A positive foreign concept to consider for Peabody High

4 Dec

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

pvmhsIt’s a good idea. It’s an innovative idea, and Joe Mastracola, Peabody’s Superintendent of Schools,  should get props for coming up with something that could add a nice chunk of incremental revenue, while giving our school system some positive diversity.

Mastrocola wants to attract foreign students to attend Peabody High School with the assistance of an agency called Educatius International. The big benefit to taxpayers would be that each of these students would pay Peabody $12,000 per year to attend.

In the small school district of Groton-Dunstable, where Matsrocola previously served as super, the policy reaped up to $175,000, according to the Salem News. The program this year alone has meant almost $300k of found money for Arlington High.

All of the students, who would be here on F1 visas provided through Homeland Security, would be put up with host families, who would be compensated by the students’ families. The students undergo strict background checks.

Not only would this give the Peabody schools some much-needed extra revenue, but these international students typically come from strong academic backgrounds, and having more kids with scholarly track records is never a bad thing for Peabody High.

The question might be, how can Peabody be competitive when it comes to attracting these students? For example, both Arlington and Groton-Dunstable have better academic credentials right now than Peabody, and we’ll also be competing against Catholic high schools. Speaking from personal experience of having seen this program work well at Wakefield’s all-girl NazarethAcademy, many of the students come from upper class conservative families, and have parents who seek schools that offer religion and the type of disciplined atmosphere you typically find at a small or private high school.

But it’s a great idea for Peabody to apply, and I don’t see any negatives. It’s definitely innovative thinking by our new superintendent.

4 Responses to “A positive foreign concept to consider for Peabody High”

  1. the Outfront Guy* December 4, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    agreed…nice idea…but how would we realistically attract these students to come to PVMHS? simply underbid the other schools who may want them? there goes all that revenue $$ money you may get…and once they pull up and see the dull, drab old brown building they will drive away …and that’s how OG sees it…

  2. Anonymous December 5, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    So let me throw this thought out to everyone on this idea. Yes it is interesting but it sounds like they just want to make money. So lets say they get an ample amount of students that would want to come here. The schools are going to add any additional resources to these new students. Also, we spend much more than $12,000 on a student. The questions I would be asking is what are the current class sizes at the highschool and will this have a negative impact on the students that are currently there. My largest problem with the past superintendent and this current one is tha they dont have a master plan. They have this sideshow approaches at attempting to raise revenues. I’d rather all of us pay a little more in property taxes and give them the education they deserve. Lets not invite other cities and towns want to buy into our schools. Otherwise I would have moved to Lynn, Salem etc…IF you want the abroad perspective then there are programs your children can participate in. BTW, Peabody is very culturally diverse. We dont need to go that far to gain that experience…

  3. the Outfront Guy* December 5, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    hey Anon…you want to pay more taxes to improve the schools? you’re in the wrong zip code pal…and that’s how OG sees it !

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  1. Our top 5 posts of the week « Eye on Peabody - December 7, 2012

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