Tag Archives: Melinda Boone

The Worcester Way: The apples before the cart before the horse

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Lots of Worcester Public Elementary Schools have all-white teaching staffs while the schools’ students are predominantly minority kids. We hope new WPS Superintendent Maureen Binienda rights this wrong! Ha!

By Rosalie Tirella

Why attend any one of the Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Search “community,” “open,” “forums” that the City of Worcester is hosting next week and urging us Worcesterites to attend when we all know Maureen Binienda, principal of South High School and a lady at the tail end of her education career, will be crowned prom queen? The brandy new superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools!!!

For the City of Worcester to hold these two community “listening sessions” insults our collective intelligence. We Worcesterites should call ’em out and shout: LUDICROUS!!!

The move is almost as big a joke as the not so long ago hiring of Worcester boy and political insider Ed Augustus as new Woo City Manager AFTER Augustus swore up and down on his granny’s grave that he wasn’t interested in the CM job and would not take it even if it were offered to him as the big prize in a really cool gum ball machine from Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage Gift Store at Webster Square, the neighborhood where Augustus grew up …

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… AFTER the City of Worcester hired The Three Stooges Professional Search Firm to conduct a national city manager search to bring in some great job applicants outside the Worcester (cess)pool to be interviewed by supposedly unbiased city leaders …

… who decided AFTER those poor chumps (I mean job candidates) jumped through a billion quirky Worcester hoops to only learn that this screwy city was gonna hire the insider Augustus, but THANK YOU FOR LETTING US WASTE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME … You must have loved spending time HERE IN WORCESTER, spending a few weeks glad handing and schmoozing and answering a million questions posed by sometimes dense city leaders and honest regular folks, some of the questions very personal (remember the WPS Superintendent candidate who had declared bankruptcy or the most EXCELLENT, HARVARD-educated WPS Superintendent candidate who came in all the way from New Mexico?). … THANKS FOR BEING IN THE WORCESTER DOG AND PONY SHOW, folks! We’re certain you’ll speak highly of our city to friends, family and colleagues wherever you go!

If any serious candidate for any serious, seriously important City of Worcester job Googles Worcester, job search and hiring practices the search will yield: MORONS! BE VERY AFRAID! STAY AWAY!! Maybe the prospective job applicants will take the time they had planned to use to write their letters of interest, polish up their resumes, meet with headhunters and instead book a trip to Disneyland – the experience will be just as Goofy and surreal and mind-numbing! But at least you get cotton candy and pink lemonade and rides in the sky!

Most Worcesterites know our city government is dysfunctional and, like the little kid who’s seen mom and dad fuck each other over left and right, feels 1. This is normal behavior and 2. Is deeply depressed. Why just look at our city!

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Garbage strewn everywhere – some of it hanging from the tree branches. Stabbings galore, used syringes all over our backyards, people brandishing guns, entering homes with babies and mothers in them, mothers corralled into bedrooms, ever watchful babies scarred for life.

The insanity of Worcester city government (and America’s messed up economy) is reflected in the governed. And most Worcester peeps are saying: FUCK YOU! We know we’re zero in your eyes, Worcester city leaders; we know we’ve got to slog through our days while your relatives and cronies get $90,000 a year city jobs and other perks just because they know you. So here’s your shit sandwich, City Councilor Lukes!!! (BTW, Konnie Lukes is one hell of a slumlord!) Screw your combs and yellow city trash bags, City Councilor Gary Rosen!!!

Is it any wonder that after the City of Worcester has decided to CLOSE the WPS Superintendent Search and just interview LOCAL (read WORCESTER pal) candidates and AFTER city bigwigs have made Maureen Binienda Mayor of our politically important Worcester St. Patrick’s Day and after the muckety-mucks have all gone on record in one way or another to tell the world: MAUREEN BINIENDA WALKS ON WATER. SHE IS A WORCESTER IRISH CATHOLIC GAL. SHE KNOWS WHAT LIES IN THE HEART OF EACH AND EVERY ONE OF OUR STUDENTS IN OUR MAJORITY MINORITY SCHOOL SYSTEM, A SCHOOL SYSTEM FILLED WITH POOR AND DISENFRANCHISED STUDENTS. … Those students are about to learn Woo lesson #1: In Worcester it’s WHOM you know, not WHAT you know.

I mean, the fix is in.

Mo is in.

As usual, when it comes to hiring people for the City’s most prestigious (read politically powerful and connected), highest paying, bestest, coolest, most freakin’ PLUM jobs, the City of Worcester has shit all over itself.

Again.

It’s put the apples before the cart before the horse and made Worcester, the second largest city in New England, seem provincial, totally closed off, myopic, fearful of the future …

There will never be any NEW VISION in Worcester because city leaders are waiting at our half-empty airport with hot pokers in their fists ready to pounce on the next Melinda Boone – to stab his or her eyes out.

Who’s gonna help a brother get further?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yGVANkaGiM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

A call to action – a call for equity

Call To Action – Call For Equity

*** We are asking all of you to Stand and be Present***

on November 17

at Worcester Technical High School, 7 PM

In addition:

Email the school committee members in one click and tell them you support the leadership of the superintendant and want her contract to be extended for at least 3 years so she can continue moving us forward. OR:

Call the committee members: Joseph O’Brien 508-799-1153; Dianna Biancheria 508-753-3440; John Foley 508-853-3593; John Monfredo 508-853-3444; Mary Mullaney 508-791-0808; Tracy Novick 508-410-3223; Brian O’Connell 508-792-6789

Send this to at least 2 of your friends or family and ask them to contact the school committee as well.

