Tuesday, May 21, 2024




Fran Cronin is a single parent who moved to Cambridge after the death of her husband, a Cambridge native, and raised two children on her own – one honors, one special needs. Fran grew up in a family committed to the power of quality public education. She and her three brothers all graduated from their public high school; her mother taught public elementary school for more than 30 years and one brother was a public elementary school vice principal. Fran is a certified Orton-Gillingham teacher and has tutored and taught in public schools.

She has served as co-chairwoman of the Parent Advisory Council for Children with special needs; served as an officer of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Council and co-founded MPACT, a parent advocacy group.

She has served one term on the School Committee.

Compiled from the candidate’s words in publicly available sources

Top three priorities:

bullet-gray-smallCommunity. Cambridge’s diversity is celebrated in our community and in our schools. I’ll continue to advocate for the equitable distribution of resources to all of our schools and to help families and students access our city’s health network, connect with academic mentors and develop economic pathways to our community’s dynamic high-tech and bio-tech sectors.
bullet-gray-smallPartnership. I’ll continue seeking partners vital to strengthening student achievement, including those that bring academic tutors and art enrichment into our schools. From local businesses, I’ll seek partners who can provide work internships from retail shops to restaurants, from carpentry to communications, and entry into the world of science, technology, engineering, art and technology, broadening our students’ imaginations and access to opportunities.
bullet-gray-smallLeadership. As a member of the School Committee and chairwoman of the curriculum sub-committee, I’ve turned my passion into action. I led support for third-grade reading proficiency and the use of phonics. I advocated for more upper school support, including principal mentorship, curriculum alignment and after-school enrichment. I requested review of our high school Rindge School of the Technical Arts program to better align our vocational and STEAM pathways with the needs of our community. I fought for student social and emotional well-being services; services to support our high school’s immigrant students; counseling for college-bound seniors; and the responsible use of technology in our classrooms.

Compiled from the candidate’s words in publicly available sources

Profile one view of the candiate

Cronin’s curriculum subcommittee was the most active subcommittee during the past school year, to her credit – which means it has met four times. She makes sure in her questioning to always focus on special-needs children and alternative education pathways, including the Rindge School of the Technical Arts. She can also be direct and candid. But she spends too much of her airtime during meetings talking in generalities about the need to “give all students what they need” without either focusing on specifics or always making her vote match her rhetoric. While she, with Kathleen Kelly, has been asking for a re-examination of meeting structures to allow for more “give-and-take conversations,” a good start would be to lead by example by keeping her comments shorter and avoiding repeating what other colleagues have said.