The Keystone Kops Take Over the Schools

The shadows are opening up a bit.  Because of Dr. Khelfaoui’s willingness to forward information, some of the information is falling into good hands.  Keep in mind that the main joke was that of Mayor Samaras.  He said, according to the newspaper, that “We don’t know what monies we have, period.”  Now, it seems to me that the first thing you would want to know in a coup, bloodless though it is, is where the money is, where does it lie.  Apparently that question did not permeate anyone’s head in the coup.  You have taken over a school district, and you should be able to get your hands over the money.  That apparently was not the case.

The four perpetrators also forgot where the uncertainties lie.  Just for the record, the uncertainities lie with those four.  Jackie Doherty, Bill Samaras, Gerald Nutter, and Connie  Martin were the runners in this sordid race and they should take the reins for its direction.  From a mathematics standpoint, we went into this role without the two people who understood where the money was, or let’s say might be, when we accepted the resignation of Gary Frisch, the operations manager, and Dr. Salah Khelfaou, the forward-thinking Superintendent for this difficult moment. At least we could have had the two people who knew where the funds were.  That would have been  a huge help.

So, where am I going with this?  Right back to the plan to paint the Superintendent as a financial nitwit, which seemed to be the direction that the perpetrators were taking.  Having the votes does not mean that all of your questions, such as where the money was, have been solved.  Hopefully the fabulous four can explain where the money was, and how much was there.  If they cannot, then they deserve getting what’s coming to them, up to and including a recall vote.

It is amazing that this group of people could see this as a positive move.  In the first place the MCAS scores are good.  One third of the city schools are testing in the top third of the scale.   One third of our students are in the middle third.  And Lowell High School appears to be moving up to the second tier.  Literally, all of our schools are at the point where they could be testing competitively.

The other abnormality is the high school project.  It seems to me that the Keystone Kops probably knew that the high school would be the stumbling block in this charade.  We cannot take a stand that  is going to make it more difficult to get the high school built.  But that is exactly what happened.    Imagine the response by the state when this remarkably thin-skinned movement permeated the Boston “Globe” and the “Herald.”  I would not want to be on the explaining end of this game court.  Maybe, just maybe Boston saw this as a local matter.  I doubt it but it might have happened.  We had better get our act together fairly quickly to quiet criticism.  Lowell has to look cohesive, something that the city currently is not.  So let’s get our act together, let’s be cohesive, and let us see how broken down we seem to be.    Hopefully not too broken down.

One thought on “The Keystone Kops Take Over the Schools

  1. C R Krieger

    The High School is, of course, the immediate problem, and it falls to the City Manager and the City Council, and not the School Committee.  My first concern is the danger of a spiraling cost.  Those who have not reflected on the cost of the Big Dig are not thinking (in 2006 dollars, the estimate was US$6.0 billion, but at completion is was $14.6 billion, with a Boston Globe estimate that the project will ultimately cost $22 billion, including interest).  It is important that our civic leaders keep an eye on this and mitigate the risks early on.

    My deeper concern is that the School Committee isn’t prepared to move our school system into the 21st Century.  We probably need waiver authority from Beacon Hill, but we need to find ways to graduate early those who are ready, so we can focus more resources on those who need the extra help.&nbsp. We also need to find ways to provide vocational training for those who want to go into the trades, training for those who don’t make it to GLTHS.  We owe it to all our students.

    Regards — Cliff

    C R Krieger

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