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During the School Committee meeting held on January 14, 2014, superintendent Rizzi proudly announced that Stoughton Schools were recognized for being creative with the money made available for Title I. A local reporter published what was fed to him, without thinking about the meaning and implications of the superintendent’s claim. See:



Readers of that article should know that Title I funds are provided to us for West School is the only Title I school in Stoughton.


Based on 2013 MCAS performance, West school is ranked 758th of 886 Massachusetts public elementary schools ( www.schooldigger.com ). In other words, our West School is in the bottom 14% of the all elementary schools in Massachusetts. Performance of other Stoughton schools hovers around the state average.


The inequality of West school in instruction and programming, when compared to other schools in Stoughton or Massachusetts is unconscionable. It is unfair to the students, it is unfair to the parents, and it is unfair to the homeowners in the West School area.


Superintendent Rizzi does not get it. People of Stoughton does not want a superintendent who tries to be creative with school funds, but ends up not using school funds allocated for the benefit of students. We do not want a superintendent who plays Russian roulette with State Funds. We do not want a superintendent who wants to hire a public relations specialist at taxpayer expense, to make her incompetent administration look palatable to residents.


We want a superintendent who will deliver solid results that speak for themselves.


Behind “lollipops and rainbows” images our current superintendent and school committee representatives struggle to portray, there exists a sobering reality that we must drastically improve education in our schools.


Debra Smith Cote February 08, 2014 at 11:12 AM
With all due respect Dr Ural, I'm going to have to disagree with this. You and I have gone toe to toe before, and often we agree so I'll try not to be too tough on you. To state that the West School kids get a substandard education due to poor instruction and poor programming is reckless and irresponsible. I have had children at the West for 7 years. Those who know of me know that I have found problems with discipline and follow through in the past, but I have never had an issue with the instruction my children have received from the teachers. In fact, my experience has been quite the opposite. The West School teachers have been AMAZING. When we got to the West my older son was so far behind the other students in math and reading, he was given special attention by the reading specialists and tutored in math. We had been shelling out a lot of money to pay for a private kindergarten closer to my work before we entered the public schools here. My son did so well at the West that he made Honor Roll at the Middle School, and reads very far above his grade level. He was very well prepared for Middle School. You CAN NOT insult the teachers at the West School. You have NO IDEA what they face everyday. You can't imagine the challenges they help these kids get through every day. Have you been in a Walk To Read classroom? Have you seen the instruction provided by our West School teachers when a scared little 6 year old comes to be taught and neither he nor his parents can speak English? Or what about the kid that comes into class and his teachers know that the breakfast he got in the cafeteria that morning is the only real meal he has had in 24 hours? This is FAR more prevalent at the West than any other Elementary school in the district. My point is that you have NOT completed a root cause analysis on the cause of the low test scores at the West. To then flagrantly blame "instruction and programming" for the rating is irresponsible. I am disappointed in you. In the past I have seen you diligently back up your claims with data and actual proof. The West School needs to improve significantly, I wholeheartedly agree. But until it is acknowledged that the West faces unique challenges, an appropriate plan of action can't be put into place. So I would love to see you take the data on the West School from the DOE website, cross reference the students' demographics with the data from the other elementary schools here in Stoughton. Figure out the real reasons "WHY" the students at the West under perform in comparison to other students in the district. When you start to see the root causes of these things I look forward to hearing about your donations to the food pantries, Big Brother Big Sister, and funding for free after school programs for children of working parents. Start thinking of solutions instead of seeking publicity, stiring up emotions, blaming the teachers and steeling tag lines. It's "Sunshine and lollipops" for crying out loud. If you're going to use my line get it right.
DarkKnight February 10, 2014 at 06:54 AM
Schools here stink. West in the bottom 14%. No wonder our real estate values lag the state recovery. Buildings are all old and falling apart. Rizzi is a poor leader. Time for change. Top down change.
Stoughton Parent February 10, 2014 at 09:49 AM
Read the current news, we are online for a new High School. As far as the West School is concerned, go figure, everyone says the teachers are wonderful and want to make zero changes. South school is level 1, why is there such a difference? Also the South school has the worst building in the town.
Dr. Erdem A. Ural February 10, 2014 at 01:03 PM
This is a clear case of miscomprehension. I never blamed the teachers as the first commenter alleged. My write-up criticized the administration. West School teachers are awesome. West School teacher burnout, however, concerns many parents. We were saddened to find out another excellent West School teacher resigned last week.


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