Education

Curtatone: Charter question goes way too far

Curtatone: Charter question goes way too far

Somerville mayor says Q2 threatens schools’ recent success

$412 MILLION. That figure represents the amount of taxpayer money that was diverted from 243 local school districts across the Commonwealth and given to charter schools last year. If Ballot Question 2 passes this election, that annual number will grow much higher, and the consequences for students in our public schools will be long-lasting. We(...)

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It’s not anti-charter to oppose lifting cap

It’s not anti-charter to oppose lifting cap

Uncapped charter school growth would destabilize municipal finance

NEXT MONTH’S BALLOT question on statewide charter school growth may seem like a stark choice between two systems: local district schools or state-chartered institutions. But that’s not the case.  Charter and district schools will continue to coexist in Massachusetts regardless of the outcome on November 8. The real issue before voters is public finance. Question(...)

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Don’t gamble with Massachusetts students’ future

Don’t gamble with Massachusetts students’ future

Charter school expansion is a risky bet

ON NOVEMBER 8, Massachusetts voters will decide whether to lift the cap on charter schools, eliminating a major constraint on charter school formation and expansion in the Commonwealth. Proponents of lifting the cap contend that charters schools provide real educational choice to families and have the potential to improve student outcomes. My colleague Thomas Kane(...)

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Charter showdown

Charter showdown

A charter school leader and teachers union president debate the ballot question

IN NOVEMBER, MASSACHUSETTS voters will have their say on a ballot question that would allow up to 12 new or expanded charter schools each year above the existing state cap on the independently-run, but publicly-funded, schools. The issue has inflamed passions on both sides. We asked two prominent Boston education leaders, Jon Clark, co-director of(...)

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The missing piece of education reform

The missing piece of education reform

Leadership by superintendents and principals is key

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago a broad coalition of legislators, business people, education experts, and state officials put together and passed a wide-reaching education reform law. That law reflects a set of shared beliefs—basically, that a combination of increased funding, state testing tied to graduation requirements, new state curriculum frameworks, charter schools, and increased authority for superintendents(...)

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Charter cap debate clouds original intent

Charter cap debate clouds original intent

Passing ballot question would stymie education innovation

PROMOTING INNOVATION WAS the original purpose of charter schools. As first envisioned by union leader Albert Shanker and others, charters would benefit the educational system as a whole by serving as laboratories for new ideas. With higher levels of autonomy, charters would have the freedom to experiment. Some of those experiments would be incorporated into traditional(...)

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Pharmacy school pays chief well

Pharmacy school pays chief well

President makes more than Harvard, MIT heads

CHARLES MONAHAN JR. makes $1.3 million a year in total compensation, more than all but one of his presidential peers at other colleges in Greater Boston. Monahan does not work at Harvard University, MIT, or one of the other big-name schools in the area. He’s president of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences(...)

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Charter schools are not ‘draining’ district budgets

Charter schools are not ‘draining’ district budgets

Biggest problem in districts is failure to adjust to smaller enrollment

AS THIS NOVEMBER’S ballot initiative on raising the cap on the number of charter public schools in Massachusetts draws closer, opponents find ever-more financial woes to blame on the schools. But a September Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation study is just the latest to conclude that those accusations don’t pass muster. The MTF study finds that “Examination(...)

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The charter funding debate

The impact of charter schools on district school budgets has become a central point of contention in the debate over Question 2, the November ballot question that would allow an expansion in the number of charter schools in Massachusetts. A basic principle of school funding in the state is that the dollars follow the students,(...)

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Computing the effect of charter expansion on district budgets

Computing the effect of charter expansion on district budgets

Online tool shows the "severe damage" charter growth can cause

THE MASSACHUSETTS TAXPAYERS FOUNDATION (MTF) report on how charter school openings and expansions impact traditional districts ends with a caveat that should have been its thesis: “Consolidating, realigning or moving programs – much less closing schools – is likely to be politically fraught. District budgets, heavily weighted toward personnel, may be extraordinarily difficult to cut (at least(...)

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