Longer Leominster school days? - Sent...

Longer Leominster school days? - Sentinel & Enterprise

There are 94 comments on the Sentinel & Enterprise story from Oct 13, 2008, titled Longer Leominster school days? - Sentinel & Enterprise. In it, Sentinel & Enterprise reports that:

School officials have scheduled two community forums for parents later this month to discuss the possibility of expanding the length of the school day at two elementary schools.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Sentinel & Enterprise.

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Truffles

South Weymouth, MA

#1 Oct 13, 2008
Extra learning time or is this extra MCAS prep time? It is not the quantity, but the quality of education that is a determining factor, Extended day is a bad idea; it is a band aid rather than a solution for educational problems.Moe than likely this is a babysitting venture under the guise of education. This poster wishes PTO president Cratsley would stick to those topics about which she is an expert: they probably don't include education.
countdown to life

Brookline, MA

#2 Oct 13, 2008
Something needs to be done at NW. My child went there one year before middle school and is now struggling in her classes. She went from strong B's at JA, to strong A's at NW...now she's having problems.

Here's an idea..keep the teachers in the CLASSROOMS rather than training classes. Pay them a stipend in the summer to attend these programs they 'have' to have.

Stop changing the curriculum every time we turn around. Investigations? What's that? BSM for elementary school?

Stop using 'Math Lab' as an alternative learning tool..it's not working. Same for the Larsons program.
polo

Worcester, MA

#3 Oct 13, 2008
Learn in a rush!!!!! teh kids are at school almost 7 hours!!! again! we dont need longer school days ..we need more efficient TEACHERS!!!!
Parents should worry

West Boylston, MA

#4 Oct 13, 2008
This is just an insulting attempt to raise teachers salaries by claiming to do more with children. They are already in school for many hours each day. If they can't get the job done in that amount time should we really let them have our children for more time. Already many of us have to supplement the paltry Leominster curriculum and low level learning opportunities with additional lessons and tutoring to make up for inadequate teachers. Should I really have to subject my child to more time in front of a less than adequate teacher? When the Leominster schools can guarantee that they have the best teaching that is available, maybe we could consider an option like this. Until then, keep your high priced, teacher salary boosting proposals to yourself.
Truffles

South Weymouth, MA

#5 Oct 13, 2008
polo wrote:
Learn in a rush!!!!! teh kids are at school almost 7 hours!!! again! we dont need longer school days ..we need more efficient TEACHERS!!!!
"Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" nor can you teach a dachsund to go on point. Sometimes it isn't about the quality of the teacher, but the quality of the raw material the teacher has to work with. Parenting also is a determining factor. Not all children are created equal, so let's not blame the teacher!!!
Must Be a Teacher

West Boylston, MA

#6 Oct 13, 2008
Truffles wrote:
<quoted text>
"Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" nor can you teach a dachsund to go on point. Sometimes it isn't about the quality of the teacher, but the quality of the raw material the teacher has to work with. Parenting also is a determining factor. Not all children are created equal, so let's not blame the teacher!!!
See what I mean folks? This writer must be a Leominster teacher. Do you want her spending even one minute more with your child?
tax payer mom

Leominster, MA

#7 Oct 13, 2008
My chidren are all doing well in school. They received proficient and/or advanced on MCAS. They also get A's on their report cards. They do not need a longer school day. It should be available to those who need it but not forced on those who don't. I can provide them with whatever 'enrichment' activities they need.
School Teacher

Fitchburg, MA

#8 Oct 13, 2008
Truffles wrote:
<quoted text>
"Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" nor can you teach a dachsund to go on point. Sometimes it isn't about the quality of the teacher, but the quality of the raw material the teacher has to work with. Parenting also is a determining factor. Not all children are created equal, so let's not blame the teacher!!!
Thank you! Who takes the credit for the students who graduate high school completely ready for college and are admitted to either Ivy league schools or some of the toughest colleges in the country. Do only the parents take credit for those kids, cause I bet many of them would have good things to say about thier childrens teachers throughout the year.
I think a lot of you should keep in mind that you are talking about a public school in an urban school district. That means every child is in the classroom regardless of thier background. Look around at the less desirable people living around you and realize they have kids who probably sit next to yours in the classroom. Moreover, these kids who have little parent involvement are the majority of most teachers' issues. I didn't say all, I said the majority, so pleasd don't chime in and say that you're completely involved yet your kid still does terrible in school or on the MCAS test. I'm not talking about you.
I like how it's all negative how teachers are preparing thier students for the MCAS when that's the only measure that's used by the state to measure success. As a teacher, It doesn't matter how the school performs on valuable life lessons because those are not taken into account. And the fact that every year teachers are reminded that if they do not bring up performance on this pen and paper test, they may face the state coming in and restructuring thier school. Oh some of you think this is a great idea, huh. Look how well the state runs everything else and tell me if you think they should be in the education business.
About being overpaid, in order to recieve a professional license to teach, you must have a masters degree and then continue with your education until you retire. Most teachers are among the top educated people in the city. Shouldn't this count for something. For a truly personal example. I am in my 8th year teaching, am 30 years old, have my M.Ed. plus 3 classes and make $52,000 this year. With that education, I could have made much more in the private sector or by running my own small business. You say I get overpaid on my pension. Well I put in 11% of my pay every week into my pension, so over the course of a 35 year career, I could have made the same amount of money on my own if I were allowed to invest it myself.
I'd like to see some of the people who incessently complain about the fact that it's the teachers who suck in this district, step up to the plate and try it yourself. And if you say well you chose the career, now live with it. I'm not the one who's complaining, you are.
Concerned Parent