Black Legacy has been doing “upstream work” with all of you over the last couple of years. We have been working with the Worcester Public School Department and the Worcester School Committee to change the policies that are contributing to the student achievement gap: low expectations of students, under-resourced schools, high disciplinary action, lack of access to Advanced Placement and STEM programs, and more.

During this time, we have seen the current Superintendant – Dr. Melinda Boone – is exactly what we need in this community to close the achievement gap and raise expectations and opportunities for all students, and she’s already able to show results.

Currently, there is “upstream work” to be done.

The leadership of our public schools has been in the very competent hands of Dr. Boone for the past two years. During that time, she has pulled together a leadership team that committed to focusing on the academic achievement of ALL Worcester students. You can see some of her accomplishments below. She has been working on changing the system and, in fact, we can see things changing that will stop the babies from coming down the river in terms of drop-outs and achievement gaps.

However, some school committee members have voted against extending her contract for the standard 3 years.

From our intense activity with the school committee over the past two years, those committee members have not presented a rational, especially given the great progress demonstrated which far surpasses any prior superintendant in recent history. It our concern that the city will lose the significant progress that has been made and will return to an administration that does not believe that poor students and cultural minorities can and should be as successful as any student in Worcester.

Given that our schools students are more than 80% lower income (free or reduced lunch) and more than 60% racial minorities, and both groups are growing, it is essential to have the leadership of a Superintendant that believes in academic excellence for all, is committed to making it happen, and has demonstrated in her time here that is can make it happen.

Below is report on how school committee members have voted in the past week.
We believe Dr. Boone has been able to balance the needs of the various student needs present in the Worcester Public Schools.

To Extend Dr. Boone’s Contract:

YES, to extend her contract:

Joe O’Brian
Jack Foley
John Monfedo
Mary Mullaney

NO, to not extend her contract:

Tracey Novick
Brian O’Connell
Dianna Biancheria

We wonder why some school committee members have dismissed the progress of the administration that the majority of the school committee sees. In fact, Mr. O’Connell has stated that Dr. Boone has done a very good job yet has voted no on a 3 year extension to “send a message” to the Superintendant. Voting not to extend a person’s contract that you know has performed well is NO WAY to send a message.

The Vote Is Next Thursday

Black Legacy is asking all community members that are committed to racial and economic justice, to contact the school committee members and tell them you would like them to extend Dr. Boone’s contract for 3 years. Those that are working toward racial and social justice need to support of the community to push for systems changes other are comfortable with staying status quo.

Under Superintendant Boone’s leadership, the gaps are already starting to close at very rapid rate, while even more students are being supported in the highest level courses. It is important that you know where your school committee members stand on the work of the Superintendant as they are responsible for the “selection and to termination of the superintendent”. Dr. Boone’s accomplishment’s in the past two years include, but are not limited to:

She is focused on the development of ALL students, as seen in her overarching goals for the district.
She is showing significant improvements in closing the achievement gap that surpass statewide progress.
She understands the complex issues that contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline, the strategies for changing that pipeline, and is part of the states leadership team to make those changes in Massachusetts.

She was able to maintain 100% of the program even after major budgetary cuts.

She has successfully negotiated with the state regarding the 2 underperforming schools and the required turn-around plans
Has opened up the lines of communication and partnership to multiple parent groups, businesses, and other community resources to support student success including Black Legacy, Worcester Education Collaborative which includes businesses and colleges, and Stand for Children. On multiple occasions she has been publically supported by members of CPAC, local principal and teachers.

Her administration has been more transparent than any other that people can recall. They have provided information about school processes, data about student outcomes, and any request that we have submitted.
We are asking you to Take Action.

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Will things really change with Mayor Joe O’Brien at the helm? (he also heads our school committee)

By Rosalie Tirella

After reading all the pieces on Joe O’Brien’s inauguration day festivities (I wasn’t invited to the ball and InCity Times was emailed no public announcement about it to post in the paper so our readers could attend – unlike two years ago, when Konnie Lukes became mayor and I got ALL the info and a beautiful invitation to boot), I ask: Will things really change in Worcester with Joe at the helm? Will O’Brien really be any different from a pol who rewards his pals and punishes anyone who doesn’t agree with him? More important: Will things really change/improve in the Worcester Public Schools now that Mayor O’Brien says he wants to make the WPS system the best urban school system in America?

Actions speak louder than words, my momma always told me. This is what I have to go on so far: Continue reading Will things really change with Mayor Joe O’Brien at the helm? (he also heads our school committee)

New Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Melinda Boone: eager and ready to lead our schools

By John Monfredo, Worcester Public School Committee member

As the school bell rings for the Worcester Public Schools this fall, the staff and the students of our public schools will be greeted by Worcester’s first female school superintendent, Dr. Melinda Boone. Dr. Boone spent one week a month in Worcester since January prior to her official starting date of July 1, 2009. This arrangement was due to her contractual obligations in the Norfolk Virginia Public Schools and to give her youngest daughter the opportunity to finish her senior year in high school – thus demonstrating her commitment to education and family. Continue reading New Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Melinda Boone: eager and ready to lead our schools