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  1. Expectations of Teachers

    I'm not as well-read or experienced on the topic of this thread as many, but I've watched the debates on the educational system degenerate into a polemic on unions. I don't fully understand it. ...
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    Thank you, Don. It's my first year on FinCom and...

    Thank you, Don. It's my first year on FinCom and I consider the appointment a privilege which all members work hard to uphold. Many citizens will disagree with our recommendations and opinions, but...
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    Wrong. Can you provide specific examples...

    Wrong.



    Can you provide specific examples where Mr. Stack presented these articles in an "unbiased manner?" Besides your own beliefs, how do you know how much Mr. Stack was "involved" in...
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    Pursue it, specifically

    Jeff, from my understanding this committee hasn't met since last December. I've heard the topic mentioned at various times but with no substantive result. The comparative information has been...
  5. It's the Economy, Friend

    Well, the alleged tawdriness of the political signs aside, I see it as a win-win for those of us who aren't as well-known in town as others. I get some name recognition, and I help stimulate the...
  6. I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that he...

    I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that he was being facetious about the Ministry of Education thing to make a point that schools funded by property taxes can easily lead to imbalance.

    As for...
  7. Hendrik Hertzberg in his New Yorker blog -- it...

    Hendrik Hertzberg in his New Yorker blog -- it may have been the same week as the issue with the Gladwell article -- had an interesting take that, to me, is difficult to disagree with:
    ...
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    I did not say it was made to better last year's...

    I did not say it was made to better last year's experience. I'm simply saying it made it worse. Your suggestion of a more meaningful comparison is a good one, unfortunately none was offered last...
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    My apologies. I must have been distracted by the...

    My apologies. I must have been distracted by the noise of questioning how many minutes were spent talking about something in the last meeting and who was responsible for further defining the...
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    Or maybe this year... No surprise there. Is...

    Or maybe this year...


    No surprise there. Is the elementary school experience this year better than last? Is it the same? Was that taken into account when the decision was made?




    Just...
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    It was 30 minutes, believe me. I looked at the...

    It was 30 minutes, believe me. I looked at the clock often during that meeting. Of course, commenting about 30 minutes or 23 or 37 completely glosses over the main point I'm making: that there was...
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    Youíre right, I am new to this process as my...

    Youíre right, I am new to this process as my children are just now entering public school age. Iím not, however, new to the budgeting and forecasting process as I have developed and analyzed them...
  13. Because we newbies to "the process" are a little...

    Because we newbies to "the process" are a little dense, what you are saying is that -- from the school budget perspective -- the costs of one additional kindergarten and 4th grade class section are...
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    That's what I've been trying to say, Jeff. What...

    That's what I've been trying to say, Jeff. What I learned tonight is that whatever savings over and above what was incorporated in the FY 09 budget have been spent elsewhere, leaving no expected...
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    What? $600K are real savings, according to you. ...

    What? $600K are real savings, according to you. The FY 09 budget recognized $300K from the reconfiguration. So where did additional $300K go? You expect the FY 09 budget to come in under by...
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    That's pretty much it, Alan (minus the sarcasm). ...

    That's pretty much it, Alan (minus the sarcasm). If one was to believe the $600K figure is accurate, then one would intuit that since the SC had estimated and budgeted the $300K "saved" due to the...
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    It's interesting that a $500K increase in state...

    It's interesting that a $500K increase in state aid from FY 08 to FY 09 ultimately resulted in the consolidation of an elementary school, and a $500K decrease from 09 to 10 requires another $350K in...
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    That is delicious irony, Alan.

    That is delicious irony, Alan.
  19. Thanks Jeff. Your summary above is close to what...

    Thanks Jeff. Your summary above is close to what I'm getting at, but not quite there. What I'm saying is that the "3 school with ~$600K budget" scenario was not reasonable and should have been...
  20. Most likely the cost increases are due to higher...

    Most likely the cost increases are due to higher risk pools, i.e., a higher number of uninsured patients having to be compensated by those who are. Look at the number of hospitals restricting access...
  21. I find these two statement contradictory. It...

    I find these two statement contradictory. It sounds like you feel you've identified them (easily or not), and I'm still asking why they were budgeted in the first place.
  22. True, but it shows that an additional teacher was...

