In the News

Unapproving unreform

July 21, 2014 | Worcester Telegram & Gazette Editorial Team

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.

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Statement by MCPSA Executive Director Marc Kenen on Senate Rejection of Legislation to Lift the Cap on Charter Public Schools

July 16, 2014 | MCPSA

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.

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Charter cap lift effort dies in the Senate after votes hailed by Teachers Union.

July 16, 2014 | Matt Murphy, State House News Service

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.

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State Senate needs an honest debate about charters

July 16, 2014 | Scot Lehigh, Boston Globe

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.

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Raising the Cap on Charters: Who Benefits? Who Pays?

July 15, 2014 | Kate Apfelbaum, Huffington Post

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.

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Editorial: Legislature must raise cap on charter schools

July 13, 2014 | MetroWest Daily News Editorial Staff

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.

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Study: Urban Charter School Waitlists Could Be Nearly Eliminated Through 5 Percent Increase in Spending in Low-Performing Districts

July 10, 2014 | Pioneer Institute

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 charters

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Charles Chieppo and Jamie Gass: Mass. weakens education for minorities

July 5, 2014 | Charles Chieppo

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.

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Poll finds hunger for more charter schools

July 1, 2014 | Jamie Vaznis, Boston Globe

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.

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Massachusetts Charter Schools: “A Fire You Can’t Put Out”

June 30, 2014 | Jamie Gass

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.

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