by George J Elbaum
Malden High School is a public high school founded in 1857, and its current enrollment of 1869 might be the most diverse in Massachusetts, with the native languages spoken by its students numbering 18. Racial diversity goes with the language diversity, and the student body is 28% white, 24% Asian, 22% Hispanic, 21% black, and 3% of two or more races. Such high diversity, plus the fact that 61% of students are from economically disadvantages families, results in a large educational burden on the school’s administration and its 114 full-time teachers. The fact that 95% of the teachers have 3 or more years of experience (significantly higher than the 86% state average) only partly ameliorates this burden. In fact, the teaching staff’s care, concern, and attention shown toward the students that I personally witnessed is what impressed me the most about the school, and I look forward to returning to Malden next year.
My talk to Malden’s approximately 400 10th graders was organized by Greg Hurley, Social Studies teacher and a prime example of teacher quality per my description above. Also attending were Principal Chris Mastrangelo, Assistant Principal Rick Tivnan, Social Studies teachers Damian Aufiero, Courtney Derman, Michelle Filer, Pat Finnegan, Marsha Healy, Mike Lightbody, Kurtis Scheer, Mark Capansky and Kerry Veritas. Arrangements for my talk were made by Judi Bohn and Jeff Smith of Facing History and Ourselves.