    True, but it shows that an additional teacher was added to HH for an increase of 6 students. CH's K program had over 20 students per class, why couldn't HH? We're now exceeding SC guidelines in...
  23. This is the kind of stuff that forces people to...

    This is the kind of stuff that forces people to devote valuable time to checking facts when they shouldn't have to. Why is that? After the November 18 public comment section of the SC meeting I had...
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    It appears that we are at an impasse in regards...

    It appears that we are at an impasse in regards to reconciling what was budgeted and what was saved on this reconfiguration. I'm highly skeptical, however, that the real savings are anywhere close...
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    A couple of other things, in no particular order....

    A couple of other things, in no particular order. I don't want this whole reconfiguration discussion to be relegated to Wayland's dustbin of history because "the budget" shows savings which justify...
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    Jeff, I confined my summary to personnel costs...

    Jeff, I confined my summary to personnel costs only (which were the basis of the savings estimate for the 2.5 model). If you assign the Central Office savings to the MS and HS based on student...
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    Whoa, the response here is overwhelming. Give me...

    Whoa, the response here is overwhelming. Give me some time to review all the data.

    It's interesting how we can safely identify exactly $673,121 in savings but not explain if or why there was an...
  28. Jeff, thanks for posting this link. I too read...

    Jeff, thanks for posting this link. I too read only the executive summary and found it provocative. Some measures may be considered drastic but overall it emphasized where school dollars should be...
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    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/ I think this...

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

    I think this site is far and away the best for evaluating all the different polls, their methodologies, and ultimately their value. The proprietor of the site --...
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    Upon reviewing the various figures being...

    Upon reviewing the various figures being discussed here and elsewhere, I analyzed the Elementary School situation from FY 08 to FY 09 using the Budget Book and the backup documents provided by the WS...
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    Thanks Jeff. I look forward to this being made...

    Thanks Jeff. I look forward to this being made more fully available (in a more analytical format) with a comparison to the actual expenses of the Loker School in FY 08 and 07. Am I correct in...
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    show me the money

    This question has been asked several times here and at SC meetings since the beginning of the FY 09 and a specific answer is yet forthcoming: how much money has been saved to-date on the Loker...
  33. Thread: Cheap Gas

    by Paul Grasso
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    Great news and trend, Jeff. That would mean --...

    Great news and trend, Jeff. That would mean -- in a hypothetical scenario, of course -- that the cost of an additional bus would be even lower, right?
  34. Lrp

    Another method of assessing, prioritizing, and implementing things like school consolidations and curriculum enhancements/changes is where these 'things' fall in regards to being part of a cohesive...
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    Then I'll never be able to post here again.

    Then I'll never be able to post here again.
  36. I can almost guarantee you that vote result would...

    I can almost guarantee you that vote result would be different if held now. Despite the dissatisfaction with the reconfiguration decision there was still trust with the powers that be that the...
  37. That's quite a leap of logic, Jeff. The SC put...

    That's quite a leap of logic, Jeff. The SC put the override more in jeopardy by accelerating this decision and antagonizing a neighborhood/voting district that has historically passed overrides by...
  38. What Boston is doing

    From today's Boston Globe:

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2008/09/30/hard_lesson_too_many_schools/

    I find this paragraph especially compelling (emphasis...
  39. Sounds great -- so why aren't they in the budget?...

    Sounds great -- so why aren't they in the budget? I'm skeptical that differentiated instruction would not include more teachers to offer that instruction to different students within grades, or even...
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    Starts in earnest? I bet John would disagree...

    Starts in earnest? I bet John would disagree with that. Whatever. Jeff, you indicated you were going to try to reconcile the difference between your (by that I mean the SC and SA, I assume?)...
  41. I checked the Concord (a peer town) public school...

    I checked the Concord (a peer town) public school website (www.colonial.net). Right on the front page, they have a link to an analysis of full day kindergarten - both their own experiences with a...
  42. Jeff, you've been on the SC for 8+ years and you...

    Jeff, you've been on the SC for 8+ years and you don't know this? I thought full-day K was already being "investigated"?
  43. Facts don't disturb me. Brian's teachers both...

    Facts don't disturb me. Brian's teachers both have comparable education backgrounds to those in the public sphere. Unionization may be the reason for lower costs, but there could be other factors. ...
  44. Bolded for emphasis. I didn't post this as an...

