In the News
The idea of introducing more charter schools in Massachusetts, believed to be an emotional topic that divides lawmakers and feeds into policy differences, spurred long recesses in the House after legislation facilitating more charters hit the House floor at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.Read More
The House and Senate have agreed to an immediate boost in funding for payments to school districts to make up for kids who leave for charter schools. Now the pols who have thwarted the expansion of charter schools — and the self-serving ideologues who pull their strings — have one fewer excuse for doing so.Read More
Title: CEO and founder, Phoenix Charter Academy Network
Education: Bachelor of Arts in sociology, Brandeis University, 1991; master’s degree, education, Harvard University Graduate School, 1999
Growing up in Brockton and Carver, Beth Anderson thought she had it somewhat tough as the only child of an ironworker father and supermarket-clerk mother struggling to make ends meet and making sure their daughter would be the first in their family to attend college.
After graduating from Brandeis University in 1991, though, Anderson found out what tough really meant. As a teacher for two years in Los Angeles, Anderson had to deal with kindergarten and elementary students whose parents included active gang members and prostitutes.
Some impoverished children could barely speak English, while other immigrant students had never held a pencil before.
“I will never get over or forget what I saw in Los Angeles,” said Anderson, whose two-year L.A. teaching stint was organized by the nonprofit Teach for America foundation.
Her experience in the City of Angels was the driving force behind her later efforts to start and build what is today’s Chelsea-based Phoenix Charter Academy Network. The nonprofit network now runs two schools in Chelsea and Lawrence for 320 disadvantaged “at-risk” youths between the ages of 14 and 22, employing more than 100 people on a combined budget of about $7 million.
The Chelsea institution, which opened in 2006, is a fully licensed charter school. The Lawrence school, opened in 2012, is run like a charter but technically operated under a state receivership program imposed on the Lawrence school system due to its consistently poor education performance.
Atlantis Charter School and the Fall River Public Schools announced today that they have formed a partnership to apply for a $600,000 federal charter school dissemination grant administered through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.Read More
CHICOPEE — All of the mothers of students at the Hampden Charter School of Science can rest assured that they will have flowers on Mother's Day.Read More
To the editor:
We agree with former Mayor Clare Higgins in her March 28 column that the State Legislature should fully fund the program that reimburses districts for school funds they lose to charters. But, we disagree with her assessment that the creation of charters has resulted in a parallel school system that pits families against each other.Read More
Massachusetts’ landmark Education Reform Act of 1993 – the gold standard for America’s standards movement – was driven most effectively by a group of business leaders concerned about the quality of the workforce. From that push came uniform curriculum standards, MCAS tests, charter schools and both good and bad consequences, the good being Massachusetts’ top ranking among states on the "nation’s report card" – the National Assessment of Education Progress. No Child Left Behind, the Race to the Top and the Common Core standards followed.Read More
State education officials this week gave the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School the green light to double its enrollment and expand its district to encompass 13 other towns.Read More
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Hampden Charter School of Science celebrated both its fifth year anniversary and its recent charter renewal on Friday night. A dinner and reception was held at the MassMutual Center.Read More