SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

June 19, 2013

A surprising candidate for Salem School Committee

(Continued)

That’s not to say it wouldn’t feel awkward at times.

But her run also serves as a reminder that time has passed since Salem Academy was founded — nine years, in fact — and times have changed. Whether public school officials like them or not, charter schools are here to stay, and they’re here because parents want them. Enrollment has grown at the Salem Academy, which now has a high school program, as well, and it’s grown because parents like the education their kids get there.

That being the case, it is well past time for the two systems to work together, without trying to “prove” that one system is better or worse than another. Salem Academy students don’t get the kind of comprehensive education offered at Salem High, with its myriad offerings, and Salem High students don’t get the kind of small-school focus that Academy students do. Both systems have strengths, and both can learn from each other.

Could a charter school administrator serving on the School Committee help foster cooperation? Perhaps.

In fact, a former assistant superintendent and principal in the Salem Public Schools, Alyce Davis, serves on the charter school’s board of trustees — although, curiously, no mention is made on the school’s website that Davis had any connection to the Salem Public Schools where she spent so much of her career.

Perhaps inviting a current administrator to serve as an Academy trustee could foster cross-pollination between the systems, in the same way that Hunt’s candidacy might serve the public schools.

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