    Bolded for emphasis. I didn't post this as an endorsement of NGCC but I find the insinuation here questionable. Our son's two teachers this year (and the four K teachers employed last year, as well...
  45. Kim, your question and mention of facility costs...

    Kim, your question and mention of facility costs actually made me think of one in reply. Let me turn this around: why are BASE costs so high? I assume that the school budget did not allocate any...
  46. Kim, It is Next Generation Children's Center,...

    Kim,

    It is Next Generation Children's Center, ours is in Sudbury. This is not a paid endorsement as we've had our share of complaints, but yes, it offers a very good deal in comparison, doesn't...
  47. I've copied this post from the reconfiguration...

    I've copied this post from the reconfiguration thread (mega-threads that veer wildly off-topic make me sad) because I think we should really take a look at the kindergarten program that Wayland...
  48. Tracy, For the full-day (7:30 to 6:00) program...

    Tracy,

    For the full-day (7:30 to 6:00) program inclusive of the kindergarten curriculum, lunch, weekly Spanish and all the other fun, we pay $283/week. We get a sibling discount as well but I'll...
  49. Piling on to this particular statement... Here...

    Piling on to this particular statement...

    Here is one observation in particular to the situation my wife and I realized this year with our kindergarten-age son: the K BASE program itself is more...
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    Piling on to this particular statement... Here...

    Piling on to this particular statement...

    Here is one observation in particular to the situation my wife and I realized this year with our kindergarten-age son: the K BASE program itself is more...
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    This was from the Future of the Schools (and...

    This was from the Future of the Schools (and Playdates) thread, but I thought it would be better responded to here. I have to say that I wholeheartedly disagree with the concluding sentence of this...
  52. Jeff (and anyone else), After attending last...

    Jeff (and anyone else),

    After attending last night's SC meeting and specifically listening to the discussion about full-day K, I wonder how any of the items in your evolution list can be achieved....
  53. My apologies for the lack of clarity, Jeff. I...

    My apologies for the lack of clarity, Jeff. I didn't mean to imply that you had agreed with that categorization but that you had used that phrase to describe expectations/criticism of the schools.
  54. Several weeks back Jeff Dieffenbach posted a set...

    Several weeks back Jeff Dieffenbach posted a set of goals by which the WPS should strive to achieve to further its status as a top-tier public school system.
    ...
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    Jeff, I reread your list of the direction and...

    Jeff,
    I reread your list of the direction and ideas for the Wayland Schools. Youíre right, I agree with your opinions. That said, itís tough to disagree with what you want to do. Where I think we...
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    I'm seemingly impressed with your specific...

    I'm seemingly impressed with your specific recollection. I get the same answer in wikipedia. Imagine that!
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    Good idea. That thread can be used to learn new...

    Good idea. That thread can be used to learn new concepts in online scolding and this one can continue to focus on the elementary school issues and how to fix them.
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    Perfectly summarized, Jen, thank you. The...

    Perfectly summarized, Jen, thank you. The questions I have beyond your list relate to the expense savings assumed, whether the fix(es) to these issues eat into them and by how much, and whether this...
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    You're right, Tracy. I left before the HSBC...

    You're right, Tracy. I left before the HSBC completed their assessment, and I shouldn't have as I'm very interested in the enrollment number and target population build number that the SC will...
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    Jeff D., I appreciate the fact that you've...

    Jeff D.,

    I appreciate the fact that you've always been willing to engage and address questions in this and other forums. Alas, I do find myself in disagreement with you often.

    Speaking for me,...
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    ...is paved with good intentions.

    Oh, OK then. Who brought that issue up, Jeff? Yes, the override passed because/in spite of this obviously rushed decision. I hope you assume more responsibility for rectifying the effects of it...
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    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&si...

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=amGc6ZPSzRLM&refer=home



    Tell me more about hard work and self-motivation.
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    This post could be better if you were to actually...

    This post could be better if you were to actually listen to Obama speak, read his literature, and...understand what now? I don't know those folks so I guess I'll take your word for it. Anyway,...
  64. Thread: Cheap Gas

    by Paul Grasso
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    That's correct. Apologies for the clumsy wording...

