There I am listening to an interview Phil Paleologos is conducting with the Superintendent of New Bedford government schools, when the Super delivers a shocking revelation. Dr. Pia Durkin fired a shot over the I-195 bow when she proclaimed New Bedford High School the best in the region. My Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall.

Durkin's comment is either a public relations ploy or snafu. Audio nourishment to encourage unsuspecting middle school students to attend the beleaguered school. Thanks to her Level 4 is best proclamation, all the kings horses and all the kings men, will have a tough time piecing together the high school's fractured fairly tale status. It's one thing to cheerlead for your schools. I expect that. It's downright scandalous however to assert such a bold allegation on the local talk radio station.

After hearing me replay Durkin's comment, one caller relates, the DESE disagrees. Go to their website, look up the facts. See how they rate NBHS. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education lists NBHS as under-performing, a Level 4 school. NBHS has been Level 4 now for several years. Considering the past abysmal graduation and drop out rates, NBHS is improving. Is NBHS the best high school in the region? If it is then how superior is GNBVT, Dartmouth and Fairhaven high schools? The entire educational region has major problems if a Level 4 high school is tops.

Editor’s Note:   Brian Thomas is the host of Brian’s Beat on 1420 WBSM New Bedford.  He can be heard weekdays from 10am-Noon and Saturdays from 6am-9am.  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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