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  • School vision logo

    New school year -- old educational questions

    Education. We pretend it begins for youngsters in September, when the leaves turn, but it continues through all of our season, every minute of every day, for everyone. Learning persists for two reasons -- human curiosity and technological change (you can't stop either one, but notice which is first). Shouldn't a third factor be classroom teachers? Good ones can have a lifelong effect, but our curiosity is the best guide, as technology draws us, often in too many directions, in the classroom that is everywhere. As Arlington schools open Tuesday, Sept. 2, what happens there is sliver of the educational story, albeit a key one for residents. Still, let's take a quick look at the new school year -- and then peer more broadly beyond it. ...

  • Pondering Our Future logo

    Spaced out? Many artists, but resistant owners

    Does Arlington have the imagination to embrace co-working? The town is trying to find out and held a forum in June attended by about 30 people. Read a summary of comments from some of the attendees here >>  See what properties in town may be available here >> Following publication, Eric Love, present at the forum, provided a brief critique. His LARP Adventure Program, aims to spur imaginations. ...

  • Arlington election logo

    Primary letters -- all welcome -- 8 ask you to vote for Berwick

    YourArlington welcomes letters to the editor from Arlington residents for all Massachusetts candidates whose election would have an impact on the town. Email them to sprague.bob at gmail.com. Here are eight supporting Don Berwick, who is seeking to be the Democratic nominee after the Sept. 9 primary. Send letters supporting any candidate in the primary. 'It's not just talk' Don Berwick, Democratic candidate for governor, speaks boldly about values and making Massachusetts a beacon for the nation. It’s not just talk -- he has met bold goals throughout his career.  Don is a creative leader with wise judgment and deep executive experience in complex bureaucracies, including as President Obama’s head of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that vast $800 billion federal agency.  His vision includes single-payer healthcare for Massachusetts, and he is the one candidate who understands how to make that happen; and, why it must happen, as rising healthcare costs consume o ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review, ‘Life of Crime’: Leonard’s crew back at shenanigans

    This review by Tom Meek, a writer living in Cambridge, was originally published at Cambridge Day, a YourArlington partner, and is republished with permission. His reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in The Boston Phoenix, The Rumpus, Thieves Jargon, Film Threat and Open Windows. He is a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere. You can follow Tom on Twitter @TBMeek3 and read more at TBMeek3.wordpress.com. Elmore Leonard, the beloved master crime and western novelist, transcended seamlessly the divide between pulp and celluloid. His career is littered with great novels that became great movies (“Get Shorty,” “Jackie Brown” and “Out of Sight” to name a few), a smattering of original screenplays (“Joe Kidd”) and even took a few turns as producer. Cormac McCarthy might be his only peer. ...

  • Image of leaves

    Searching for an Arlington poet laureate: YOU?

    Are you a poet -- and you do know it? What have you written? Anything published? Inquiring minds want to know. Rumor has it that Arlington could have its own poet laureate, perhaps next year. Could that be you? ...

  • Arlington election logo

    8 ask you to vote for Berwick; letters for others welcome

    YourArlington welcomes letters to the editor from Arlington residents for all Massachusetts candidates whose election would have an impact on the town. Email them to sprague.bob at gmail.com. Here are eight supporting Don Berwick, who is seeking to be the Democratic nominee after the Sept. 9 primary. Only candidate to oppose casinos   I write in support of Don Berwick for governor. I support Don because he is the only candidate for governor opposed to casinos. In a strong field of likable candidates, this is decisive for me. I saw the Detroit casino pull the life out of the Greektown neighborhood there, so that it looked like a bombed out war zone. ...

  • Chris Loreti, former Redevelopment Board member

    Loreti to seek Town Meeting article targeting assessors' fiasco

    Loreti The following opinion column by Christopher Loreti of Adams Street was first published in The Arlington Advocate, on Aug. 14, under the headline "It’s Time to Professionalize Arlington’s Board of Assessors." The full column, which includes a paragraph about YourArlington deleted from The Advocate's version, is republished here with permission. In January 2012, the state Department of Revenue provided to Arlington a “Town and School Finance Analysis,” which included several recommendations for restructuring town government. The report contained two recommendations related to the Board of Assessors. The first of these recommendations was that the town make the director of assessments position an appointment of the Town Manager instead of the Board of Assessors. The second was that the town consider changing the Board of Assessors from an elected to an appointed board. The actions of the Board of Assessors in recent months make it clear that the town needs to move forward w ...

  • Domestic-violence logo

    New law curbs domestic-violence reports: What about sexual-assault case?

    A new law, signed Aug. 8 by Governor Patrick, requires law enforcement to keep domestic-violence cases off public police logs initially, and the Arlington police department is complying. That means details about domestic violence reported to police are not immediately available to the media -- or to you. Had the law been in effect June 1, information about a sexual-assault case in East Arlington would have been delayed. Chief Fred Ryan reached out to area media outlets Aug. 12, alerting them about the law and asking for feedback. He explained: ...