    That's correct. Apologies for the clumsy wording of the question. The bus contract was a different budget item from the diesel costs.
  65. Thread: Cheap Gas

    by Paul Grasso
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    Help me out here. A few days ago you said the...

    Help me out here. A few days ago you said the fuel costs were part of the contract, then acknowledged that as incorrect. Today you point out that there was a 50% increase in fuel costs budgeted. ...
  66. OK, "obvious" was not the best word to use. How...

    OK, "obvious" was not the best word to use. How about: "Given the uncertainties still present in busing routes, number of buses required, and the potential to exceed the amount of fuel purchased in...
  67. "Straightforward" is not the term that comes to...

    "Straightforward" is not the term that comes to mind when I think of the SC's recent advocacy for the Wayland Public Schools. I'll disclose (unsurprisingly) my disagreement with the Loker...
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    I'm sorry, but my eyes are playing tricks on me. ...

    I'm sorry, but my eyes are playing tricks on me. There must be a statement in between "American Dream TM" and "eroding values and morals..." So, what happened? Can you let us in on the fun by at...
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    With all due respect to the poster, this is...

    With all due respect to the poster, this is simply absurd. I'm not sure where to start. Parallels between World War II and whatever it is we are doing in response to 9/11 exist only in the minds...
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    Faith

    I'm wading into this a bit late, but I thought this insight from that wacko lefty publication Rasmussen Reports (hey, wait a minute...) could give some perspective on Poblano from 538.com:
    ...
  71. I'm saying that -- in keeping with the spirit of...

    I'm saying that -- in keeping with the spirit of your original question in the other thread that has morphed back into this one -- that the budget was submitted only became "reasonable" because it...
  72. what's "reasonable?"

    Ultimately the SC did indeed submit a "reasonable" budget for FY 2009 with very few cuts (if any) from FY 2008, knowing that the override would be required to fund the operating budget. Wish-list...
  73. Nothing is indisputable, but a decision process...

    Nothing is indisputable, but a decision process to accelerate the reconfiguration from a full K-5 neighborhood school to a consolidated K-only one should have been more robust than what was...
  74. Jeff, in regards to the FY 2009 savings, it is my...

    Jeff, in regards to the FY 2009 savings, it is my opinion that the savings were quantified based on FTEs, etc, but those estimates in terms of which positions were eliminated (savings) versus...
  75. Jeff, "in essence" what John is asking is in...

    Jeff, "in essence" what John is asking is in regards to the priorities of the school budget. I'll be explicit in my desire to discuss this matter without creating strawmen. Nobody is proposing that...
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    Next week it is, then...

    ...for the budget details. I've had lots of "I don't have the details at the moment" and "look at the cut list" replies here and as responses to questions asked in various meetings over the past few...
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    Thanks Kim. I've seen both of those documents in...

    Thanks Kim. I've seen both of those documents in my search. I was trying to understand the detail of the school budget to see how tight it is and what areas of discretion there may be --...
  78. Something that generates about $1.9 million in...

    Something that generates about $1.9 million in town revenue. Or a Starbucks.
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    2009 School Budget Details

    Having been in attendance in the contentious elementary school reconfiguration meetings and discussions, I've seen summary overviews of various aspects of the budget from the FinCom Powerpoint...
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    Town Center

    I've been following the latest on the 15%-smaller Town Center redesign. Ami correct in saying that we're faced with the stark choice of this design or the 40B housing proposal? The latter is...
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    February 2 meeting

    I was not able to attend this meeting but I've just finished reading the Powerpoint presentation up on the Wayland School Committee website. A very interesting and well-researched analysis. ...
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    Hi Jeff. As one who was on the board of the new...

    Hi Jeff. As one who was on the board of the new High School project, I wonder if you can provide an update about a new design proposal. Also, I read in yesterday's Globe about the State freeze in...
  83. Poll: Let's just say this: I'm coming north on Route...

    Let's just say this: I'm coming north on Route 27/126. I stop at the light at the intersection of Route 20. I want to take a left to go west on Rt. 20. It's at that point that I think that there...
  84. Poll: Am I missing one?

    Hi, new to the board (but not to town). Is the "five corners intersection" the Rt 27/20/126 by the new safety building? That gets my vote, and goat.

    Paul G
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