Noval Alexander, a resident of District 5, where Fuller Middle School is located, spoke on behalf of the new Fuller Middle School project at the Framingham City Council meeting on Tuesday night. This is his statement. Source is publishing it as an op-ed.
FRAMINGHAM – I’m Noval Alexander resident of District 5 and School Committee member as well. I appear before you tonight as a citizen not in my capacity as an elected official.
I come before you expressing my unwavering support for the proposed Fuller Middle school project.
There are 3 reasons why I support this – 1) is academic necessity 2) the costs and 3) overall benefits for Framingham.
A few weeks ago I had the privilege to take a tour of the Fuller school and I got to witness first hand what STEM education really looks like delivered at the classroom
level. The students i observed were in the final stages of building a small wind tunnel. During the process they brought together all the core academic disciplines, math, science, English and history as well as their life experiences and problem solving skills to complete the task.
In that classroom I saw the future of our school system and our community. Our future doctors, engineers, plumbers, carpenters entrepreneurs and perhaps even a 5-Star General or Admiral.
The new Fuller school will be more conducive to enhancing and delivering this curriculum.
The issue of costs is probably the most important aspect to people that do not have children in the school system. I can understand and empathize with those in this category. However, i’d like to offer a historical precedent in the larger context of education.
We are very fortunate to be only 20 miles from the first public school in America. IN 1635, just 5 years after the then Town of Boston was settled, the residents came together and decided to support and build the Boston Latin School. In 1639, the Mather School in Dorchester was the first taxpayer funded school in America.
In 1647, the Massachusetts Bay Colony Legislature passed a law mandating all towns with over 100 families provide and support public education.
In short, the people of Massachusetts in general and Framingham more specifically have a long tradition of building schools and supporting public education.
The process with the MSBA has been long and arduous with many people in this community working tirelessly to demonstrate the need for a new school.
As a result The Mass school building authority has determined that Fuller needs to be rebuilt and they have demonstrated its willingness to help us with a grant of 40 million dollars if our city council and residents approve of the project.
I believe the cost of not approving this measure would be much higher in the future.
If this is turned down there’s no guarantee we would be considered for another grant in the future and it could have very unpleasant consequences Framingham, the quality of education for our children and the school district.
I believe this project will result in more benefits for Framingham overall.
I urge you all on the Council and the public at large to look at this project in a holistic manner.
I already alluded to how i envisioned the future of the students building the wind tunnel at Fuller, I have the same vision for our Framingham.
Our continued commitment and investing in education will increase the values on our homes, attract businesses and jobs. These businesses in turn reinvest in our schools and our community. The quality of our education will produce civic minded and global citizens. Sound investments in our schools, students and teachers ensures future economic vitality not only for Framingham but for the Metro West region.
In closing I hope that I was able to illustrate and encapsulate the reasons why rebuilding Fuller MIddle School is extremely vital to Framingham.
Again I understand we are not a rich community but we are a community that places high value on things that you can’t place a specific dollar amount on and one of those is the value of a public education.
Many people before us have stepped up to pay it forward and I ask that this body and the residents of Framingham to take this special opportunity to vote to approve this project.
Thank you for your time.