  • 2014 Arlington Cal Ripken champs

    How about honoring this team, Arlington?

    The Arlington National U12 All-Stars baseball team did not win the 2014 Cal Ripken World Series, but the boys had one doozy of a ride. They had four wins in a row until they ran into a then-unbeaten Bronx squad and a heartbreaking, double come-from-behind 7-6 loss to a Florida team. No need to cry. What the team has done is remarkable. The town should recognize their on-the-diamond accomplishments, just as occurred in 2008, when an Arlington Cal Ripken team went to the Series. There was a parade down Mass. Ave. Officials spoke on the steps at Town Hall. It was August then, as it is now. You can read brief summaries about how the 2014 team played out in the Series here >> This is a story that The Advocate or Patch have yet to report. In the photo from left in rear are manager John Messuri, Coach Scott Jones, Spencer Friedman, James Santagati, Brendan Jones, Sam Theodore, Timothy Mazzei, Patrick Masci, Coach Rich Flynn; in front are Timothy Shaw, Jacob Ahern, Caden FitzPa ...

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 Tuesday Sept. 2, 2014 |  2:42:40 a.m.
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Paul Schlichtman, 2013Schlichtman

Paul Schlichtman, who is unopposed while seeking a one-year seat on the School Committee, brings a significant depth of education-related background to the job -- as well as a sense of humor.

The 60-year-old, whose quips are known to lighten the pace of committee meetings, has 30 years of experience in education. He is a district-level administrator for the Lowell public schools, primarily dealing with accountability data, external research and school improvement.

Until the Feb. 19 deadline to return nomination papers, it appeared he might have a challenge, but Melisa J. Tintocalis-Gauthier, who is Lexington's economic-development director, stayed out of the running. She is active in the effort to have the public schools add foreign-language immersion classes.

The 21-year Arlington resident who served on the School Committee from 2001 to 2007 explained what he sees as the greatest challenges ahead for our public schools. He called them "far from insurmountable."

Still, he wrote in a recent email: "[W]e are facing demands that are growing beyond available resources.

"Currently, we are mandated to adopt an improved educator-evaluation system that will encourage communication, feedback and professional growth, but it is a time-consuming process that will require more qualified school leaders."

In addition, he wrote, "11.5% of Arlington students speak a first language other than English, and the state is mandating what they describe as an 'ambitious undertaking' that will require teachers and supervising administrators to complete extensive retraining as a condition of renewing their licenses. We are educating children to take their place in a technologically rich world, and equipping our classrooms to meet the challenge will be expensive."

Avoid "impulse buys"

Asked how he would address these challenges, he explained:

"On a local level, we need to be extremely prudent in our planning and budgeting. We need to set clear goals, and strategically evaluate every expenditure against the pressing needs of the district.

"We can't afford to do everything we want to do, so we need to maintain our clear and transparent budget process where the town can reflect on the way we sort our list of priorities. Just as a family on a tight budget can't fill up a shopping cart with impulse buys, we need to stick to our prioritized shopping list that will use our limited resources to the maximum benefit of all children in our public schools."

Guiding him, he wrote, are core principles for public governance. He listed:

"• Strategic planning and budgeting, so we obtain maximum value from everyone's tax dollars.

"• A culture of continuous improvement, so we are always looking to get a little better every day.

"• A voice for every child, because all our students deserve an excellent education.

"Adhering to these core principles will allow us to continue to be a diverse, fiscally prudent, high-achieving school district."

His humor? Here's an example: The committee spends much time discussing standards-based education, aligning curriculum to the Common Core. Recently, when committee Chair Kirsi Allison-Ampe offered a motion aimed at clearing sidewalks after a storm, Shlichtman described it as "standards-based snow removal."

Appointed after Curro left

Schlichtman was appointed last year after Joseph A. Curro Jr. stepped down from the committee after winning a seat on the Board of Selectmen. Two years remained on Curro's seat, and now Schlichtman is running for the final year of the seat in the April 6 town election.

On the Arlington committee, he has served as vice chair, 2003-04; chair, 2004-05; secretary, 2002-03 and 2006-07. He was budget subcommittee chair, 2003-04; curriculum instruction and assessment chair, 2002-03; and community relations chair, 2006-07.

Before working in Lowell, Schlichtman was an evaluation and assessment coordinator at Madison Park High School in Boston, an elementary teacher in Boston, a high school mathematics teacher and gifted coordinator in New Jersey.

He served on the Minuteman Regional Vocational-Technical School Committee, 1997-2001

In addition, I trained NYC taxi drivers, and worked as a reporter and editor for weekly newspapers in Brooklyn and on Long Island.

His kickoff was held Sunday, March 10, 3 to 5 p.m. at the home of Mary Cummings, 135 Jason St.

Read more at his campaign website and his School Committee blog.


This story was published Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, and updated March 10.

 It is part of an ongoing series to provide basic information about key candidates in the April town election.

All major candidates for seats where there is competition have been sent a similar set of questions. Some where there is only an incumbent have been sent questions to renew their connection to the public.

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