Elmbrook, I respectfully disagree

Ok, so I bragged the other day that the listening session actually held some listening. The one thing I was uncomfortable about was Matt Gibson’s wrap up. His summation included larger classes instead of fewer programs. To be honest, our group was about 50/50 on the idea.

It does kind of make me wonder if that point was a prescribed agenda. Especially since I’m reading this in BrookfieldNOW.

Parents, you are absolutely on notice. Your child may not ever miss German 4. He/she will remember a freshman biology class with 35 students.

I suppose I’ll have to wait and see. Like the woman in that article, I, too, am pleased my youngest has only one more year. I sure hope the board makes a decision independent of the chief administrator because I really don’t agree with the direction he’s taking.


  1. Kathryn says:

    I don’t share your perspective on the 50-50 divide. Tend to agree with Matt’s characterization except that most people in the session I attended were simply advocating for programs of interest, not really weighing programming against class size in a deliberate manner. From that perspective, it is hard to judge what size increase will be tolerated.

    Similarly, cutting programs for the sake of saving money for smaller classes is a gamble. At minimum, cutting a program will mean those students end up in other classrooms, increasing class sizes. More than that, how many cuts, and which cuts, will the public tolerate?

    Cutting programs may lead to a decrease in resident enrollment, which will lead to a decrease in revenue and larger class sizes.

    A modest suggestion: beef up and promote the gifted and talented program. We have a lot of smart people in this community, and they have smart children–many of them gifted. A strong GT program could increase resident enrollment and associated revenues, without requiring a large cash outlay. It is doable.

    A strong foreign language program, including elementary schools, would similarly attract resident enrollment. The difficulty there is that the state mandates so much elementary content that it is hard to find time in the school day for one more thing. We might need to establish some parameters for participation (like good reading skills so kids don’t fall behind in core subjects), but this too is doable.

    I don’t pretend to know where the proper balance is, but it seems clear that cutting programs to save money will sometimes have the opposite effect, and spending money may raise some revenue.