32 thoughts on “Your thoughts

  1. My thought is why has the City of New Bedford been leaching off the school departments budget for at least the last 8 years. The Commonwealth always sends the city X amount of $$$ every year but the school committee and city council always approve less to meet “minimum net spending”. What happens to the balance? Where is it spent? Why isn't it kept where it needs to be? And then we wonder why the school buildings are falling apart and there are no new textbooks and 30 kids to a class. Wake up and not only question the mayor but also the school committee and city council and demand our schools get fully funded!

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  2. The comments posted on Rate My Teacher reveal a history of Pia caring little about actual people…staff and students have no reason trust her decisions—STAND TALL NBEA

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  3. “Always has to have the upperhand, she panics without it” This quote from Rate My Teacher reminded me of her expression when the gentleman from the elementary level spoke at the last school committee meeting. I think it was when he mentioned “rigor” that she kind of coward. He did a great job speaking that night and you could see he struck a nerve.

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  4. It's seems clear that no matter how many people, from many walks of life, declare this turnaround model as WRONG for our city—the mayor will not have the courage to reverse direction. He is happy to blame the union for all consequences of this model choice. As worried parents take their kids and go, as decent tax paying teachers flee, as our distinguished Alumni must defend their alma mater–he will continue to cry foul on the union, rather than accept his own responsibility. Believing that Pia is the guru we've been waiting for is a mistake. She is not perfect, and he would be wise to listen to other educational voices from around this community, state, and nation.

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  5. Where do we go from here? Durkin showed her true stubborn nature when she declared immediately after the rally that SHE is sticking with the turnaround plan. If I were the SC or Mitchell, I would be taking note of that many of the city council members, unions and even the former mayor were in support of the teachers. Durkin has no vested interest in New Bedford. She is not from here nor does she live in New Bedford. This IS a paycheck to her. The other elected officials who do LIVE in the city should be very concerned about their own political aspirations when they align themselves with her. There was no collaboration with the SC or the Mayor when she made this statement. She did not say We have decided to remain with the plan, she said SHE! As far as Mitchell complaining that his staffers asked Lou to speak, did he really think that was appropriate? Why did he have his staffers ask? He also commented that he was going to give constructive points. Really? He has shown nothing but complete disrespect for the employees of the school department. We should have looked for a superintendent who had a vested interest in our community. They should have to live in New Bedford. Hiring a superintendent that was FIRED from not one but two other districts should have been the search committees BIG RED FLAG. Shame on them for hiring this person. Mitchell is just too stubborn to admit they hired a dud and well like a captain, he will go down with the capsizing Durkin. The next thing he will be telling us is that because they fired 50% of the teachers at NBHS, they will have to pay unemployment costs so now we will be in further debt. Then he will “turnaround” and blame the teachers for having to PAY the unemployment. It must have really burned Mitchell that Former Mayor Scott Lang stood out on that cold day to address the union and support teachers. Joe Lopes, Brian Gomes, Henry Bosquet, David Alves, Steve Martins, Tony Cabral, Leo Choquette, Ian Abreu, Josh Amaral and countless others have supported us. They know the reasons why NB is failing. It is not the teachers. It is not the students. It is the community. It is because of various social issues. Without collaboration this problem will fester. What is our next step?

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  6. I think it was a very sucessful rally and it showed there is a great deal of support for the teachers.Just one point I would like to make, that is, the students and their parents need to be your allies. I think often we teachers in urban areas tend talk too much about how hard it is to teach in these areas because students come from homes where thy don't get support. That sounds like we are blaming parents, But it would be better to align ourselves with the students and thier families. We should call out the administration for their racism, and the fact the system has not suppoted Public Education for years. This is a fight not just about teachers but about Public Education.

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  7. Think about it…. when the union kicks your ass on grievances because admin doesn't read the contract, care about the contract or respect labor law, how do you beat them? By eliminating the contract. This is what they are trying to do with this turnaround plan. This is just the beginning of union busting, plain and simple. It was never about the kids. Stand strong and united brothers and sisters.

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  8. I would ask him why he left the federal prosecutors office when he was the lead on the Bulger case which would have brought him national acclaim? Maybe we should ask.his former colleague, prosecutor Ortiz what scandal caused Mitchell and Flanagan to leave in a hurry….

