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.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Two School Updates: Dr. Kohn's Interview and an Update on Elementary Language

The second of the three finalists visited Amherst this week, and I'm attaching the story from the Gazette on Dr. Kohn's interview (  As noted in the article, the third and final candidate (Ms. Geryk) will interview on Tuesday, February 1st, and the vote will take place on Sunday, February 6th. 

I'm also attaching an oped from Steve Rivkin from this week's Bulletin on the elementary Spanish language program (  I know some parents and community members have had questions about this program, and hopefully this piece will be helpful in clarifying how and why this program was established. 


Anonymous said...

Today's Gazette article discussing Dr. Kohn's interview stated that "Residents attending the public sessions with the finalists have been provided with forms they can fill out anonymously. They can evaluate each finalist's communication, dedication to achievement for all, personableness, intelligence and other characteristics, and recommend whether the School Committee should hire, consider or not consider the applicant."

Can a copy of the form being used be made available to people not attending the interviews who also want to weigh in? (I'd even like to just see what it looks like). I have not attended the interviews, but have been watching their broadcasts.

Anonymous said...

Catherine, would you be so kind as to tell us where we can watch the tape of the Kohn interview?

Thanks, Interested Community Member

Anonymous said...

We might need "closure" but I am grateful for the extra time to consider these candidates. Can we imagine if the decision was made last night? I have watched both interviews on the internet and have found them very informative. Is there a way for the internet viewer to complete a feedback form for the Committee's consideration?

Anonymous said...

anon 12:41

i heard the forms have a stamp on them, to prevent "ballot stuffing". (i know it's not a "ballot", didn't know how else to describe.)

but yeah, i was wondering the same thing, how can i fill out a form about kohn if i watched it on the internet?

catherine, are you willing to answer these questions? where can we watch the interviews, and get friends to watch, and how can we fill out a feedback form if we weren't able to get there?

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

My responses:

Anonymous 12:41 - forms were only available to those who attended the events, as was announced. However, we would love to hear feedback from anyone who watched the broadcasts -- the form is just a check list (things like integrity, honesty, intelligence, social justice experience, etc.). You can send your comments directly to the SC at: Thanks!

Interested Community Member - I believe all interviews will be available on ACTV by demand (and probably shown by ACTV as well). You can check their website (I have a link on my homepage) for times of broadcast and/or by demand (sometimes it takes a couple days for this to be uploaded).

Anonymous 8:03 - you can definitely send feedback to the SC over the next two weeks on any/all of the finalists:

Anonymous 8:44 - feedback forms were available only to those who attended, but that doesn't mean that you can't give feedback -- again, it is NOT a "majority vote wins" situation in which we are just tallying the feedback forms. I have received numerous emails already, and I expect all SC membesr are getting the same ... and as you might expect in Amherst, there is a WIDE range of views on all three finalists! So, definitely send in your thoughts to:

Anonymous said...

Dr. Kohn has on his resume a "National Superintentents Roundtable" "Superintendent of the Year" award.

Can you tell us what this is ?

Anonymous said...

yes, will someone PLEASE tell mr. aaronson what those awards MEAN?