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State looks to 'intervene' in BPS

The Bay State Banner reports state officials may be concluding they have to wrest control of BPS away from the city - not to mention parents and teachers - even though it doesn't have all that great a track record with the systems and schools it's taken over in the past.

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Said absolutely nobody except union heads and pandering politicians (who of course said let's throw even more money at it and see if the problem magically goes away).

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From the linked article:

There are currently 34 schools in Boston where students’ scores on standardized tests have placed them in the lowest 10% of schools in Massachusetts.
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...to keep BLS admissions as being the issue with BPS that gets all the media attention. Much easier to grandstand on that one than how BPS spends ever more money on administrators while improving nothing for low outcome poor kids.

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"We’ve had five superintendents in the last seven years."

If you're looking for stable leadership "at the top", it hasn't been here.

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But something has to be done, our schools are mostly an embarrassing failure with a few good ones sprinkled in.
It isn't funding or the kids, it's how the schools are run in my opinion.

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Seems like a toxic mix of administrators who don't understand the problem or don't have the authority to change things, absentee and low-income parents who aren't there or don't have the means/time to spend helping their children, and money being spent poorly.

It's not as if this is unique to Boston, although the income disparity in the city means the students who are best positioned to be positive influences on their peers tend to go to private and/or exam schools leaving the "normal" schools that much worse off.

I'd like to know what the state thinks it can do better.

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While the charter schools are building structures and parking lots that get used 20% of the time while Boston Public Schools are half empty and falling apart. Meanwhile the housing crisis goes on.

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Charter schools in Boston (and Massachusetts) are PUBLIC schools, not private schools.

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but they are not part of BPS

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There are in-district charters run by BPS.

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They provide a public education option for parents whose kids end up in failing BPS schools, giving them an option if they are lucky enough to win a spot in the lottery. Granted, that is kind of like winning the Powerball, but some do.

My 3 kids have all attended BPS schools so I am not coming from a position of saying they are all crap. But too many are and it is good for there to be options for those who can't afford to pay for a private education or home school.

Many charters are excellent. Codman Academy is an amazing school that was created by Bill Walczak and Meg Campbell. Not exactly a couple of right wing anti-government types. It works because of strong leadership who are empowered by not having their hands tied by the Boston Teachers Union contract.

Being pro choice shouldn't just be about abortion. School choice is an important human right.

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Hard to get past that choice thing. You can’t equate school choice with my right to control my body.

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There are charter schools in Boston that are most certainly part of BPS, that have teachers that are paid by BPS and are members of the BTU. The charter debate is so uninformed on both sides and it is sad to see folks stick to one side or the other, and throw out false statements that can be misleading to those trying to truly understand what is happening in our educational climate. Charters did not create the issues within Boston Public Schools.

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Charters are building new buildings which are only used 20% of the time? Certainly not the case for the Brooke or the attempt by Roxbury Prep in Roslindale.

Maybe I'm missing your point.

As for private schools, there are plenty of kids at the exam schools who do go to private schools up until 8th grade.

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6am to 3pm, 5 days a week, 9 months a year. Or 185 days of school calendared.

I will put it more generously. If the school is open for 12 hours per day, 185 days per year, the building will be used 25% of the time. This is true for all schools. I am not saying get rid of all schools. My point is that why are we building more schools when overall enrollment is going down and we are in a housing crisis. There are empty and half empty school buildings all over the city.

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You want 7 year olds to be going to school from 4 PM until midnight seven days a week?

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Boston doesn't need new school buildings when the enrollment is going down. Every student a charter school adds is leaving a half empty school building. This is a tangent issue, but it hurts the housing crisis to have all this new charter school construction.

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I will put it more generously. If the school is open for 12 hours per day, 185 days per year, the building will be used 25% of the time.

You wrote a lot of words there. Words are typically used to say things. Care to explain what you were saying when you wrote that? Charter schools in the overnight time? Charter schools only on week-ends? Again, what was your point about the 75% of the time schools are not being used? Or was this a classic case of you throwing words out there then running away from them. You tend to do that a lot.

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What don’t you understand?

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How many new buildings are being built in Boston which are charter schools? Here in greater Roslindale we have:

1) Brooke High on ALH (non-residential neighborhood, actually in Mattapan)
2) Roxbury Prep being blocked on Belgrade. Fine - maybe you could put in 30 units there.

Other examples?

There are so many other land use issues where you could argue we'd be better off building housing than a handful of schools than whatever is going in there.

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Enrollment is decreasing because the population of children living in Boston is decreasing. The schools run by BPS are in half empty buildings that they can't afford to maintain. But charter schools are undergoing a building boom. Add Neighborhood House Charter School to your list. I think that while building churches with all of the mostly empty churches in boston is the same, other land uses are not.

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I mean, it that's what your point was, I got it. Of course, if that is the point, you know very little about how human beings function, but at least your writing would make sense.

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nope.

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Perhaps you could clarify? Or you could be troll-ish, I suppose. The look fits you.

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Your comments are not in any way a reasonable interpretation of my statements. It is not a question of whether you are a sea lion, it is only whether you know it.

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You trolled this conversation by bringing up some nonsense about how school buildings are only used 25% of the time, but you can't defend the statement, so you attack me.

Well, you gotta be you, I guess. No sense in trying to change that.

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Schools buildings are used less than 25% of the time. There is no factual dispute of that statement. I am describing you, not attacking. Please be empowered to address your anger in more productive ways.

