May 2 2013
06:33 am

and invest in the Arts!

Here's a teaser -

A pilot school for grades K-8, Orchard Gardens was built on grand expectations.

But the dream of a school founded in the arts, a school that would give back to the community as it bettered its children, never materialized.

Instead, the dance studio was used for storage and the orchestra's instruments were locked up and barely touched.

The school was plagued by violence and disorder from the start, and by 2010 it was rank in the bottom five of all public schools in the state of Massachusetts.

That was when Andrew Bott — the sixth principal in seven years — showed up, and everything started to change.

“We got rid of the security guards,” said Bott, who reinvested all the money used for security infrastructure into the arts.

A funny thing happened. Test scores improved, students attitudes improved, and, ZOMG! trust between teacher and student was built.

Up Goose Creek's picture

Security guards

It bothers me that Knox county is budgeting for 50+ security guards. Wouldn't it be better to have 50 more teachers?

One deranged nut in Connecticut is dictating school policy hundreds of miles away.

In the case of Bott - I imagine haveing a principal who challenges the conventional wisdom is just as important as the money saved from the security guard's salary.

reform4's picture

I suggested earlier...

.. what a colossal waste of $$ this was/is going to be.

And ineffective, should the unthinkable actually happen (unlikely). Remember that Columbine had two (IIRC) armed safety officers.

gonzone's picture

Does Michelle Rhee know about

Does Michelle Rhee know about this? Her StudentsFirst! corporate lobby entity would surely not like this. BTW, this organization is one of the top funders for our local GOP nuts.

CE Petro's picture


I'm sure she doesn't.

Here's more on her "book"...just in case anyone missed it. (one of the less scathing reviews I read; emphasis mine) (link...)

Yet Rhee’s near complete denial of the role played by poverty, and policies that perpetuate it, in educational and vocational attainment is indefensible. A child’s economic class is today a better predictor of adult prospects than it ever was in the past, and it is a better predictor in this country than in most of our peers. Teach for America, Rhee, and likeminded educators are right that academic achievement can still serve as a means of improving adult quality of life for poor children. But this is clearly a two-way street: educators should recognize that improving the economic prospects of parents will improve the educational attainment of poor students. The educators and reformers bent on denying this are unwittingly contributing to their own scapegoating. We cannot ask our K–12 teachers to bear the entire burden of extricating this country from deepening income and life-quality gaps between rich and poor people.

Alongside early-childhood education, good-enough teachers, and the real effects of poverty, Rhee expresses no interest, at least in Radical, in curricula. This is just odd.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives