Blogs

Beloved Brookline Teacher Quits

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Commentary: Why One First Grade Teacher Is Saying Goodbye

If you're lucky, then at least once you have a teacher who makes all the difference. My firstborn — who's now on his way to grad school — lucked out when he was 6, with Mr. Weinstein.

David Weinstein has taught first grade at the Pierce School in Brookline for 29 years. He's gifted, dedicated and beloved — so I was stunned to find out that he is retiring, early.

In his early 50s, he's leaving as the Brookline schools are immersed in contentious contract negotiations, largely about the data and documentation workload for teachers. This isn’t just a Brookline issue -- it’s part of the national story of education reform.

Weinstein says it’s the main reason he’s stepping down. Even in a progressive town with an acclaimed public school system, he says, the paperwork is overwhelming.

And this is not a guy with an aversion to detail. For instance: Every year, since 1987, he has mailed a birthday card with a personal note to every student he's ever taught.

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Why Are Brookline Schools Being “turned around”?

By Katherine Stewart
and Matthew Stewart

June 09. 2016 2:28PM

Guest commentary: Why Are Brookline Schools Being "turned around"?

In 2010, the Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Roxbury was named as one of a dozen “turnaround” schools in Boston. On almost every scale —test performance, teaching quality, and school culture — it counted as one of the poorest performing schools in Boston at the time.

The “turnaround” designation gave the school’s newly appointed principal exceptional managerial power, which he used to dismiss 80 percent of the teachers. The “turnaround” label also attracted the attention of education reformers across the nation, keen to prove their theories and flush with money to do so.

 

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“Third Way” Is Not the Answer

CommonWealth Magazine

IS THERE A “Third Way” to close the charter-district school divide? A recent CommonWealth article suggested there might be. I’d like to add my two cents concerning that possibility and even suggest there might be a fourth.

As a retired public school teacher, I was grateful for the opportunity because our main local forum, the Boston Globe, has largely ignored dissenting op-ed views about school reform for the past two decades. The absence of critical reportage about the charter movement and of vigorous public discussion has helped create the divide.

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Charters, Brookline and Bridgespan

By Bill Schechter

June 04. 2016 11:57AM

Charters, Brookline and Bridgespan

In the past six months, some 40 Massachusetts school committees or town governments (or both) have stated their strong opposition to the lifting of the charter school cap in next November’s ballot initiative. The Brookline school committee is not among them. I have now written two letters to the committee trying to find out why, but have received no reply.

Why should Brookline care about the charter question?

 

A Call for Transparency on Brookline School Committee

 

By Katherine Stewart and Matthew Stewart, Brookline parents

May 20. 2016 8:31AM

Guest Commentary: A call for transparency on the Brookline School Committee’s education reform agenda

The conflict between these two very different approaches to education management will be familiar to those who have followed the clashes between the advocates of the Common Core program and its critics across the nation over the past six years. Here in Brookline, it is vital that we approach this debate about education policy with the interests of families and voters of Brookline foremost in mind.

 

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