This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hayes, Galinski Defend Laptop Program

Outgoing Superintendent Jim Hayes, and incoming Superintendent Marie Galinski have penned a letter in today's Salem News defending the high school laptop program, which has come under heavy fire in the media the past couple weeks.

The letter states that the program "supports our district's mission to enable all students to reach their potential with a sustainable model that prepares them for 21st-century challenges." It invites readers to view the online presentation about the program, and attemps to clear up some of the misinformation about the program, such as:
  • Parents are not required to participate in this program. We will have an in-school loaner program for those who do not participate and financial assistance for those in need.
  • As part of our research over the past five years, we spoke to many "1-1" laptop schools across the country. We were advised over and over to select one platform to ensure program success. A multi-platform environment would require more tech support and potentially make it difficult and disruptive for teachers in the classroom — i.e.; they would need to be very familiar with both platforms in order to deal with issues that may arise.
The letter also attempts to explain: "Why Apple?"

Another letter, from a Danvers resident, does an even more succinct job of clearing up some of the misconceptions about the program, and criticizes the Salem News for some of the reporting in the original story that sparked the controversy. She calls the program "..the first progressive idea to come out of the city of Beverly since the development of the Cummings Center."

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