, Salem, MA


April 11, 2013

Our view: A potential loss for everyone at Saltonstall


Is it fair that Saltonstall — and only Saltonstall — should reap the benefit of extra resources? Probably not. But perhaps it’s better that some children get the benefit than none. It’s hard to believe that two weeks of enrichment for 100 kids could begin to compensate for the loss of an extended, and mandatory, schedule for 300-plus Saltonstall students.

When Saltonstall opened, with its extended day and extended year, it was an exciting time for the school system. From the start, though, there was resentment about the school’s extra resources, and that probably will never go away — though it will diminish if admission policies are changed to equalize the numbers of at-risk children among the city’s schools.

Chipping away at Saltonstall’s innovations, however, will also chip away at the enthusiasm, parental support and sense of vision it brings to Salem’s school district — a potentially costly move for a system in trouble.

Without seeing the new summer program, it’s hard to say for sure which way the system should go. But we hope it’s not backward.

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