Lack of forethought.

Many students and parents at Cranston High School West , the school once attended by Jessica Ahlquist, were shocked last week to find that the school is nixing the math team, the Academic Decathlon team, and the National Ocean Science Bowl team.

When a handful of people got angry, one of the members of the school committee, Janice Ruggieri, explained why these clubs no longer exist.

I know for a fact that this decision blind-sided the students from these teams.  If that funding has been running out for years and the school didn’t want to lose these teams, why did they do nothing?  I mean, it’s not like any competent administration could be caught off guard by a situation that was developing for several years, to quote Mrs. Ruggieri.  Forgive me if “Yeah, that money’s been running out for several years and we forgot to tell you, but if you can scramble to raise $2500 you can keep your clubs” doesn’t exactly convey a tremendous amount of sorrow.  The whole thing screams “lack of forethought” to such a degree that the administrators of the school must be either incompetent, apathetic, or dishonest.  In any case, there’s no way they get to wiggle out of a demerit on this one.

Perhaps the school could find $2,500 elsewhere in their budget to support the brightest, most self-motivated math and science students at the school had they not blown $150,000 fighting a legal battle that could not be won.  With the education of their students in the balance, the school board and the community of Cranston had the same problem then that apparently do now: lack of forethought.  I can’t blame them.  For a school that has said they can’t/won’t fund the students who are interested enough in math and science to want to do more of it, lack of forethought is a less grievous offense than lack of care.

And to the citizens of Cranston who wanted to piss away more educational dollars to lose in court on principal, over a banner that contributed nothing to the education of those students, where is your outrage now that science education is about to suffer at CHSW?  When you value religion so greatly over knowledge, you stand as a testament to how religion hamstrings human improvement.

  • Art Vandelay

    Did Jessica end up transferring out of Cranston West? I thought she decided not to and was a senior this year?

    • Jeremy

      She did, and it’s right there in the text too: the school [I]once[/I] attended by Jessica Ahlquist

      • Art Vandelay

        Which is why I asked. I don’t recall ever hearing that.

  • Jeremy

    Wish I could say I was surprised by this, but I can’t.

  • Parse

    I can’t help but think that nuking those clubs was a feature, not a bug, of the budget shortfall.
    Were the budgets of any of the sports teams impacted? Any sports nuked? Or is this another example of ‘intellectual’ clubs sacrificed on the altar of High School Football?

    • Art Vandelay

      The middle school sports teams and arts program has already been cut.

  • HeathenNTX

    Of course they couldn’t cut any of the sports teams, it had to be the academic teams. Yeah, I see where their priorities lie.

  • Azkyroth

    The entire school administration should be locked in a room full of flavored light sockets.

    • Baal

      Absolutely hilarious Azkyroth (no snark, really). Evenso, let’s not use violent imagery to express our emotions?

      • Azkyroth


        JT, why the FUCK do I keep clicking in the “reply” box and then having my cursor un-selected from it and a “pop-up blocked” warning displayed over and over and over until I go in and disable Javascript for this site?

  • scenario

    I lived in Cranston for many years and worked in CHSW for a few months several years ago. Yes, the administration is that that stupid. The idea of planning ahead is totally foreign to them. The former principal used to send out e-mails to the staff that were so full of typo’s that they were almost impossible to understand. Until I met him in person, I assumed that he spoke English as a second language. Most of the teachers are dedicated but many of the department heads and administration don’t have a clue. The administrator’s that have a clue are risking their jobs if they complain.

    Many years ago a teacher friend of mine had a student who cut every one of his/her classes for the entire semester. He/she failed the student because he handed in no work for the entire semester. It turns out the student was the captain of one of the sports teams and one of his mother’s relatives was in the city government. The principal at the time demanded that my friend change the students grade. When my friend refused to change the grade, the principal changed it to an A+. Lesson learned.

    • @weezmgk

      “so full of typo’s”

      I guess that unnecessary apostrophe is one of those typos, right?

      • scenario

        Bad proofreading is better than no proofreading. I missed that one. :)

  • Loqi

    on principle*
    I’ve mostly given up being a grammar nazi as a hobby, but I still occasionally do it if I think the writer would want to be corrected. /derail

    Amazing that people in charge of a budget would lose a revnue stream and then do absolutely nothing to deal with it. Mega management fail.

  • Jeffrey

    The cost of the court case was probably even greater than $150,000. My reading of the wikipedia article is that $150,000 only counts what they had to pay the ACLU; I assume that this figure is in addition to what they paid their own lawyers. (I didn’t check wikipedia’s source.) Maybe they wasted as much as $300,000?

  • Christoph Burschka

    It really sucks that the math and science clubs have to suffer the consequences for the stupidity of this school board. I’d be tempted to contribute to a fund if one existed, except that any money under their control would be money down the drain.

  • Debbie

    Cranston School Committee – OOPS! We forgot to mention that we no longer have funding for these activities we were too busy breaking the law once again by having gender based activities (i.e. Father/Daughter Dances, Mother/Son Bowling). More laughable is that THEY still haven’t made any formal announcement to Cranston residents that these CHSW activities are gone. Looking forward to Election Day here in Cranston, RI – enough of the ignorance sitting on our School Committee.

  • Janie Scott

    Besides the fact that the school wasted $ on the court case and didn’t let people know that $ was running out for the clubs, Janice Ruggieri needs to learn to spell and/or proofread. These mistakes were in her msg. – fundraise ( it has no e) and she says “I had suggested they started by holding a bake sale”. There might be other errors in her msg., but I don’t want to spend the time to look for them. I know people can make mistakes, but when a member of a school committee is writing about something having to do with the school, extra proofreading should be done.