Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Equal is Equal at MVRCS?

In past posts we've done a pretty thorough job discussing and documenting the differences in expectations and compensation between those 'Kinnected' or 'Konnected' staff members versus other staff members. We've also touched upon the manner in which the admissions lottery has historically been handled (although the Administration must have realized that by announcing the names, they gave away too much information so instead chose to assign numbers. Pretty sneaky we must say). One area we haven't touched upon is how differently students can be treated. Honestly, we don't like to bring the students into our concerns and issues with the school as we feel that it is unfair. That being said we will be trying to NOT mention or identify any students as we discuss the manner in which some students are treated.
It has recently come to our attention that Neil Kinnon's neighbor has been hired to handle the construction of the new Athletic facility.Our first thought as we read that the contract was negotiated, but the amount NOT published, was what the interview, application, or screening process for this position entailed. We have been able to confirm that the individual was involved with Big Dig (although we're not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing) and graduated from Northeastern University with an Engineering degree. We just found it awfully convenient that Neil Kinnon was able to hire yet another friend, family member and/or associate at the expense of MVRCS (and ultimately the taxpayers of the sending districts). But we digress as this the intent of this post is to discuss how different students may or may not be treated. The school policy states that 3 dismissals and/or tardies equal an absence and that 20 absences is an automatic retention. It has come to our attention that some students have had a tendency in the past to experience a tardy issue. If we understand the policy correctly, if a student had 100% attendance and was not dismissed, they could be tardy no more than 60 times. Hmmm, we wonder if this policy has been uniformly enforced to all students or if some students may be held to different standards and expectations just as some staff members are. Isn't it so sad that Neil Kinnon doesn't even make the ATTEMPT at seeking the best individuals for various positions but rather just hires his friends, family, and associates.

We recently heard from a former staff member who recalled a troubling situation regarding differences in academic ability and retention. While we have been unable to confirm this information, the former staff member did provide us with some credible information and materials. It seems that one student (student A) demonstrated superior academic abilities than another student (student B) who was several grade levels higher than student A. Sadly, student A had been retained and was being considered for retention once again while student B had never been retained (although should have been). While the staff member initially believed the difference in treatment was as a result of race (student A was African-American and student B Caucasian) but later realized that student B had a 'Konnection' to Neil Kinnon. We must say that we were provided with work examples from both students and had to agree that Student A's work was superior (even though their was a number of grade levels between them and just to clarify, Student A was in the lower grade). Yes, other factors are typically taken into consideration but the problem with this situation is that while both students were on IEP's, student A's included a behavior component and we believe (although have not had the opportunity to verify) that students can not be retained as a result of a behavior issue, especially if diagnosed.

Our final example (and we truly do have many) includes the child of an Administrative team member who has been known to act up during class. Apparently (and according to our sources) this child has grown up with Chris Finn and has a very friendly relationship with him. As such, the child does as they please and when they end up in the office, are handled with the most gentlest of kid gloves. While children who are guilty of their same infractions are often given detention, suspended, and/or sent home, this child is not. To make matters worse, the Administrative team member (i.e.parent) who at first griped about this situation (that Chris Finn refused to handle the situation appropriately) became incensed when Chris Finn held the child to the same standards as other students. Interesting how that works. As a side note, another employee had written in regarding this same Administrative team member/parent who was confronted with having to discipline a child one day when Chris Finn was out of the building. Apparently, the PDC was less than professional with the child and spoke to the child in manner that was not becoming of a school administrator. Further, it appears that the student in question was being disciplined regarding an ongoing issue of threatening others with firearms. Yeah, the DESE might just have regulations regarding how the situation SHOULD HAVE been handled. We do wonder if that student was possibly a child of someone who is 'Kinnected' or 'Konnected' individual. But don't worry, we hear this individual is only still there at the insistence of Neil Kinnon, she too must know too much and could probably do some real damage to the school if not treated in the manner she feels is appropriate. Now if only she could learn to do a better job of either interviewing and hiring individuals or at the very least provide guidance, mentoring, or coaching. Actually, communication lessons might go far with this PDC.


  1. I must ask when posting these comments do you actually have facts and verify. Don't you think it is best instead of saying , hearing from a parent, or hearding from an admin team member that you should actual have facts. I thought your blog was to help with important issues with the school and what I have found from reading these comments this whole blog has been created to trash, the Kinnons, Finns and anyone else that you may or may not have had a problem with. I mean really if you are a parent who has had a real issue and share with the rest of the parents how you dealt with it and how it was resolved. It sounds that you have not had this. You quote from parents - really - come on - Are these parents still sending these kids to the school? Or have this parents left and have found and outlet to complain on- not to mention anyone who may have worked for the school- sure this blog is great if you want to trash people. All I know is since this blog has been created I haven't heard of anything good that has come out of it. How do you know that this child may be a friend of Mr. Finns, or maybe there are other reasons that we don't know or don't have the right too. I am all about trying to fix communications between the school and parents but sorry if I was part of the school admin I wouldn't take anything anyone has to say who writes for this blog seriously- It has become a gossip rag that trashes people.

