Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

All inquiries should be addressed to the Larchmont Historical Society.

4 comments - (Comments closed)

No More Cuts to MHS English Department

We are writing to express our strong disagreement with the proposed reduction of an MHS English teacher position in the Mamaroneck Superintendent’s current budget plan. Even in this most difficult financial year, we cannot condone cutting staff from this core subject area, even if it does bring the number of students taught per teacher in line with other subjects.

English is not like other subjects. It provides the central opportunity for students to learn to write well. Last year’s budget cuts increased teachers’ student loads from about 80 to over 100. Eliminating yet another position will push that number toward 120. How can we expect teachers to give pertinent, frequent, and personalized feedback on student writing when, over the course of two years, their workload will have increased by 50% (from 80 to 120 pupils)? We have already had teachers tell us that they cannot assign as much writing now with the 25% increase in students from last year. That is a pity; to make the situation worse would be a disaster.

Last year, English teachers and their students lost the writing conference period that allowed time for one-on-one consultations (each teacher took on an additional section of students instead). If class size increases, with each teacher managing 117 – 120 students, it is almost inconceivable that English teachers will ever be able to meet with all the students who need their help on writing assignments.

We are a group of parents who have been working for the past three years to support increased rigor in our district’s English and writing programs, in response to many years of a perceived lack of consistency across grade level, dearth of writing assignments, and limited teacher feedback in middle and high school. Our students simply cannot risk the academic fallout from any further reductions to our high school English Department. The Board of Education must find something – anything – else to cut.

Parents and students are counting on Mamaroneck High School to keep English, one of our core disciplines, vital and effective, and inspiring.

The English Project

Patty Horing, group organizer
Debbie Bunder
Amy Levine-Kennedy
Lori Rotskoff
Jean Marie Stein
Laurie Rubin Spangle
Abby Tolchinsky

PrintFriendlyTwitterGoogle GmailYahoo MailShare

Related Articles:

4 comments to No More Cuts to MHS English Department

  • Anon E Mous

    Torture numbers, and they’ll confess to anything. Gregg Easterbrook

    1. Start with, ‘We express our strong disagreement …’ – We obviously didn’t teach writing before.

    2. If you’ve been working three years on improvements, obviously the cuts last year and those proposed this year are not the issue.

    3. Cut anything else. How easy to pass the buck. Oh, but there are no more bucks to be passed. In economics class one can learn recession.

    4. Our community cannot risk, nor afford, the easy answers. Instead try new ones: Accept responsibility. Teachers can do more and be better leaders to students. Organize to help the students learn from the teachers.

    5. Entitlement is over. We must each count more on ourselves and respect our neighbors. That is the vital and inspiring lesson our schools must teach.

    As Aaron Levenstein, said, Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.

    • English as a Primary Language

      “In economics class, one can learn recession”….???

      LOL – How does one learn ‘recession’, pray tell?

      If its usage is intended to be employed as a verb, are you proposing that one can learn to recede in an economics?

      Or were you using it as a noun as in studying an “economic recessions?

      I agree w/ the parents here, English and writing skills are paramount and integral components of an education in preparation for all aspects of life including employment opportunities. The majority of Americans do not speak proper English today and their writing skills are less than adequate. I would slash anything in an American academic setting before inflicting budget cuts on the English Department.

      Perhaps hiring better qualified teachers is the solution. I never understood why Mamaroneck Public Schools were on the list of top public high schools in the U.S. Yes, it’s true that the students are quite successful (due to the students being high achievers) but the quality of the teaching has never been good.

      I feel sad that I was not able to have one fond memory of any teachers during my 12 years in the school district. MHS was the least “offensive” in comparison to Elementary School and Hommocks (the worst!) but until I arrived at College, I never knew what it was like to have a close and caring relationship with an Academic advisor or a member of the teaching staff for that matter. I come from a family of teachers and academicians so I certainly was no stranger to understand how to interact with faculty or how politically they operate for that matter. I was just very unimpressed with the quality of their teaching skills in the Mam’k School District. I wish this were not the case. I also felt that they were all over the place in their approach to teaching – it was totally inconsistent, fragmented; and for all intents and purposes, the Wild, Wild West. Diversity in teaching styles is one thing, but what took place at Mamaroneck Public Schools was just dysfunctional, for lack of a better term. It provided little structure or discipline in its approach to learning; it rewarded squeaky wheels and it operated on a good old boys network with those who had no ties to the institution were outcasts with the teaching staff. The students ran the show when I was there. I didn’t see any level of respect btwn students and the faculty other than on a few rare occasions with a very few select teachers. It was a joke for the most part. As crazy as it may sound, when I see the movie “Clueless” I actually think of my own experiences with many of the teachers from Mamaroneck Schools. They were just plain silly. Learning was not a priority – it was not a rigorous academic program either.

      I would never send my kids to anything but private schools today. The personal attention is unsurpassed.

  • If all teachers and administrators agreed to a pay freeze , no one would have to lose their jobs.

  • Please attend budget meeting

    March 2 Board of Education meeting Includes Further Budget Reduction Work (Mamaroneck High School, Tiered Classroom) 7 p.m. – Energy Performance Contracts presentation, followed by budget work. The Budget portion of the meeting will begin around 7:45 pm. At the conclusion of the last Budget Reduction Initiatives meeting, it became clear that further budget reductions were necessary. Dr. Fried, Central Staff and Administrators will present expenditure-reducing ideas for the Board’s consideration. Public comment is always valued and welcome. This is the final community meeting prior to the March 16th Superintendent’s Recommended Budget being presented to the Board and community. We hope you will join us.