Pittsburgh, PA

#9 Oct 13, 2008
Look, the teachers in Leominster are fantastic. My children are doing great and I think that the teachers are severley underpaid. They are teaching the future leaders of America. They deserve more respect and more money. If Extended Day is such an issue then SHOW UP and SPEAK YOUR MIND at the forums. Seriously people, get over yourselves. NOTHING is more important then the children's education. Our children deserve the best, we already have the best teachers, lets pay them what they deserve, and move on to bigger issues like the lack of funding in the schools. Extended Day is something that is being EXPLORED. There is no guarantee it is going to happen. Instead of wasting your time critizing it spend the time teaching your kids.
countdown to life

Brookline, MA

#10 Oct 13, 2008
90% of the teachers in Leominster are well qualified and caring individuals. The PROBLEM? The rigorous way they are expected to teach... Curriculum laid out every day, without waver, for 180 school days. There is no room for hands on unless it is 'in the book'. Every time they turn around there's a new and 'better' way to teach..according to administration..who don't stand in the classroom day after day. Shouldn't the TEACHERS have some input in how they teach their subjects?

Teachers nowadays are no more than soldiers who are expected to do exactly what they are told to do, without deviation..You have to be nuts to want to be a teacher in todays society..expected to hold a Masters...why? You certainly don't need one to teach at the elementary level from what I've seen..and it's SAD really.

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#11 Oct 13, 2008
Hi School Teacher,
Thank You for your years of service in trying to help educate and encourage our next generation of adults. This is obviously a very emotional subject for parents to discuss because their children are involved, and it is likely that the parents posting here are parents that do get involved or have tried to be involved in their child's education.
Prior to public education, the only way a child could get an education was through homeschooling...then groups of people within a community would work collectively as a group in educating their children. The poor continued to see a wider and wider gap in the education of their children as opposed to children that were not considered poor. That reason as well as an attempt at standardizing eduction for all children caused public education to be born.
Tax money has been flowing into the public education system in this country for many many years, expecting to yield reasonable results for all students. Previously, little was done to determine the levels of competency that a child had outside of the local school they attended, and many states have adopted some type of assessment in an effort in determining the level of education for their children, and Federal/State funds are now on the line for schools that produce results. These assessments are supposed to be geared toward basic skills, and do not consider other things that schools decide to teach because these basics skills are of paramount importance in the working world.
We have seen a decline in the level of education as it relates to these basic skills. I'm not saying it is the teachers, but we have an increasingly higher level of young people coming out of schools without a realistic grasp of some of these most basic skills. Evidence of that is in many places...
so what are the options? is the test wrong? are the students not teachable? are the parents not involved? should the parents be involved? at what level? what happens when parents try to get involved and they are turned away?
something is broken, and as the educational professionals, we expect you to find out what is broken and fix it...parents don't teach because they don't have the time or skills, that is why you are the professional...what would you suggest be done?
Done Deals

West Boylston, MA

#12 Oct 13, 2008
Concerned Parent wrote:
Look, the teachers in Leominster are fantastic. My children are doing great and I think that the teachers are severley underpaid. They are teaching the future leaders of America. They deserve more respect and more money. If Extended Day is such an issue then SHOW UP and SPEAK YOUR MIND at the forums. Seriously people, get over yourselves. NOTHING is more important then the children's education. Our children deserve the best, we already have the best teachers, lets pay them what they deserve, and move on to bigger issues like the lack of funding in the schools. Extended Day is something that is being EXPLORED. There is no guarantee it is going to happen. Instead of wasting your time critizing it spend the time teaching your kids.
With Binkley it seems that everything that is being EXPLORED is already a DONE DEAL. Nothing has been up front since she came to town.
Taxpayer -

Framingham, MA

#13 Oct 13, 2008
As a taxpayer I am concerned about all the temporary funding initiatives. A "Grant" was received. Then the city is scrambling when they want to continue what ever program it is. I know the city doesn't have control over MCAS but keeping a kid in school longer when they are already struggling I doubt will work. What about the small school initiative in the high school. Where is that funding coming from now? That just seemed to increase the administration. Then there is the Math and Science magnet school at Southeast. Where will the money come from to keep that going?

