When the Transition Planning Committee rolled out its plan, based on the recommendations of the management consultants, the Boston Consulting Group, and led by Stand for Children, teachers were not sure if the public hearings would be genuine and if their voices would be heard.

In a comment posted here, this teacher describes her experience at a town hall meeting. Corporate reformers seem to have an aversion to the give and take of genuine democracy. It is hard to listen when you think you have all the answers. What do educators know about education anyway?

I went to the town hall meeting today. They went over the TPC powerpoint for the first hour. That powerpoint can be found on the website and if a person chose to go to this two-hour long meeting, that person had probably already read it or the the commission report.

After going over the powerpoint for an hour, they did not have time to answer everyone’s questions (and there were only 30-50 people in attendance). They did not allow people to stand up or to raise their hand to ask a question. They required that all questions be written on a note card and submitted to the panel to be read aloud by a panel member.

They did not allow follow-up questions, several times interrupting audience members mid-question.

I did not feel that my concerns were heard or that any changes will be made to the plan in response to the community concerns, one of which was discomfort with cutting librarians in elementary schools.

Mayor Mark Luttrell inadvertently made it clear at the beginning of the meeting that changes will not be made to the plan based on community response. He said that what the TPC is doing now is “selling the plan to the community.”