I hope your summers have started well.
As I mentioned in my June newsletter, this is *not* a sleepy summer for the School Committee. Here are a few brief but important updates:
First, the School Committee gave Superintendent Greer a “needs improvement” rating on her annual evaluation. We appreciate her leadership in significantly moving student academic growth, as reflected in iReady data. We also are pleased to see progress in making Universal Pre-Kindergarten a reality, an undertaking that requires deep partnership with the City. At the same time, we continue to have significant concerns about hiring processes, community relations, management, and communication. We want Dr. Greer to be successful and are working to support her growth in these areas. If you’re interested in the details, the full evaluation is here. (Our individual evaluations are also public documents. As Vice-Chair, I coordinated this process and wrote the composite – my takeaway is that the Committee was exceptionally unified in identifying strengths and growth opportunities.)
(Vassal Lane Upper School Students shared research and recommendations about changing the school’s name at a June School Committee meeting.)
Second, the Boston Globe recently posted an article on Math instruction in Cambridge Public Schools. The journalist quotes me from a recent meeting where I noted that the School Committee has not backed away from a commitment to all students receiving Algebra I in eighth grade. He also wraps the piece by quoting Benjamin Moynihan, Executive Director of the Algebra Project, who said, “Even despite the pandemic, is it possible? The Algebra Project would say yes.” I will have more to share on this topic in the coming weeks.
(With my daughter at the Election Commission – I am “preliminarily certified” to appear on the ballot this fall!)
Finally, if the governing excitement were not enough, the campaign season is heating up! As you probably know, Fred Fantini, whom we affectionately refer to as the Dean of the School Committee, is retiring after 40 years of dedicated service. On top of which, Ayesha Wilson is running for City Council! In part because of these developments, there are many new candidates running this cycle. I need your help reminding voters that I am a thoughtful, effective leader, one who truly collaborates with students, educators, and families. Please donate here to help us get the word out!
As always, I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions.