In the News
AS SUMMER DRAWS to a close, teachers are returning to work to get ready for the new school year. One significant issue they will have to face, particularly those working at schools that predominantly serve students from low-income families, is the loss of reading and math skills over the long summer vacation. Historically, summer learning programs have been an afterthought for some school districts, while others have not offered a program of any kind. But now some educators and policymakers are considering additional learning time in the summer as an approach to closing stubbornly large achievement gaps between disadvantaged and advantaged students.Read More
State education officials are currently reviewing eight proposals to open new charter schools in 2015, potentially adding more than 5,000 charter seats statewide.Read More
It's more than two years away, but charter-school advocates are already eyeing the 2016 ballot after the state Senate dealt a blow earlier this summer to the movement to expand enrollment in charter schools in Massachusetts.Read More
Massachusetts education officials announced Friday they had received eight proposals for new charter schools, including two that would operate as part of Boston’s school system.Read More
After losing the 1958 governor’s race, George Wallace, then considered a moderate on segregation by mid-20th century Alabama standards, said he would never get “out-segged” again. Four years later, after his election by the state’s virtually all white voters, it was easy for him to declare in his inaugural address, “I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”Read More
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