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Letter: A way to make Mascenic better

To the editor:

Ovide Lamontagne’s letter to the editor on Feb. 19 highlights the problem the current board has of placing politics above performance and why I am running for Mascenic School Board. Ovide claims to have witnessed “tremendous improvement” in our education – but let’s look at the facts. Boynton ”won” the Baldrige Award but failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress, the “High School of the Year” scored below state average in every NECAP category and dropped SAT scores by 50 points over the past four years. Those are real results of policy and personnel decisions made under my opponent’s “leadership.”

I chose New Ipswich as home 15 years ago, largely because of the occupational, educational, and cultural heritage of the community. It saddens me to see that heritage disrespected: dismantling the building program; cutting ties with neighboring school districts; telling students that choose the trades or military service they must apply to college anyway – implying their career choice isn’t good enough.

With limited resources we must spend more wisely. My opponent has taken over $3.1 million of excess taxes from you the last four years, and by bypassing the low bid, spent $225,000 extra over the next three years for transportation. We have spent huge sums on “things” while neglecting what matters – the educator. Not only do we pay teachers well below state average, but now we demean them by insisting on contract language that allows termination without even being informed of “poor performance.” Low Pay and No Respect – would you work for that?

We must do better. My focus will not be accolades from state-level boards and politicians; it will be achievement, here, the students and taxpayers of our community. I ask for your vote on March 12 to raise educational standards, restore respect for our community and educators, and demand fiscal responsibility.

Jim Kingston

New Ipswich

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