7 thoughts on “Mayor Jon Mitchell proposes more alternative classrooms for disruptive New Bedford students

  1. It is more than extremely clear that Superintendent Durkin's hiring was based on being a hard liner hard nose administrator who would straighten out the “teacher problem” in New Bedford's ailing school district. Finesse was not a tool in her toolkkit, nor was it a consideration as a requirement for the job. Credentials that teachers must posses to be successful in their classrooms were not a blimp on the school committee radar. So now we have the mayor making the courageous and oh my God out of the box recommendation to create additional classrooms at Whaling City. What should we think of Durkin's leadership? After reading her editorial piece in the ST it has never been more crystal clear that she is not qualified for the city's top job. She rambles, deflects, and now embraces the fact that we “all” must work together. No one and I do mean no one has done more to break this district apart than Superintendent Durkin. In a last grasp to the pressure, the Superintendent says we must now to gather together as a collective force to fix the behavioral problems that has seized our school. What in the world does she think teachers attempt to do every single day. Never more have I been convinced that Durkin has little or no classroom experience, or experience in running an urban school, or should I say experience that actually mattered. If she did, you would find her more compassionate and understanding of the situation and struggles of an urban district. She may talk the talk, but she can't walk the walk. Her actions over the past three years have proved this true. For the mayor to make the most obvious recommendation about removing certain students from the mainstream, and for that action to be embraced by the SC and CC just shows the mindset of the person leading the district. A first year teacher could have made this recommendation.If anyone believes that behavioral problems only exist at Keith Middle School you too are in denial. The problem is district wide, and administrators aren't being truthful about their school's condition, save at few. Understandable given the cultural that has been perpetuated over the years. In fact, now is the time for those school administrators to “come clean.” Behavior problems are the norm at least at the middle school and high school levels, regardless of what the SC may think. Let's put it all on the table now, and start with a clean slate. My feeling is that Brian Gomes and Chris Cotter understand the gravity of the situation.


  2. How about the elementary? WE need help too with disruptive students! Don't only focus on the older children, elementary is where these behaviors start! The elementary schools like Lincoln are dangerously over crowded and still! 30-32 kids in the norm . The problem is district wide, we need the old discipline back where there were actually consequences for bad behavior.


  3. Durkin sent a letter out to the teachers, doing damage control. She wants us to work together to solve this discipline problem. Together….all she has done is to belittle the teachers, evaluate them unfairly …now she needs our help. Durkin , you can go pound tar! You don't even want to give your teachers a 1% raise! My husband makes more money than I do and he never went to college! My friend has an associate's degree and makes more per hour than I do! I have a master's degree in education. Good thing I love my students because I certainly don't think much of you!


  4. The wound that Durkin has created in the district is too deep and unfortunately beyond repair. Healing will only begin after she is gone. If she has been renewed, there will be another three years of adverse community climate. This unfortunate situation could have been averted and that is the sorry truth. I remember attending a meeting with peers several years ago and the topic of our new superintendent coming to the forefront. The apathy these individuals felt for our district was indescribable. It gave me a feeling of helplessness, even before she started. My hope was that these leaders were wrong, misguided if you will, but heir opinions were right on target, and everything they said has come true. So if the community of educational leadership knew, why didn't our selection committee come to the same conclusion. It is time for the leadership of this city to reevaluate whether a change of direction is warranted to move the district forward. Under Durkin, and in my opinion the district is regressing and will continue to do so. Stakeholders need to come together and discuss what is best for our community. Whether she stays or goes. I believe that a district without Superintendent Durkin is what's best for its future.


  5. Agreed, Durkin has to go. She has created an environment of fear and reprisal. The students are allowed to run the schools. Did she actually ever teach? Please, it's time for a new approach….one that does not include Ms.Pia.


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