYI!


Louise said...

Dear Catherine:I am a parent of a 12th grader. We moved here nearly 3 years ago from NC.I need to say that ARHS is a great high school.It has a balance of challenging academic and elective courses that is amazing.The trimester system is the best way to maximize the electives. You seem to want quantitative proof of excellence.The proof is this: the engagement of students while in the school in innumerable worthy activities-a sign of their connection to each other and their community.Also it is in the many good colleges they get into when they graduate. It is also in the willingness of people to move to Amherst for the schools.All of this can be undone very quickly.
It is one thing to try and ensure that money is used wisely in the schools-that seems to me to be only reasonable. But deeply cutting the curriculum is not.This will hurt children, and ultimately all of Amherst.I see in ARHS a school based on sound understanding of the educational and developmental needs of teenagers.Please trust the educators there to lead the school.Louise

Anonymous said...

Since much of the criticism of the school seems to be based on anecdotal evidence (NOT on data) it is nice to read a positive anectodal report.

No school system, or school, or, for that matter, teacher will ever please every student/parent. I know the squeaky wheel tends to get greased but I worry that the negative reporters are more insistent and persistent and are drowning out many happy customers. Human nature is that unhappy people complain, and content people say little.

Louise, I appreciate how you point out that there are professional educators leading these schools who are basing their decisions on sound understandings.

Sam I Am

ARHS Parent said...

Louise, I have to disagree. Can you point me to objective "sound understanding of the educational and developmental needs of teenagers" that recommends them sitting in study halls for over an hour a day? Or splits the instruction of subjects like Math between the first and third trimester? As my daughter went off to school yesterday for the first day of the third trimester, anxious about going back to math after having a break all winter (aka second trimester), I was very angry at a system that would set them up for such anxiety and potential failure. I am glad your 12th grader has had a good experience at ARHS. Our family has not.