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Unless, as I noted before, you are claiming kids should go to school in shifts, with some of them in there 10 PM to 6 AM.

You sure are a piece of work. Feel free to describe me all you want, but in the end you trolled this article because that's what gets you off.

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it is not a statistic. BPS publishes their calendar. Boston needs to use the school buildings that are standing empty before it permits charter schools to build more. As noted in other comments, charter schools are public schools. It is difficult enough to build more housing in boston. Choosing to build more schools when overall enrollment is declining is the wrong choice. I have no idea why you keep commenting about shifts, as i haven't said that. It is clear that you feel insulted, but that is not my intention. It seems mysterious to you that as a whole your comments are not well received.

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Because that is the troll you are.

Time after time after time after time.

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I am unchanging.

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Highly wealthy parents can afford the $40-60k/yr it cost to send their kids to private schools, take them to extracurricular activities, and make sure are home doing homework in the evening.

Charter schools are a separate issue. Given the number of minority parents who strongly support charter schools they are a hard thing to disregard as cheating regular schools out of needed resources. It's a complex problem.

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They are paid for with our tax money to provide an education that is not statistically better than a public school education. They are competing for urban space in a housing crisis. There are empty and half empty school buildings all over the city.

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I don't think we need any more charters. However, the charter system does allow for underperforming schools to be shuttered (see City on a Hill) unlike BPS where schools can fail for years and the leaders are just given new gigs (see Park, Madison)

If you think a condo building would just breeze into the Belgrade space or if one could have been build where the Brooke HS is on American Legion, I guess we just don't agree.

If you want to build housing where there's under-utilized space, let's start knocking down some churches.

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45 years ago they instituted busing. It's been an abysmal failure that has cost a fortune. That $ could have been far better spent (or not spent at all). Anyone who can, including low income whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, people, have abandoned it (and living in the city).

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The problem is very complicated. Quoting directly from the BPS website:

Nearly one in every two students speaks a language other than English at home, and our students come from 139 different countries. One in five BPS students has a disability, and half are economically disadvantaged.

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This was true in 1900 when Boston was filled with non-English speaking immigrants and plenty of children were crippled by horrible childhood diseases or lead poisoning. Yet those children managed to get a quality education that modern immigrant children can't due to dysfunction in the toxic union and management cultures within BPS.

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Staring intently at 3 shells, which have been thoroughly mixed up.

Shell number 1 has a slip of paper underneath labelled "fix MBTA"

Shell number 2 has a slip of paper underneath labelled "fix Boston Public Schools"

Shell number 3 has no slip of paper.

After pondering for hours, Charlie lifts the shell with the slip of paper labelled "fix Boston Public Schools" and gives a yelp of glee. "I went to Harvard with exam school kids! No work to be done now, can I go to lunch?"

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The 1990's Boston University takeover of the Chelsea Public Schools was considered visionary at the time. Is there any consensus on whether it was worth it for all sides?

Has BPS ever considered allowing the local universities to get more involved with a long term commitment, like BU's 20 years in Chelsea? How about the many trade unions, struggling to get qualified apprentices, taking a long-term role in the vocational program? The whole K-12 concept may need to be reevaluated. No, doubt some of the fifth graders are already better prepared for life than those about to graduate high school with a BPS diploma.

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Without taking sides on if it was a wise move or not, let me just say most municipal leaders would do everything in their power to avoid the solutions employed in Chelsea. The school takeover was done in conjunction with the city takeover as well.

Unlike a standard takeover by the State the Chelsea takeovers were even more dramatic and in ways traumatic. Unions in particular did not appreciate how it went down.

I am not sure if things are better now than they would have been without the take over. What I do know for sure is almost nobody who was standing there on the last day before the takeover was still standing there a few years later. It would be a very tough sell to anyone who could help going down that road because it means cutting your own head off.

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My son's school was a turnaround in HP and now? Its surpassing the benchmarks the state has set for elementary schools and honestly, I think it had to do with the hard work the principal put in and her dedication to the students. That woman is there all hours of the day! She has just received another grant and now, we can add a 6th grade to the school.

The HUGE issue I have with this new proposed budget is the expansion if "inclusion" classrooms. My son is also in one of these.. BPS needs to facilitate a better way to determine what children are placed in what classrooms. There are some pretty aggressive children in my sons class and with no para, the teacher is left to attend to them. Hands around throats, chairs and books thrown, outbursts EVERY DAY etc-that's not mainstream, that is a one on one para kind of classroom behavior. Therefore, the children who are "mainstream" suffer. Perhaps that's part of the problem with the scores. Along with lack of parent involvement/ESL issues and overworked teachers. Adding more of these classes all over the city just might not be the best for the schools, kids or learning environment.

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Tear it up. Start over.

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The state should intervene in the wealthy districts surrounding Boston that fight so hard to keep out kids of a certain ... um ... kind?

Nah. Better to just trash the cities than make suburbs pull their weight.

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People should be allowed to send their kids to schools in towns they don't live in?

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They already do that?

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That would be an all timer generator of political hot takes, if white kids* could go to METCO.

* I've met several kids who appear to be 'white' but go to METCO thanks to one qualifying parent from Latin America but who were ethnically Caucasian. For example, Tom Brady's kids with Gisele would qualify if they lived a few miles farther south in WR.

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How is that legal?

What about Asians?

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