Photo: Steve Thurston
Speaking to a broad range of topics he will consider if elected to the Arlington Public Schools board this fall, Noah Simon, said superintendent Patrick Murphy has done well with test scores, with getting more students in AP courses, and with parent satisfaction in everything but busing.
Yet teacher satisfaction is down, he said, adding that in hundreds of discussions he has had around town, “I do hear about a culture of fear.” The school has lost many senior staff.
If elected, Simon said he would ask Murphy: "Tell me about this culture of fear, and what was done to keep these senior leaders.”
Simon is running for school board along with board Chair Emma Violand-Sanchez. Two seats on the board are open. Both candidates are Democrats and are expected to sail to victory. They spoke at the Cherrydale Firehouse on Lee Highway, Wednesday Oct. 17. Cherrydale and other civic associations hosted a candidate night.
For her part Violand-Sanchez tempered the rhetoric by saying some of the senior staff were near retirement anyway and that any change of leadership will bring a change to staff below the new leader.
Similar to current board members, Simon said the schools’ Transportation Modernization Plan was rolled out too close to the start of the school year forcing parents to figure out what to do with children who used to ride the bus. He agreed with others on the board who say the system is in a great need of repair.
A day after the Cherrydale event, the school board made some changes to the busing plan.