Anti-charter school stance and for what and why?

December 6, 2010
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Recently at English High School, a student with a weapon brought about six police cars and officers to the school for what was almost a lockdown.

When all was said and done, a pellet gun was confiscated from the student.

The student was expelled.

The pellet gun incident last week, added to a number of others that are disturbing and having to do with violence and gang activities within the school, makes some of us wonder?

Would we want our sons and daughters at English High School?

Those of us who live here and felt we would be doing our children an injustice by sending them to Lynn’s deplorable elementary schools, have been forced to place them in private schools.

Now that high school is approaching, we are looking again at Lynn.

Do we choose for our children the Lynn public school gulag?

There is the matter of low reading scores, teachers protected by a union that cares less about excellence than it does about benefits and salary, lower hours and more compensation, safety and the lack of a system that does not seek excellence because it does everything it can simply to survive.

Ask any of the gung ho dedicated teachers working in this beleaguered system if there are teachers that should be put out to pasture.

Ask them about gang activity and violence inside the schools.

Ask them about the public school system they are toiling in – a dead from the top down school system that is more like a prison gulag dedicated to survival than anything else.

Some of us who live here would prefer an option to police chasing down guns during the school day or teachers attempting to cater to education in 52 languages with the largest part of the student population unable to read or write meaningfully in the English language.

What to do?

If you are a parent with common sense who cares something about the future of your kids, you’d hope and pray the local Superintendent of Schools and the School Committee and even the mayor of the city would endorse and fight for a charter school.

Not in Lynn.

In Lynn, all the highly paid administrators who try to pass themselves off as educators are being enriched with their salaries, benefits, vacations, sick days and bloated pensions. They look right in the eye at parents hoping for a choice and tell them, “NO.”

There is only room in Lynn for the tired, slowly but surely failing public school system – and if you don’t like it, move out or send your kids to parochial school.

The ship is sinking. We need all the money to attempt to keep the sinking ship afloat.

New ideas, excellence, safety, smaller classes – choice – these can’t be offered.

At a meeting held at the Lynn Housing Authority November 29 and attended by Superintendent Catherine Latham, Mayor Judith Flanagan-Kennedy, Senator Thomas McGee and a diverse group of children and their parents hoping for a charter school OK to be issued by the state to Joanne Civitarese and Del Hathaway, not much was done to aid these folks in pushing their application. They are the people offering the Lynn Preparatory Charter School.

They are the people offering safety, excellence, smaller classes, English as a first language, and teachers who will work longer hours for less in pay.

They are the people offering something other than the police chasing down guns and gang members in public schools nearly bereft of hope.

Lynn’s leadership ought to get its head out of the sand.

You can’t be an ostrich these days.

Some of us wishing we could send our kids to Lynn’s public schools are disappointed by public officials fighting against excellence by standing against charter schools.

Educators and administrators running Lynn’s public schools would rather go down with their sinking ship than to give others a choice in the matter.

That’s sad. But that’s the way it is in Lynn.

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