From the data found on the Mass. DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) website, it appears to me that the district shows very little progress since Mayor Mitchelltook office in 2012.
If the district is, according to the Mayor, making progress and heading in the right direction, ask yourself the following questions:
Why did Pacheco School drop from a Level 1 status to Level 2in 2014?
Why did the high school go from a Level 3 status to Level 4 (underperforming) in 2013 under the leadership of the superintendent and his administration?
Why did Parker School go from a Level 4 status to Level 5 in 2013 and is now in receivership?
Why did the superintendent, mayor, and School Committee close Kempton School which was a Level 1 school when it was closed to save a few dollars?
Why is the district having a difficult time with teacher retention?
Since July 2013 to present approximately 250 teachers have resigned or retired. Since the summer of 2015, 40 teachers have left the district. Don’t forget a number of teachers were RIF (Reduction in Workforce) during that period.
Why are principals and assistant principals leaving the district? Today about 20 have either retired or resigned?
Why are there unfilled positions throughout the district? At the school committee meeting on Monday, October 19, it was mentioned by the Personnel Director that there are 6 elementary, 5 middle schools, and 7 high school unfilled positions.
Why haven’t the MCAS scores improved significantly? The Report Card for the district from the DESE website indicates the following from 2012-14: NB’s ELA range 46, 44, 45% compared to state average of 69% for years; Math for district range 35, 36, 38% compared to state average 59, 61, 60%; and Science 22, 25, 29% compared to state average of 53, 54, 55%. (Check out the data from Mass. DESE.)
Why is New Bedford High School lagging well below the state average? The high school’s Report Card is as follows from 2012-14: ELA 66, 76, 67% compared to state average of 89, 92, 90%; Math 44, 49, 41% compared to state average of 79, 80, 79%; and Science 31, 38, 38% compared to the state average of 70, 72, 71%. (Data from DESE.)
Why has the high school had a significant drop in the enrollment of students from Acushnet?
Why didn’t Mayor Mitchell, School Committee, and Superintendent Durkin show outrage at the first act of violence in the district in 2013-14 school year? Why wasn’t this curbed at the beginning of the academic year? There were numerous acts of violence the entire year.
Why did Superintendent Durkin, Mayor Mitchell, and School Committee approve cancelling bus routes for children that had to walk on extremely busy streets without sidewalks to save a few dollars?
The question now is, after reading all of the above, do you think our district is heading in the right direction and making progress? As for myself, my answer is a resounding NO! The data cannot be disputed.
Our school district is taking the same voyage as the Wander the last whaling ship to leave New Bedford harbor in 1920s only to run aground.