Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge

Monday, July 7, 2014

Crow lane Landfill Update

Port to stay with MCAS

District will delay switch to PARCC until it's mandated
NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport School Committee voted unanimously last week to keep administering the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test and delay implementing the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) pilot test.
“I think we would still probably be in the pipeline for the PARCC,” said Mayor Donna Holaday, who chairs the School Committee. “But at this point, we are not doing it. We are going to stay with the MCAS.
“Once the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education makes the determination that, yes, we are going with the PARCC, then it is a mandate and everyone has to step up and be a part of the process.”
A public conversation about the PARCC test was attended by roughly 20 people before the School Committee’s July 1 meeting, where the committee voted 6-0 to delay the computer-based PARCC.
To read the entire article:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cabot Stain property removed from consideration for a Medical Marijuana overlay zone

  Tonight I attended the joint meeting of the Planning Board and the members of the Planning and Development Committee of the City Council. The topic of interest for me was the creation of Medical Marijuana overlay zones in Newburyport. As I have posted in the past, the city was offering two zones for discussion; the Cabot Stain property and a back section of the industrial park. For clarification, the city does not need to create these zones but it is prudent to do so. It is important for our city to maintain control over where these businesses are located. The alternative is not desirable.
  There was a great discussion during the meeting and they covered many of my personal concerns. One issue that needs to be resolved is whether a city can choose between having just a dispensary or just a cultivation facility or do we have to be open to both? I believe the city’s attorneys will be consulted and the AG office will be called.
   During the public comment portion of the meeting I was able to talk about my concerns about the Cabot Stain property. The “perfect storm” in my opinion is that the State forces Newburyport to be open to a dispensary and Cabot Stain becomes the desired location. Here is the rub, since selling and distributing Marijuana is against Federal law many banks will not work with these companies so this has the potential to become a cash business. A large cash business that could invite robbery which frequently happens in California dispensaries. The thought of this happening so close to the residents of Hale Street and Squires Glen is too much. I asked the Planning Board to consider removing Cabot Stain from the ordinance as a possible dispensary location
    In the end it was decided to propose a sole overlay district in the industrial park for the cultivation of Medical Marijuana only. I was happy with this decision. Now we will see what the full Council and the State AG’s office thinks about this decision. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Newburyport School Committee to decide on PARCC Exam on Tuesday

The Newburyport School Committee will host a public conversation on the PARCC exam on Tuesday night. Our school committee has the opportunity to continue using the MCAS exam or use the new PARCC exam next school year. They may make this decision on Tuesday night so if you have questions or concerns this is your opportunity to voice them.
  As a father of three in the school system, myself as well as other parents requested a public meeting to discuss this important decision. Cities around the state have been hosting public meetings about PARCC and the Common Core. PARCC has become controversial across the country and parents want more information. PARCC has been characterized as a test that is the equivalent of building a plane while in flight. Questions have been asked and the Superintendent has been honest and told us the State has few answers and is sending new information out daily about PARCC. Yes, they are building the plane while in flight for sure.
  In contrast the MCAS exam has been a gold standard for testing and has helped propel Massachusetts to one of the top states in the nation. Our Math and Science scores rival countries like Japan, Korea and Singapore. As a parent, I will encourage the school committee to retain the MCAS exam.

 School Committee Meeting 
Tuesday July 1, 6:30pm – 9:30pm 
NHS Room 118 Newburyport High School 
 6:30-7:30; Public Conversation: PARCC vs. MCAS Assessment 
7:30: Business Meeting 

 Recent News articles about PARCC:
Huffington Post: Sasha Obama, My Daughter, and the PARCC Test: An Open Letter to President Obama 

Newburyport Daily News: Time to put the brakes on PARCC Test 

 Boston Globe: Educators wary over test’s use of student data 

 Boston Globe: State offers access list for student test data.. Company behind PARCC test is not on list — yet 

 Boston Globe: Panel raises questions on PARCC

Bresnahan School Furnishing Tag Sale