The Bentley School is not a Level 5 school and Salem is not a Level 5 city. We all know and believe this deeply. But simply saying so does not make it true and, unfortunately, even with extra resources and extraordinary efforts by staff, Bentley has not seen substantial student gains. We have to be willing to acknowledge painful truths and be ready to change course when it becomes clear that the status quo is not working.
I don’t offer these comments easily, as all of this is hard, but as I said earlier this year in my inaugural remarks, we must be serious about reform and continue being positive, pressing leaders for our school district. That means we don’t wait for things to improve on their own. We don’t chance that we’ll be able to close the achievement gap and improve test scores. We don’t watch idly if plans don’t deliver results. We don’t pretend things are better if they’re not. And we don’t forget that our work is not about the adults. It’s about the kids.
Kimberley Driscoll is the mayor of Salem.