By Edith Morgan
The search for a new school superintendent for our Worcester Public Schools is on, and we are told that we need “new eyes“ for the leardership of our city’s school system.
I never saw any kind of definition as to what that really meant. Is that some kind of code for whatever change someone wants, or are we finally talking about some real change in the heart of our school system, namely our curriculum?
I have railed for so long about our truly deplorable curriculum, which contains so much that is of little or no use to young people entering this world as it is now and which is designed primarily to enable them to answer questions that can be machine-corrected for the most part, with a few actual thoughtful essays thrown in? For alleged budgetary reasons, we have gradually eliminated every kind of learning that makes for a thoughtful, engaged, life-long learner. Above all, a critical thinker able to take part in one of the few democratic nations left on the planet.
The WORCESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS is a majority-minority school system. Our city leaders are hoping to hire a new WPS school superintendent who will be sensitive to our city schools’ diverse student body through hiring more minority teachers, updating curriculum, being sensitive to all students and their families’ backgrounds … This November two minority Worcester School Committee candidates were voted into office. The new WSC will convene in January 2022.
Will the Worcester School Committee be finding a new school superintendent (the commitee voted not to renew WPS Superintendent Maureen Binenda’s contract, even for one more year) who can have the training, vision and backing to make such major changes? Will we fund these changes? Or will we put all our attention on new buildings, minutiae in the existing curriculum, trying to pacify the loudest and most aggressive groups with various sops?
We are constantly spending all kinds of time on “sex education,” as though it were a major part of the curriculum. Now we are so concerned about how and what we teach about our American history: does it start in 1776, 1692, 1619 – or even before?
This continent was fully inhabited before we Europeans got here. And now we are unearthing remains of even older inhabitants, Vikings, others, maybe. What is the job of our schools to be inclusive of all that information?
And will our new WPS school superintendent be able to change the chronological age-based system to better reflect the vast differences in the mental and physical development of children so we stop producing “disabled” children who are merely wrongly placed or whose learning styles differ?
These are a few of the questions that should occupy the Worcester School Committee, City Council, and other city politicians who should be the leaders in these areas.
I am still waiting …