by Erin K. Gray
A city school committee member discussed the direction of Cambridge public schools at the Oct. 19 contributors meeting of The Alewife held at the back table of Porter Square Books.
“I believe Cambridge public schools has the potential and funding to be the best school system in America,” said Richard Harding, a lifelong Cambridge resident running for re-election in the Nov. 6 municipal election.
Harding said he wants to work towards closing the academic gap and ensure that students from all socio-economic backgrounds are offered the same means to succeed. “We have a district of choice, we let the parents have options and these are the values of Cambridge. We bus kids like no other city in the world.”
Harding is a strong supporter of the Rindge School of Technical Arts and the partnerships that ensure a strong vocational future for those students that choose such a path, he said. He also continues to thrive towards emphasis on special education programs to ensure students are getting what they need.
To accomplish this Harding is examining ways to ensure that each student is getting adequate time with teachers. “Time is an issue,” he said.
He recently sponsored a motion to examine staff hours to ensure students are receiving the teacher resources and help they need. A comprehensive extended day program has already been implemented in two schools, he said.
Transition to after school is important in the equation, he said. “How can we service kids with continuity between academic and after school?”