Education

The charter funding debate

The charter funding debate

Lots of the conflict is over short-term vs. long-term picture

IN THE HIGH-STAKES battle over charter school expansion, the impact of charters on school finances has come front and center. Supporters of Question 2, which would allow up to 12 new charter schools or expansion of 12 existing schools per year, argue that the funding formula for charter schools holds districts harmless when students move(...)

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The cost of the charter school cap

The cost of the charter school cap

Evidence shows low-income, urban students pay the price

IN NOVEMBER, VOTERS in Massachusetts will decide whether to raise the cap on charter school enrollment. The irony is that for most voters—those living in suburban and rural communities with charter enrollment far below the current cap—the vote is inconsequential. The charter cap applies to the percentage each school district’s spending which can be sent(...)

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What makes a Level 1 school?

What makes a Level 1 school?

State's measurements miss key factors

  IN THE STATE of Massachusetts, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education assigns all public schools a rating. Level 1 schools can boast they’ve received the state’s highest rating. Level 5 schools, by contrast, are branded failures. Educators and families take note. But more than pride is at stake here. There are serious policy(...)

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Boston’s ‘A team’ of charter school leaders

Boston’s ‘A team’ of charter school leaders

Talent explains why the Hub is home to the nation's best charters

ANYONE LISTENING TO the pricey TV ad duels over whether to lift the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts knows there’s plenty to disagree about. But only the careful listeners know there’s one undisputed point: Massachusetts has the nation’s best charter schools, as this just-released Brookings study makes clear. The only remaining disagreement is how(...)

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Peyser gets raucous reception at UMass

Peyser gets raucous reception at UMass

Despite boos, education secretary said he loved it

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE EDUCATION SECRETARY JAMES PEYSER received a raucous reception at the University of Massachusetts Boston on Thursday, where his entreaties to spur growth outside campuses and cut dead wood within state higher education ran up against faculty demands for more funding. Peyser told the audience at a convocation ceremony on the harbor-side(...)

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Why Question 2 grassroots opposition is growing

Why Question 2 grassroots opposition is growing

Measure allows unchecked charter school growth with no local control

I HAVE SPENT much of my adult life supporting local political movements and promoting direct voter contact as the best way to win elections. I like to think I know what real grassroots campaigns look like. The nearly unanimous vote recently by the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee to align itself with the national Democratic Party(...)

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Warren as school choice champion

Warren as school choice champion

Senator ambivalent on charter ballot question – but she’s been passionate supporter of school vouchers

WHEN ASKED ON Thursday about the November ballot question to raise the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren sounded a note of caution about the initiative. “You know, I’m just concerned about the proposal and what it means for the children all across the Commonwealth,” Warren told reporters after delivering a speech(...)

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More time in school key to charter success

More time in school key to charter success

Students spend 10 extra weeks in class

FOR MOST FAMILIES, August represents the dog days of summer. Temperatures are at their hottest. Camp is winding down. And the beginning of the school year is still weeks away. But not for students at Massachusetts public charter schools, where students are already in the classroom and beginning their school year. It’s no secret that(...)

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Punishing opt-outs

Punishing opt-outs

Feds more interested in sanctions for testing opponents than helping low-achieving students

THE AMOUNT OF energy, time, and money that is being put into curbing students from “opting out” of state- and federal-mandated standardized tests tests makes one wonder what these tests are really for. The Every Student Succeeds Act, the 2015 re-authorization of the No Child Left Behind law, put the “problem” of opt-outs in the(...)

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State Dems say no to charter ballot question

State Dems say no to charter ballot question

Education issue exposes rift inside the party

STATE HOUSE NEWS THE MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRATIC PARTY on Tuesday night voted to oppose a ballot question that would expand charter schools in Massachusetts, putting the party at odds with some of its members in the Legislature. “Our local communities cannot afford to lose even more money to charter schools,” said former Rep. Carol Donovan, a(...)

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