Thursday, July 12, 2007

Let the sun shine

Okay, so that duel post disappearing act probably violated a sacred rule or two of blogging, but it was either delete or divorce.

Apparently nobody actually reads these posts fully. I clearly said I was NOT a Charter School Trustee:

I am indeed one of 15 original founders of PVIC, however, after granting a Charter the state requires a smaller more concentrated Board of Trustee’s actually oversee the school; and I’m not a Trustee.

Although I didn’t mention my wife is a Trustee--or more accurately--WAS, having resigned over this tempest in a teapot. A blog is, by its very nature, a (sometimes too) personal diary--not an official proclamation.

Obviously Regional School Committee Chair Elaine Brighty read only Stephanie’s headline on and reacted EXACTLY as predicted in my (now defunct) lead paragraph:

So that banshee wail you’re about to hear echoing over Amherst will come from school officials hissing a spontaneous “I told you so!” as the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School--with our backs to the wall and the clock ticking--reveals that, gulp, our temporary home is none other than the People’s Republic of Amherst.

And I’m still waiting for any offended Trustees (current or former) to indicate errors in the Gazette headline: “Chinese charter school settle on site in Amherst” or that all-important lead: “After months of trying to find a location elsewhere, the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School will open a temporary location this September in Amherst.”

News experience tells me 30% of average readers scan only the headline and another 30% also read the lead paragraph and MAYBE the remaining 40% bother with the entire story. And under ANY of those scenarios, Wednesday's (7/11) Gazette article was uncharacteristically perfect…other than sparking an instant firestorm by mentioning my blog.

Trustees issued a routine email Wednesday morning (unaware of the Gazette article or my blog) to all parents saying PVCIC would temporarily set up in Amherst…although apparently not overly specific with the address. Obviously the news about this new location was coming out Wednesday anyway.

And our local scribes need not be a Woodward or a Bernstein to uncover basic information. PVCIC is a PUBLIC entity (yes folks, Charter Schools are Public Schools.) We should be as transparent as possible.

He Ping!


Gavin Andresen said...

Amen, let the light shine in!

As a parent of two Wildwood kids (one going into first grade and one into kindergarten in the fall), I still don't understand why there'd be any objection to "taking kids away from Wildwood." It's not like Wildwood is suffering from a lack of students in the early grades. I'd be really happy if there were 18 kids in my son's kindergarten class (as opposed to the 22 that were in my daughter's class).

Diversity is good. Competition is healthy. And small is beautiful...

Mary E.Carey said...

Blog on, Larry!

LarryK4 said...

Well Gavin it comes down to the almighty buck. Yeah, even in Amherst.

Because every Amherst kid we attract the state sends us the $10,000 or so instead of Wildwood.

But even if we had located in Hadley, as the crusty old Hampshire Gazette stated on June 7'th, the number of kids taken from Amherst would be exactly the same. We were overenrolled even before the state granted us our Charter. And parents did not know until yesterday where the heck we would be located.

Now that's commitment!