Thursday, April 17, 2008

If I Read One More Thing About Closing a School...

What in the schmuck is going on with Stamford school closing/redistricting? I can't keep up. An Advocate ed letter from yesterday says, "I was absolutely outraged with what I read in The Advocate on April 11 regarding the potential closure of The International School at Rogers Magnet." What the- last week it was K.T. Murphy! I don't read articles about the schools anymore, because it's such a clusterschmuck. It's painful to watch, much like the pregnant man on Oprah.

Sister: "Did you read anything about the pregnant man?"
Me: "Ugh- no. I just avoided all of that."
"I mean, who decides that? What makes a person a man?"
"Take out your uterus."
"Yeah, but he's legally a man."
"Well, they should probably switch that back."

Doesn't that sound a lot like what's going on with the school board? Every two weeks the school board hints that they'll be closing a different school. Last month it was Toquam, last week it was KT Murphy, now it's Rogers. A casual observer can't keep up. If I ever need to know what's going on with the schools, I email my friend who is a Toquam parent. With all the rigamarole they've been through, they know what's going on better than the school board does. Last fall Toquam Magnet was one of two schools threatened, then it was out, then in January it was back on, but not for sure, then it was sure... and then the mayor stepped in to save the day, which now puts other schools up to be axed. Don't quote me on that sequence, but you get the idea. I'm not even going to bother fact-checking it, because it's absurd.

Note: nothing against the pregnant man. I just avoid things that seem like they're going to be too much trouble to get into, like Stamford school closings, or the Hillary vs. Obama debates.

Lost and Battlestar Galactica once seemed too much to keep up with, but now I am addicted, and that's probably why I don't have time for Obama and the pregnant man. It's much easier to handle things that aren't part of the real world.


patty said...

Sorry to say, Toquam is still very much on the chopping block. If you read some of the comments on The Advocate article from last week, you may get more of a flavor for what's going on. Here's my synopsis (I sat through the meeting and took extensive notes; you are of course welcome to them if you want them).

Freedman (BoE president) doesn't want to close any schools on the East Side.

The Rogers plan looked like a winner. The Rogers community would have the opportunity to expand their International Baccalaureate program to grades 6 - 8, which apparently they have been wanted to do for quite some time.

Freedman, however, still has TQ in his sights.

The Advocate article didn't mention any of this. It happened at the very end of the meeting - Freedman wanted to make a motion to phase Toquam out all together, starting next year, by not having a Kindergarten class. McManus jumped in (it was late by this point) and said no - hold off on the motion for now, let's deal with this at the next meeting.

For some reason I cannot fathom, the Board is willing to fully integrate the Rogers IB program into the EMS curriculum. Huh? Why wasn't that an option when Toquam was being considered? Why were the Toquam kids going to be segregated from the new EMS program and simply housed at the school?

At this point, KT Murphy is "safe" and so are all of the other schools considered for closure - except for Toquam and now Rogers.

A lot has changed since the Mayor stepped in, which I thought was for the best - but now it seems to be a pissing match between him and the Board and it's going to get ugly.

There are two pivotal BoE meetings next week. They should be interesting, that's for sure.

My opinion: even if Toquam survives the ax this time, the school is at risk for as long as Freedman is on the Board.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this is a painful debate to watch. To me it is like a high school romance...on again, off again and really bad the whole time. End it already and just do what needs to be done. TO me its a no brainer....KT Murphy is such an old building that needs so much help and their test scores are atrocious. My children are districted to go to KT Murphy even though it is all the way across town. I am a huge supporter of public education but cannot, in good faith, send my kids there. In my opinion, closing KT Murphy is a no brainer!

Anonymous said...

I think Richard Freedman should be forced to attend pregnant lady baby shower as repayment for all of the angst he has put the Toquam parents through. I am looking forward to the day that I can cast my ballot for whoever is running against Richard Freedman. It could in fact be the pregnant lady, I don't care at this point.

Seriously. I want them to make the right choices, but at this point, I just want them to make SOME choice. We all need to understand the situation and make our plans accordingly.

Kevin McKeever said...

Boils down to this:

The BoE has proven they have not a clue. They have done this thing assbackward from the start. They had no idea what the EMS could or couldn't be (except built 90% free of charge), and no vision for how the school system should be put together logistically or academically.

It's great the Mayor has stepped in, but where has he been for the last year on this issue?

Stamford Talk said...

That is exactly what I was wondering.

Jeff Herz said...

I will be joining Manager Mom in casting my vote for anyone but Richard Freedman. He seems to have a personal vendetta against a successful school, and now views himself as the saviour of the disenfranchised parents in Stamford.

I want to start a new campaign, anyone but Freedman, similar to CT for Lieberman. Anyone wanna join me?