In the News
Debate on a charter school reform bill in the Senate last week ended in acrimony, with charter proponents and opponents disagreeing on everything but this — it isn't likely the Legislature will do anything more with public charter schools this year.
That comes as a relief, because as unconscionable as it is that thousands of Massachusetts families continue to see their freedom of choice in education held hostage by politics, the bill from Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain) in the name of the reform would have made matters worse.Read More
Statement by MCPSA Executive Director Marc Kenen on Senate Rejection of Legislation to Lift the Cap on Charter Public Schools
The Senate’s rejection of legislation to lift the cap on charter public schools is an affront to parents whose children are trapped in underperforming district schools. An opportunity to expand access to high performing public schools has been lost.Read More
In a blow to the charter school movement in Massachusetts, the Senate on Thursday soundly rejected legislation that would have gradually lifted the cap on charter enrollment in poorly performing school districts, derailing an attempt this year to expand schooling options in primarily urban districts like Boston.Read More
SOMETIMES A legislative effort is so transparently bad that it’s simply laughable.
That’s the case with the charter-school cap-lift the Massachusetts Senate is scheduled to debate Wednesday.
In the past, Sonia Chang-Diaz, Senate chair of the education committee, has insisted she wants to get a charter bill done. Herlegislation renders that claim hard to believe. It’s a poison pill through and through, an offer the charter schools can’t help but refuse.
Amidst the emotional and political jockeying that has come to characterize the debate over charter schools in Massachusetts, we lose sight of two fundamental questions that should drive public policy decisions: Who benefits? And who pays? When applied to the current bill to raise the cap on charter school spending in the lowest-performing schools districts, the answers are in the data.
A recent column in the Boston Globe claims the political agendas of adults forget the needs of the children. The story draws on an interview with one mother, indifferent to the cap lift, who sees charter schools as a distraction from the true problem of fixing district schools.Read More
As the clock ticks down on the Legislature’s year – lawmakers are due to complete formal sessions at the end of July – there are several items of unfinished business, none more important than raising the cap on charter schools.Read More
Study: Urban Charter School Waitlists Could Be Nearly Eliminated Through 5 Percent Increase in Spending in Low-Performing Districts
State reimbursements would cover 28 percent of the spending increase over a decade; change would allow over 10,000 students to leave low-performing schools for high-performing chartersRead More
In the waning days of the school year, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education ensured that fewer urban schoolchildren will have high-quality learning opportunities come September. The board unanimously adopted a proposal from Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester that manipulates numbers and makes a mockery of the goal of rewarding improved performance.Read More
Charter school advocates, in a last-minute push to raise the state limit on the number of seats in such schools, are releasing a poll Tuesday that they say shows widespread appetite among Boston families for more of them.
The poll, sponsored by the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, found that 62 percent of adult respondents from households with children support raising the state cap on the number of students that can enroll in charter schools.Read More
This past week, at the urging of state K-12 education commissioner Mitch Chester, Deval Patrick’s Massachusetts Board of Education took a vote against Massachusetts’ nation-leading and achievement gap-closing charter schools. The vote reminds us once again how intellectually warped so much of K-12 education policymaking remains.Read More