HOLYOKE 

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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Fighting for Local Control of the Holyoke Public Schools

Jay believes that the children, parents and residents of Holyoke, and not some eastern Massachusetts bureaucrats, are best suited to decide the course of their public school system.  Since the state takeover in May of 2015, the Holyoke Public Schools have been unfairly stigmatized as a "failing district".  This has resulted in many Parents and Students choosing Charter Schools or opting for school choice in surrounding districts, further straining the financial resources of the City of Holyoke. Additionally, experienced teachers, principals and other staff have left the district in high numbers.  This high turnover rate will continue as long as the state maintains control of the Holyoke Public Schools.  Jay will fight from day 1 for Local Control of the Holyoke Public Schools.  

Moratorium on Standardized Testing

Jay believes that the current state testing structure is illegitimate, costly and a poor use of time which could be better spent in the classroom.  Standardized test scores were the primary factor in the state takeover of the Holyoke Public Schools.  The unfortunate reality is that these tests are not an accurate measure of anything.  They don't accurately measure a students ability to be successful members of society.  They don't accurately measure a teacher's impact on their students.  They don't accurately measure the overall quality and direction of a school district.  


Jay believes there are many clear benefits to a moratorium on standardized tests including:

1. Immediate increase in available education dollars.

2. Immediate increase in classroom teaching time

3. Expanded curriculum as districts are not handcuffed into "teaching to the test"

4. School becomes more fun and appealing for students


Jay supports educational standards in our Public School System, just not in their current form. Jay will join other Massachusetts Communities including Boston, Worcester and Amherst in fighting for a statewide moratorium on Standardized Tests. 

Increase Focus on Technical Eduation

Jay feels that a 4-year college degree is not the only pathway to success.  There is a huge demand for highly skilled workers such as Electricians, Instrument Techs, Welders and Plumbers. Currently there is deficit of trained employees to meet the demand.  This Skills Gap presents a huge opportunity for the City of Holyoke.  Technical Education in Holyoke has been gutted over the past decade as administrators face constant pressure to improve statewide standardized test scores.  Curriculum focusing on subjects found on standardized tests has slowly eaten into Technical Classroom and Hands on Training Time.  While this may marginally raise test scores, it is a great disservice to those students who may otherwise have been given the tools they needed to go on to successful lifelong technical careers.

Make no mistake, the State of Massachusetts has taken over the Holyoke Public Schools to do one thing, raise standardized test scores.  Regaining Local Control of our Public Schools will allow Holyoke the autonomy to design curriculum that fits the needs of our young people.