Lisa Cain: (Another) parent’s vote against Question 5

Lisa Cain
Daily Hampshire Gazette, Tuesday Nov. 1

The plan to build a new school and divide up our children’s elementary education between the first and second grade is a $65 million experiment which Amherst cannot afford to do.

Fifty years ago, Wildwood and Fort River were also part of an educational experiment that Amherst decided to try. Their open classrooms were thought to be innovative at the time and turned out to be a bad design for education. These buildings do need to be fixed but not with another unproven and unresearched plan that breaks up elementary education at the age of seven and creates a mega-school packed with 750 kids.

Do we really trust that a superintendent who just resigned (and demanded almost $500,000 as she walked out the door)  knew better than anyone else how to best organize a school system?

There’s a reason why most school districts in the country don’t make all children switch schools between first and second grade and keep the average size of the school at around 300 students. This is what has been proven to work. Look around us here in the Valley. Other districts have managed to renovate their schools without destroying the educational framework of K-6 schools.

Don’t do it again, Amherst. Stick with what is proven to be the best educational framework for our children and is currently working.

Lisa Cain, of Amherst, is the parent of two students who have attended Crocker Farm Elementary School.

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