At its first meeting since passing a budget April 5, the School Committee had trouble getting through the agenda before going into a closed-door session, with members calendaring items on charter schools, district-level positions and opting out of PARCC tests.
Though there were no votes against it and only slight changes from Superintendent Jeffrey Young’s proposed budget from March 15, which itself had few changes over the current year, getting to the 5-0-2 vote brought several contentious and messy moments.
Principals lined up to field questions from School Committee members Tuesday, but despite efforts to get them to explore whether they need more resources, they didn’t take the bait.
More than 100 Cambridge educators – general and special education teachers, interventionists and coaches – turned out for sharp talk about testing this week. While aiming to make testing “work,” the educators had many concerns and complaints.
Superintendent Jeffrey Young presented his last proposed Cambridge budget of his career Tuesday, coming in with a $172.8 million total – a proposal now balanced through increased revenue from the city budget and cuts “not impacting classrooms.”
There was palpable tension Tuesday at what is now being billed as the first of a “series of community conversations” about testing in Cambridge schools over the absence of educators in the discussion – at the request of the school administration.
World language for elementary students has been taken up by the School Committee again, this time with a vote directing the administration to create a “model” for introducing a world language program to begin in the 2017-18 school year.
With a school budget draft due March 15, the School Committee met Tuesday for its first discussion of individual member’s budget priorities.
After a period of silence, the Cambridge branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has interim leaders in former mayor Ken Reeves and School Committee member Richard Harding.
Teachers suggested that a reason for a more than 75 percent drop in participation was that “after we have been heard, life continues much the same,” despite the courage it may take to stand up and express views opposite those of the administration.