Nancy Grossman: There are better targets for outrage

Published: 3/3/2022 1:11:21 PM
Modified: 3/3/2022 1:10:56 PM

Many column inches have been devoted to a Northampton School Committee member’s recent use of the terms “first-class” and “second-class” learners versus “honors” and “college-preparatory.”

I was not at the meeting, nor do I know the answer, but committee member Michael Stein’s question seems reasonable, not disparaging: will the euphemistically-labeled “college-prep” students feel like second-class citizens if sharing a math classroom with kids on an honors track?

I respectfully suggest other, perhaps more useful targets of the outrage and time of those who demanded an apology from the School Committee for a member’s choice of words — the cool $2.2 million drained annually from Northampton school coffers to support privately-run charter schools. The mental-health crisis affecting children, exacerbated by the pandemic, and what can be done about it. The Baker administration’s decision to lift the school mask mandate a) the day after students return from vacation with its potential for increased exposure due to travel, b) at a time when we are “only” losing 39 Massachusetts residents per day to COVID-19, and c) when there is still no widely available prophylactic treatment for our most vulnerable residents.

Nancy Grossman



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