  2. Additionally, Charliegirl, I am taken aback by what this blogger said about seeing samples of each child's work. I don't know who this blogger is but do they have authority to be looking into a child's 'file' and how was this work sample obtained?

  3. To CharlieGirl @ Nov 30 2:58PM
    We have facts and try to verify everything we write about. When we 'hear' about something we try our best to verify it. We have 'heard' many things that we have been unable to verify and therefore do not write about. Obviously we can't identify who or where we learned about some information without causing problems for people.

    Our blog is intended as a way of working towards correcting some of the bigger issues we see @ the school. Unfortunately, in order to address the important issues, we have to expose abuses of the system. We don't attack the curriculum, hard working staff, or the school as a whole. Nor do we seek to trash 'the Kinnons, Finns and anyone else' but seek to expose those individuals who we see as taking advantage of the school or system. No Finn was trashed except Chris for allowing his relatives to re-enter the school after leaving. The Kinnon's that we've trashed are the ones using the system for their own good. We are tired of Neil Kinnon abusing his position. We are tired of seeing money being wasted on Kathy and Greg Kinnon who do not seem to be held to the same standards as others (nor do they appear to care or make any attempt to do so). We have not trashed any other Finn's or Kinnons that we are aware of.

    We are a group of parents, some who have had difficulties with the school, some who have not. Few have had the benefit of resolving their issues without having to hire an attorney. We think this is wrong. We are also very concerned for some of the students with parents who do not know that their child is not receiving the services they require. If you have had a child with a learning disability or require support at MVRCS, you would have a better understanding of what drives us (unless of course you are 'Konnected' to someone, then your child would receive the services needed).

    Yes, many parents still send their kids their regardless of the issues or problems they have with the school. Some feel (either correctly or incorrectly) that MVRCS is a better alternative than their district school.

  4. To CharlieGirl (cont)

    All I know is since this blog has been created I haven't heard of anything good that has come out of it.
    We're sorry you don't feel this blog has served any purpose or any good has come of it. We politely disagree. We know now that the DESE is publicly aware of these issues and can no longer claim ignorance. We know that Governor Patrick is aware of what is going on. We know that the Ethics Committee IS looking into numerous allegations of wrong-doing. We know that the Inspector General has been notified and alerted to potential issues regarding the finances of MVRCS. We know that the Attorney General's office is aware and looking into the manner in which the Open Meetings and Executive Sessions are conducted. We have made sure to alert all the governing agencies responsible for overseeing the school have been publicly notified and therefore can not claim ignorance.

    We're sorry YOU see this as no more than a gossip rag as that wasn't our intent. Our intent and purpose is to make sure that MVRCS is held accountable, to the same standards, and follows the laws and regulations that govern them.

  5. To Anonymous @ December 1, 2010 11:44 AM
    We can assure you, no file or wrongdoing has been committed. We saw a few pieces of unidentified work. We do not know who the students are or if they are even still at the school. A staff member who took issue with the situation had copies of student work and assignments as part of their professional binder. Again, no names or identities were included.

  6. so let me get something straight only the people who may critize what is said on your blog must either be and I will use the correct word "connected" or a parent who does not have kids on services or if we do we are connected. And I am sorry that you don't see that this has turned into a Gossip Column- I mean even on your Giving Thanks- really I just don't understand and I guess it is best that I don't bother to read it or post on it.

  7. another hateful comment from the creators of this blog...wake up folks, this blog is nothing but an attempt to shutdown the school and smear good people...they have no facts, if they did, they would have showed up at a public meeting by now and the agencies they reference would have taken action! Even those agencies seem them as loons...

  8. To CharlieGirl @ December 1, 2010 5:10 PM
    But you are 'Konnected' and do/did have a child on services so you in many not have had the same experiences as other parents. It is too bad you can't show empathy for what those other parents have gone through. You know enough of the kids to know what is going on. That being said and in alignment with your comment 'I guess it is better that I don't bother to read it or post on it', maybe you shouldn't waste your time here as you are unwilling to take off your blinders. Tell your brother in law hello for us.

  9. To Anonymous @ Dec 1 6:19pm

    What was hateful that we said? You are the one that comes on here and only has nasty things to say. Why would we show up at a public meeting, it would serve no purpose and we all know it.
    The agencies are in fact taking action, of that we are sure. We know that the DESE now monitors this site on a regular basis and we know that the Attorney General is following this site as well. It may take time for the fruit of efforts to come to fruition, but they will.

  10. Really you show up at meetings? Where you are the board of directors meetings?? And Charliegirl has a valid point, nothing but nasty things to say and a trashy rag column! You always have a comeback when you don't agree with someone else's post. You ALWAYS call people out by name, yet we don't know who you are!! Interesting. I am guessing this won't be posted, because none of my posts are. I know why, because I agree with the blog, again interesting!!!

  11. I just hope that our government is going to do something about the situation at the school and not just turn a blind eye to the wrongdoing there. It seems as though the school has too many connections, not only in the school but outside of it.

  12. I'm very impressed! The Attorney General follows this blog! You don't think she read that post about MannyO the serial tax evader do you? I'd hate to see someone get in trouble over all of this nonsense.

    Opps....am I misbehaving again MV?