Tom Mountain says he’s leaving Newton

Tom Mountain says he’s leaving Newton

Indisputably, the most important news from the Nov 27 school committee public hearing was the overwhelming public push back from teachers, students, alumni, community members, mayor, school committee and other elected leaders strongly refuting unproven claims of an anti-Semitic bias in Newton school curriculum.

But there was also a side drama from Newton Republican City Committee Chair Tom Mountain.

During his three minute testimony, Mountain never even raised the curriculum matter. Instead he seemed to be calling for the hiring of public school officials based on political party registration. And then Mountain then broke some news when

Fuller: I categorically reject the allegation that Newton Public Schools’ curriculum is anti-Semitic

Fuller: I categorically reject the allegation that Newton Public Schools’ curriculum is anti-Semitic

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller released this through her email newsletter today
 
Last Tuesday evening the School Committee held a public hearing as a result of a formal petition alleging anti-Semitism in the Newton Public School history curriculum.
 
It was a powerful meeting, and I’ve been reflecting on what I heard from students, teachers and members of our community.
 
Here are my thoughts

School Committee: Attacks are having a ‘chilling effect’ on teachers, school atmosphere

A statement released today from the Newton School Committee ….

Dear Newton Families,

As a result of a formal petition alleging anti-Semitism in the Newton Public School history curriculum, the School Committee was required to hold a public hearing on the petitioners’ requests. On Tuesday evening, approximately 400 students, faculty, staff, and community members attended the public hearing at Newton South.

We fully recognize that anti-Semitism, as well as bigotry and outright hate and intolerance against Muslim, Immigrant, Black and Brown and, LGBTQ members has become more pronounced in this country in the past few years. It is deeply distressing and we should all be working together to address it. However, we categorically rejected that Newton Public Schools’ curriculum is anti-Semitic or that there is an anti-Semitic bias inherent in our schools.

At the hearing, students, parents, teachers and other community members overwhelmingly

Overwhelming support for schools & teachers on view at public hearing

UPDATES: Boston Globe story here.

WCVB Channel 5 story here.

NBC 10 story here

NECN  story here.

Students, alumni, teachers, parents, clergy, city councilors and many others testified in opposition to citizen’s petition  promoted by Americans for Peace and Tolerance, a group that has long-complained of an anti-Israeli bias in the Newton Public Schools, at a packed public hearing at Newton South High School

Over 400 Newton North grads sign letter supporting ‘our teachers and our school system’

In advance of a public hearing Tuesday night (Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m. at Newton South) more than 300 recent Newton North High School graduates have signed a letter in support of “our teachers and our school system in their mission to craft a curriculum that promotes critical thinking.”

The alumni wrote the letter in response to an on-going campaign by “Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), a group whose members have been targeting our school system for years and have recently begun targeting individual teachers” over discredited claims of an anti-Israel bias in Newton Public Schools.

Tuesday’s hearing is the result of a citizens petition and is expected to draw

NewTV and Ross Decter launch ‘School Matters’

Former Newton School Committee member Margie Ross Decter has just launched a new series on NewTV called “School Matters,” a program that aims to raise “awareness of educational issues of local and national importance, and the efforts of students and the school community to make an impact by improving our community and the world around us.”

Here’s the premiere episode

School Matters: Student Activism from NewTV on Vimeo.

 

School Matters airs Monday-Friday at 5:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30pm on NewTV’s Education Channel (Comcast 99, RCN 3, 582 (HD), Verizon 32).

 

Should Newton’s elected officials get a raise? Do you want to be part of the decision process?

City Council President Marc Laredo is looking for individuals interested in serving on a Blue Ribbon Commission examine the compensation of Newton’s elected officials.

By way of background, our Mayor receives a salary of $125,000 a year for her full-time service (the Mayor is barred by our city charter from having other employment while serving as Mayor) our City Council members each receive a salary (also referred to as a stipend) of $9,750 a year; and elect

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