Why You Should Vote No on Tuesday, January
14

We've been incorrectly told that Adams
is severely overcrowded and that classes must now be held in hallways and
closets.

There are 45 classrooms at Adams. Average
class size is less than 21 for the 34 classrooms that are currently used
for all team teaching and language instruction. 9 of these 34 classrooms
are empty every period, and 16 of these 34 classrooms are empty for
4 of the 8 class periods.

We've been incorrectly told that October
30, 2002 Town of Guilford Build Out Study shows that we should expect a
significant growth in schoolage population over the next 20 years.

This study concluded there are 2,286 potential
house building lots in Guilford. It said that all lots will
be used in 20 years, if lots are used at the rate of 116 per year.
This just tells us that 2,286 divided by 116 is about 20. The
Build Out Study tells us nothing about possible growth in Guilford schoolage
population over the next 20 years. That's obvious when we consider
the fact that Guilford school buildings now house approximately 300 fewer
students than they accommodated 25 years ago. How many lots were
available in 1978?

We don't know what the BOE’s project will
cost.

The base price keeps changing, state reimbursement
will surely be less than predicted, the cost of site access from Route
77 will surely be more than expected, and we know almost nothing about
what it will cost the town to maintain and renovate Adams.
Expect at least 80 million dollars, over the next 20 years.

We should reject the latest teaching fad.

This project is fundamentally about isolating
a team of 5 teachers and 100 (or less) students in a “pod” of 5 classrooms.
We’ve already isolated students in narrow 2year grade spans, with Baldwin
for grades 56 and Adams for grades 78. Now we are to believe
that it’s a good idea to isolate students of the same age in classroom
pods, further removing then from the orienting social context. But
there's no research showing that team teaching in pods leads to an improvement
in educational outcomes. There may be associated negative results,
because weak teachers benefit the most from such maximum isolation.
As currently structured, a sixth grade math teacher doesn't have to face
the 8th grade math teacher who wants to know why students don't know how
to add fractions.

We should focus on improving instruction.

Consider how Guilford ranked on the math and
science portions of the 2002 CAPT test. We’re 15th out of 17 in our demographic
group, Educational Reference Group B (ERG B). Madison is also
in ERG B. They ranked first in the state for science and third in
the state for math. The Guilford School Administration hides facts
like these by comparing Guilford test scores to statewide averages.

The mathematics curriculum revision committee
recently published a draft summary of the revised K8 mathematics curriculum
for Guilford public schools. This is an excellent document!
Let’s invest for the optimal implementation of this kind of curriculum,
not drain funds away for unnecessary construction.

We should reject the selfish thinking that
ignores today’s difficult financial conditions and the plight of those
on fixed incomes, and we should reject the antidebate attitude we've recently
witnessed, and we should vote to preserve Adams as a treasured landmark,
school building, beautifully located along the key entrance to the Guilford
Town Green.
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