This article describes the regionalization report (now posted on arps.org), which will be discussed at Tuesday night's Four Town Meeting (7 pm, middle school; also shown live on ACTv): http://gazettenet.com/2010/06/29/panel-sees-little-merit-wider-school-regionalization. As the report clearly says, moving to full K to 12 regionalization (which I continue to believe would be in Amherst's best interest) isn't likely any time soon ... and as of now, Shutesbury and Pelham are forming committees (including SC and SB and FC and community representatives) to study what is in their own town's best interest. I imagine Amherst will also choose to form such a committee, which the regionalization report recommends ... and I would be very interested in hearing from blog readers about this issue. Should we just drop the Union 26 discussion and continue being the only town with more than 1300 students in a union (which is certainly not a situation we would join in today)? Should we take steps to change the union in some way (e.g., ask Pelham to regionalize with Amherst)? Should we form a committee and have someone else study the issue and report back to the SC at some point later this year?
I am torn about the right path -- because I see the current situation as unfair to Amherst voters and thus feel it is my responsibility to do something to try to make it right (instead of passing the buck to a later SC), yet I also want to make sure we can continue making major progress on the many initiatives the Amherst SC has undertaken over the last year (e.g., the K to 5 math review, adding K to 6 Spanish, adding preschool classes). I'd like constructive, honest, and ideally personally owned feedback from blog readers at this very crucial time on what (if anything) we should do -- either through blog posts or to my private email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.