LFC attended the Riverside School Board meeting held at 8:00 am on March 9, 2022. Board members Mr. Scott Fishel and Mr. Tom Hach requested that the Board consider sending a letter to the Auburn Career Center’s Board asking them to reconsider the unilateral change in the school’s enrollment selection process by their Superintendent, Dr. Bontempo.
Previously, Dr. Bontempo used a merit based system where grades, attendance, essays, letters of recommendations, and interviews all played a part in determining if a high school student earned a spot at the vocational school. The merit based system was recently replaced with a random lottery system, where the student’s name is selected by a computer program at random from the list of students that had expressed an interest in the class. Thus, Dr. Bontempo was assuring “fairness” and “equity” (equality of outcome) regardless of the student’s ability to succeed in the chosen field.
LFC published the following article from the recent Auburn Career Center Board meeting held on 3/1/22. Dr. Bontempo explains his rationale for changing the selection process.
Brian Massie, Executive Director / March 9, 2022
This first video contains the public comments section of the March 9th Board meeting. Concerned citizens requested that the Riverside School Board speak up on behalf of the Riverside students and demand that the Auburn Career Center return to a merit based enrollment selection process.
This second video contains the Riverside School Board members debating the appropriateness of sending a letter to the Auburn Career Center similar to the following Madison School Board letter.
I have to admit that I was very surprised and disappointed by the positions held by Board Members Ms. Lori Krenisky and Ms. Belinda Grassi.
Ms. Krenisky did not initially want to send any letter because she had no evidence that the random enrollment selection process had negatively impacted any Riverside students.
Ms. Grassi also initially did not want to send any letter; and if a letter was sent, she did not want her name included. She adamantly believes in the random enrollment selection process because everyone should have a chance, even if they are not qualified or even want to attend the class. She believes in absolute equity (equality of outcome) for all students; and apparently, any merit based system should not be tolerated because it is not fair.
They have decided to draft a letter this week that the board members will decide if they will support. Stay tuned– there will be more to this story.