Cambridge Public Schools Trying to Shake Things Up

Filed in Featured, Lifestyle by on March 25, 2010 0 Comments
Cambridge Rindge and Latin ©

Cambridge Rindge and Latin ©

As Cambridge deals with the challenges of a major renovation to Cambridge Rindge and Latin they continue to assess changing the way they educate the middle grades.  Superintendent Jeff Young gave a thought-provoking presentation about the status of the Cambridge Public Schools in the middle grades.

If you have kids in the K-8 range you need to be aware of the changes and improvements that are being proposed.  Some things I found interesting was the fact that locally we are only 1 of 3 systems which still have a complete k-8 structure versus middle schools.  This includes Somerville and Brookline.

Taken directly from his proposal which can be found on the Cambridge Public Schools website.

The proposal itself calls for a ‘hybrid” model in which we would maintain some K-8 schools, establish some traditional K-5 elementary schools, and create a new, state-of-the-art middle school. This approach affords families more and better choices about the best structure for educating their children before they reach the high school.

Superintendent Young emphasized the quest for both “academic excellence and social justice”.  The proposal is being fleshed out and is set for further review on April 6th.  The plan is quite ambitious but required to equalize the level of education in Cambridge and well as to elevate the expectations for everyone in the system.  Teachers, children, parents and the community will need to step up for this type of proposal to succeed.  Doing this during an economically challenging time will definitely make it harder.

Superintendent Young mentioned trying to capitalize more on the rich environment that is unique to Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Where can you find the brain power that is present in not just the Universities but the businesses as well?  President Obama recently announced the recipients of Awards for Community Service through his LearnandServe program.  Though Massachusetts was represented well with Colleges like Simmons, Emmanuel and College of the Holy Cross some absences were glaring.  Cambridge was represented in the general list by Lesley University but Harvard and MIT were not on the list at all.  Tapping into the resources of all the higher ed institutions in Cambridge would be very significant.  During Leland Cheung’s campaign he mentioned creating a better partnership with the area colleges and universities.  There involvement in helping improve Cambridge’s Public Schools would be a win-win.

I highly recommend visiting the Cambridge Public Schools Middle Grades Initiative web page to review all of the information so you can be both informed and involved.  The video is a very eye-opening look at the current challenges of the K-8 Schools.

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