Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

September 4, 2017

Topics for Candidates for Cambridge School Committee – 2017

To: Candidates for Cambridge School Committee – 2017

As in the 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 municipal elections, I am again maintaining the Cambridge Candidate Pages this year. During the last several elections, these pages received thousands of unique hits per day in the days leading up to the election. I expect at least as much activity this year. Entering a Cambridge candidate’s name in a search engine will usually direct people quickly to these pages – often more prominently than the candidate’s own website.Vote!

Based on a lot of great suggestions from CCJ readers, my revised (and expanded) list of topics for this year’s School Committee candidates is appended below. It’s a longer list than in previous years. You don’t have to write on all of these issues but I hope you will comment on most of them. Candidates may consolidate topics or expand to other topics. Please note that there are no “Yes or No” questions and there will be no ranking, endorsements, or anything like that on the Candidate Pages – just an opportunity for all candidates to reach voters in whatever way they see fit. There is no strict limit on the length of your responses, but I hope you will be concise and to the point.

Your responses will be posted on your own candidate page at Your page will contain a photo (please provide one or an update of the existing one if you wish), a prominent link to your own web site (if you have one), and relevant contact information. You may also provide an updated photo for the gallery of all candidates if you wish. Links to CCTV videos and profiles in the Cambridge Chronicle will also be included as they become available. Please visit this site to see the current pages derived from material from the 2015 election and from material already sent by candidates. I am gradually removing material from the pages of continuing candidates and replacing it with links to the pages for that previous election.

You will have the opportunity to amend or expand your responses at any time up to Election Day.

School Committee Topics for 2017 Candidate Pages – Express your thoughts on most of these topic areas

1) Background [biographical, etc.]

2) Top Priorities [List about three -­ then elaborate below]

3) Top Challenges Facing the Cambridge Public Schools today

4) Innovation Agenda, Hybrid Middle School model

5) School Department Administration and Superintendent

6) School Department Budget and Oversight, Capital Needs

7) Achievement Gaps, Meeting the Needs of All Students

8) Meeting the Needs of Advanced Learners

9) Controlled Choice, Student Assignment Policies

10) Family engagement and communication

11) Standardized Testing

12) Role of the School Committee

13) Role of Teachers in shaping programs and influencing policies

14) Curriculum and Programs
a) Elementary School Grades
b) Middle School Grades
c) High School Grades
d) Language Immersion Programs
e) Extended day programs
f) Early childhood education
g) Social and emotional development

With rare exceptions, the only editing will be for spelling, punctuation, and minor grammatical errors.

In order to expeditiously post all the information, I urge you or someone from your campaign to submit your responses and related materials via e-mail to, preferably in plain text and as soon as possible. I generally turn things around very quickly. If you must send materials via US Mail, send them to me at 366 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139. Again, responses can be amended any time up to Election Day, Nov 7, 2017.

Robert Winters, Cambridge Civic Journal, 617-661-9230

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