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  9. I have a few thoughts, first great job on the rally both planning and attendance. Keep it up. Second, the standard times reported 213 homeless children in the nbps. Lou has said that # is 500. Which # is correct? Third, Mitchell lives south of Hawthorn St. I have family on Maple street which is 2 streets north that attend Winslow. I think this needs confirmation. Facts are stubborn things but this union has so many of them on their side its foolish to make things like this up without proof. Lastly, I'm confused how having Scott Lang speak at the rally benefits anyone. Other than sticking it to Mitchell what did that accomplish. He's done more damage to the NBPS than any mayor before him although the jury is out if his successor will surpass him. Mike Longo retired rather than stay on under his micromanagement. He hired Bonner (a outsider) than expected her to do his bidding. We all know how that ended. He had the choice of 3 licensed superintendents in house and chose the one who would always say yes(Francis). The 2010 DOE report slams his involvement in the day to dsy operations on the school department. He always lied about the actual cost of Keith to make Kalisz look bad which is why he wouldn't renew Larry O who publicly went against that figure. Inspite of antiquated book keeping practices who knew #'s better than that man. There was never a penny overspent during his tenure. His replacement Deb Brown sure knew how to overspend. Who hired her? Lang and Francis. We should also get into the devastating 2010 budget cuts. All on Scott Langs watch. My point is this. Mitchell might end up being worse than Lang. We'll know soon. But to trophy that man whose done so much harm to the New Bedford Public Schools defies logic. Short memories got us here in the first place.

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  10. Sorry to be dismissive, but who cares where the mayor's children go to school. If they behave and do the right things day in and day out, it would be a pleasure to have them in my classroom. Your point has been made, but the problems in this district are bigger than plucking out where good students go to school.These types of comments need to be saved until all the pressing issues have been addressed; like transformation vs turnaround.

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  11. Dear Standard-Times…..thank you so very much for printing the article in the newspaper about the “homeless” family from New Bedford currently living in a motel in Somerset. They verified and confirmed everything Lou St. John said to the news media on Friday. Hope the superintendent read the article.

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  12. How disgusting it was to read in today's paper that Superintendent Durkin is still planning to go forward with her destructive turnaround plan for NBHS. Teachers are continuing to shoulder all of the blame for the problems in the our public schools. Why is it that our past superintendents and top-level administrators have not been asked to share the blame for our underperforming schools? They had every opportunity and the money to make things better in our school system and they failed. How is it that they just to sit back, collect their very large pensions, and answer to no one for their actions?

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  13. I wonder how the people who are posting negative remarks on the NBEA Blog, the New Bedford Guide, and on Facebook would feel if they were told that 50% of them were going to be fired since the work their “department” is doing is “underperforming.” There are plenty of other departments in New Bedford not just the School Department…let's see – there is a water department, a fire department, a building department, a DPW, department of infrastructure, Police department (By the way we've had another crime wave here this week in the Whaling City)…just to name a few. Here's an interesting point – all of those other department's workers are union members. Do they qualify as “union thugs” or it that a term that is only applicable to teachers who belong to a union?

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  14. Diane Ravitch, education expert, rips reforms, focus on tests in Bedford talk (video)www.lohud.comEducation historian and commentator Diane Ravitch railed against the growing testing culture Thursday evening, urging New Yorkers to push back against what she called the misguided and doomed policies of Albany and Washington.

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  15. I would like to ask Mitchell why he's always telling people that they should come back to New Bedford when his actions are screaming “New Bedford employee/resident need not apply”. Look at all the new, highly paid hires – Attleboro, Mashpee, Barnstable, Providence, Worcester. So Mr. Mayor, which side of your mouth are you talking out of now?

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  16. Good point…the mayor is letting Pia pick her cast of out of towners to assume the highest paying jobs in the city. She is pushing out local hires(J. Daly) and Larkin may be on the ropes? Others have been trying to get hired in different communities.

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  17. I agree that city residents and or alumni should get preference for all hiring in the district but was there or is there anyone in the system capable and qualified and actually wants to move into administration?

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  18. I agree city residents and or alumni should always have preference in hiring in the school system. That being said, was or is there anyone in the system that qualified for these jobs? Its clear no one wanted the business manager position but I'm not sure about the other's.

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  19. There are several people working here who have superintendent/assistant superintendent certifications however, it has been made clear that they shouldn't bother to try for anything. If you're from New Bedford, you are made to feel unworthy. The fact that they've been around for some time and have seen the good and the bad doesn't matter. That being said, let's hire some more outsiders and don't forget to give them those huge salaries despite the fact most of them have little or no experience at those jobs.

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