OK. If you’ve checked out our post on the top of the ticket, its now time to dig down in the weeds: Town Meeting! This is Belmont’s legislature, in essence, and incredibly important. Think of your local TMMs as…
When you live in a compact, walkable town like Belmont, its easy to forget that many, many other communities across the country are what you might call “car bound.” They’re sprawling, decentralized, with poor access to critical services and lacking even the basic infrastructure, like sidewalks and bike lanes, to support citizens who choose to go car free. No surprise, also, that in these communities the collective memory of things like walking or biking places or riding the bus has disappeared, making those once normal activities seem foreign or downright dangerous. Thus, the news item that flashed across my computer screen today about high school seniors in Michigan being punished for riding their bikes to school. Crazy, no?
Just a note that the Belmont PTA/PTO will be screening Race To Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture tomorrow evening (Thursday) at the Belmont Studio Cinema, with half the price of admission donated to Belmont’s Public Schools.PTO/PTA’s! The…
The question for those of you who are planning to attend tonight’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen should be “what has changed” for Belmont since last Spring, when both Selectman Jones and Paolillo ardently supported passage of an Override. If the town needed it in June, why is it suddenly unworthy in January now that our budget deficit has grown and all-important one time funds, such as the Federal ARRA grants, have dried up?!
What are the long term impacts of the cuts we’re making now in public education?The Cassandras in the board room and executive offices are already telling us: warning that the U.S. education system is failing the country and that presages a loss of U.S. competitiveness and future generations with fewer economic opportunities.
A proposed budget using the Warrant Committee’s “Available Funds” for the school proposes eliminating five full time teaching positions, art and music instruction at the elementary school level, language instruction at the middle school level and steep cuts to support services district wide. Time to get angry, people!
What’s the Chinese method of mothering? According to Yale Prof Amy Chua’s new book, its a kind of maternal totalitarianism that encompasses a numbing collection of do’s and even more don’ts. As in “Don’t…attend a sleepover, have a playdate, be in a school play, complain about not being in a school play, watch TV or play computer games, choose (your) own extracurricular activities, get any grade less than an A, not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama, play any instrument other than the piano or violin AND not play the piano or violin.” These are her words, mind you, not mine.
Two events to put on your calendar: an October 13 chat with Massachusetts House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Murphy on the state of the State’s budget. Then set aside the evening of October 27 for an important Community Dialog on the future direction of the public schools.
I don’t know what Rupert Murdoch has ever done for me, but I’ll say this: Ted Kennedy’s work opened doors for my three daughters that will transform their lives, helping them build confidence and insuring that they will be treated as full equals of their male counterparts in the classroom, on the playing field and in the workplace.
An interesting article in yesterday’s New York Times on changes coming to a classroom near you: digital textbooks. The article, by Tamar Lewin, talks about pilot projects in school districts in Arizona, Louisiana and California that are replacing traditional printed textbooks with online, digital equivalents, or even “open source” texts compiled from materials and lessons generated by teachers or from public (and reliable) sources of information online.