I couldn’t attend the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday night (and it sadly was not broadcast live), but the Metrowest Daily News was there and reports selectmen decided to defer their vote on whether to support the school budgets this year. The sticking point is apparently MCAS scores.
Selectman John Rooney a couple of weeks ago brought to light what he said was a troubling trend in Southborough’s MCAS scores. Our district’s MCAS Growth – a metric used by the state to evaluate the overall performance of a school independent of individual students – has been lower than the state average for several years running, yet Rooney’s numbers suggest we pay more per pupil than comparable districts.
At a meeting last week, Superintendent Charles Gobron defended the district’s performance, saying MCAS scores are not the “end-all be-all” of metrics.
But if the comments on this blog (here and here) are any indication, residents are concerned about the numbers. Selectman Bill Boland is apparently hearing the same thing from folks around town. Reports the Metrowest Daily News:
Boland said yesterday that he has spoken with residents around town and feels taxpayers want to see some more information from the schools on the topic.
“There are some very valid points that some people are making,” Boland said. “With the data available to the common person, it looks like we’re spending more per pupil (than comparable towns), but are we getting more for our students?”
Selectman Daniel Kolenda said yesterday that he’s satisfied with the job the schools are doing and is prepared to support both budgets.
Selectmen meet next on Tuesday, March 13, and are expected to wrap up their votes on any outstanding town budgets, including those for the schools. I’ll post the meeting details when they’re available.