Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 21, 2013

Disappointed in School Committee's behavior

The Andover Townsman

---- — Editor, Townsman:

The behavior of our School Committee at the Nov. 14 meeting left much to be desired. If my kids acted the way they portrayed themselves that night, they would be grounded. You can see for yourself on the Andover TV pod cast. I think they forgot the cameras were rolling.

My friend and I decided to stop by the meeting before we went to dinner, as we were curious about the new charter school proposal. She has a son interested in high-tech studies and the company my husband works for funds our robotics program at our high school. (I am sure when I brought up that point, it was the first they have ever heard of it.)

That evening, we both gave our opinions along with Kerry Costello, the Andover teachers union representative. Everyone can agree that the Andover timing for computer courses and exposure to high-tech classes is way past due and if this school board really wanted to bring our school into the 21st century, they should have funded this a long time ago. They chose not to when they had the opportunity to put it in the budget, plain and simple.

So, is it a surprise to anyone in this town that a team of people wants to start a charter school based on the various studies of technology? Remember where we live: “High Tech Country,” the 128 Belt where technology reigns. This board seems to be more concerned with the facilities (Bancroft) than they are with what is going on within them. Where are our classes in science technology, engineering and art design? I know I will be at the meeting on Nov. 21 (Memorial High Library, 4 to 6 p.m.) to learn more about the STEAM proposal.

As for the rude comments that were made after my friend and I left the Nov. 14 School Committee meeting (right after the STEAM agenda item), they were inexcusable. It was embarrassing to watch the lack of professionalism exhibited by our School Committee members. Just so you know, Annie Gilbert, Paula Colby Clements and Barbara L’Italian, who thought we were “plants” put into the audience by David Birnbach to support the charter school agenda item, you were quite wrong. We had never met the man. He left his seat prior to the meeting to introduce himself and thanked us for coming when we left the meeting. He was the only adult on that board that night that showed any manners. The rest of you should be sent to your rooms and reconsider how you behave, as adults and elected members of our Andover community.

Kelle Sutliff

1 Carter Lane

Cindy Cromer

3 Island Way