I just asked for accountability and I just don't see always see it.
Jerry

Pittsburgh, PA

#14 Oct 13, 2008
My children were part of an extended day program, K-6. It was a great opportunity.

The downside?

1. My kids were bored in middle school because they had already covered a lot of the math and science in elementary school.

2. As a Junior in high school, one of my kids has run out of math and science classes because he's already done the AP version.

3. It's going to cost me money when he takes college courses during his Senior year of high school.

If you agree that these three things are bad, then I guess you are right and a longer day is a bad thing.
Where is the Committee

West Boylston, MA

#15 Oct 13, 2008
Taxpayer - wrote:
As a taxpayer I am concerned about all the temporary funding initiatives. A "Grant" was received. Then the city is scrambling when they want to continue what ever program it is. I know the city doesn't have control over MCAS but keeping a kid in school longer when they are already struggling I doubt will work. What about the small school initiative in the high school. Where is that funding coming from now? That just seemed to increase the administration. Then there is the Math and Science magnet school at Southeast. Where will the money come from to keep that going?
I just asked for accountability and I just don't see always see it.
The school committee has no control over this administration which has acted with reckless abandon in doing whatever it pleases with the schools from reconfiguring grade levels to initiating new programs without proper public consent. There are some new faces on the horizon for the next round of school committee elections. People are getting fed up with the rubber stamp committee that has allowed the superintendent carte blanche with one thoughtless plan after another with no results to show for any of it. Uprooting people and shoving them around is no way to do business.
Dark Comedy

Plainville, CT

#16 Oct 13, 2008
This sounds like a good plan: 1)children learn more, 2) teachers earn there compensation, 3) we start to catch-up with foreign countries such as Japan, 4)less police needed as its keeps kids off the street, 5)parents save money on day care. Am I missing something here? I'm sure someone out there will think I am.
Talk is Cheap

Pittsburgh, PA

#17 Oct 13, 2008
"Moe than likely this is a babysitting venture under the guise of education. This poster wishes PTO president Cratsley would stick to those topics about which she is an expert: they probably don't include education. "
This poster wishes you would back up your statement with some suggestions, rather than cynicism. Since you seem to believe yourself an expert on education, what do you suggest we do to fix what's wrong in the schools? It's easy to jump on an internet board and toss out personal attacks... it's another thing entirely to create a solution that applies to the issue at hand.
Another view

West Boylston, MA

#18 Oct 13, 2008
Dark Comedy wrote:
This sounds like a good plan: 1)children learn more, 2) teachers earn there compensation, 3) we start to catch-up with foreign countries such as Japan, 4)less police needed as its keeps kids off the street, 5)parents save money on day care. Am I missing something here? I'm sure someone out there will think I am.
My thoughts are different than yours:
1. My children do not do all of their learning at school. In fact, sometimes they are not learning much at school.(Word searches and pages from coloring books are not really used for learning are they? But my child brings home two or three a week.)
2. Teachers will want (demand) more money if they are working more and I don't want that coming out of my pocket.
3. I don't care about Japan. I care about my kid. Please don't try to change the nation on the back of my fourth grader.
4. Most kids are not involved with the police. YOu would have us change the whole school schedule to accommodate the most derilict children? That is just foolish.
5. Many parents are home in the afternoon and do not want their children in daycare.
tax payer mom

Leominster, MA

#19 Oct 13, 2008
Dark Comedy wrote:
This sounds like a good plan: 1)children learn more, 2) teachers earn there compensation, 3) we start to catch-up with foreign countries such as Japan, 4)less police needed as its keeps kids off the street, 5)parents save money on day care. Am I missing something here? I'm sure someone out there will think I am.
You aren't missing anything and for the children who need it it is great. However my children aren't allowed to hang out and I am home everyday by 3:30 and so I do not need daycare. They are learning plenty in the time they are at school by dedicated, committed teachers who should be compensated more for the job they already do.
Call the Committee

West Boylston, MA

#20 Oct 13, 2008
Concerned Parent wrote:
Look, the teachers in Leominster are fantastic. My children are doing great and I think that the teachers are severley underpaid. They are teaching the future leaders of America. They deserve more respect and more money. If Extended Day is such an issue then SHOW UP and SPEAK YOUR MIND at the forums. Seriously people, get over yourselves. NOTHING is more important then the children's education. Our children deserve the best, we already have the best teachers, lets pay them what they deserve, and move on to bigger issues like the lack of funding in the schools. Extended Day is something that is being EXPLORED. There is no guarantee it is going to happen. Instead of wasting your time critizing it spend the time teaching your kids.
Don't waste your time at the public forums. Call your local school board member and let them do the job they signed up for, representing your interests. If you get up a public forum in this city you should consider what the consequences will be for your own children. Nothing good comes to those who speak out publicly here. The school board is supposed to speak for you and vote on your behalf. Hold them accountable to do this.

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