For many years, the Everett School Committee has believed that publicizing the good work of its students and teachers raises the bar and creates the type of esprit de corps that must exist in large and complex public institutions.
There is the widespread belief among school officials across Massachusetts that too little is done to highlight the good work being accomplished in some public school systems.
In Newton, for instance, which has probably the finest public school system in the nation, publicists have been hired and are used to get the story out in the local newspapers in that town.
Everett does not need to hire a publicist.
It will not be hiring a publicist.
Everett’s School Department knows how to tell the story of Everett’s successes.
The School Department believes that Everett’s students deserve all the publicity they can receive – and so – the School Department does its best to provide what it takes to get the message out.
And by the way, the message that gets out is that many things about excellence abound in Everett’s public schools.
Everett is not running a bankrupt public school system. It is not fighting to keep to its budget. Its budget is exactly on the mark where it should be, unlike neighboring Malden, where in that city the School Department is now struggling to find $350,000 it does not have and which it has already spent.
Everett’s effort to bring praise and pride to its public school students, teachers and administrators is irritating School Committee member and Representative Stat Smith.
He said as much at Monday evening’s School Committee hearing.
Smith was outraged, and he told the School Committee that the School Department spends money in the local newspapers to bring the story of what Everett is achieving in its public schools to the residents.
Smith wants it to end. He sees no reason for it. He claims it is a waste of money and the saving could better be used elsewhere.
Among the School Committee members, Smith is a voice of one.
In fact, Smith was shouted down by a half dozen members of the School Committee Monday night for trying to speak out on the matter without having filed a motion to do so as is required by Roberts Rules of Order.
The rules didn’t matter to Smith, and he told them so.
What mattered, he said over and over, is that he is bothered that money is being spent to highlight the good work and achievements of the students in Everett’s public schools.
Smith doesn’t think that’s right.
He wants to take away from this city’s struggling student body their golden moment under the sun – and that is sad coming from someone who ought to know better.