Education

A charter convert

A charter convert

Tenure as Springfield mayor convinced me to embrace competition and choice

I WAS MAYOR of Springfield and chairman of the city’s school committee when the Massachusetts Education Reform Act passed in 1993. As a Democrat, and now a Boston resident, I am a strong supporter of public education, and I want all school districts to be high performing. I once believed that the path to better(...)

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Pro-charter vote doesn’t diminish district commitment

Pro-charter vote doesn’t diminish district commitment

We can improve district schools and allow more charters

ON NOVEMBER 8, I will vote yes on Question 2, the referendum that would allow for controlled expansion of charter schools in Massachusetts. I have always embraced any social invention, including charter schools, which gets any child out of the educational wilderness of poor schooling. Thousands of students in the Commonwealth now languish in underperforming(...)

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Real Democrats support charter schools

Real Democrats support charter schools

For Obama and progressive Dems, it's about expanding opportunity

WITH JUST DAYS until America selects a successor to President Obama, a longstanding kerfuffle has broken into the open on his longstanding, crystal clear opposition to artificial caps on public charter schools. An aggressive form of this denial came to the forefront of Massachusetts politics this summer when, after the Democratic State Committee rushed a vote(...)

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Malden charter seeks damages from departing teacher

Malden charter seeks damages from departing teacher

School goes after 7-year employee for $6,087

ONE MIGHT HAVE expected Mystic Valley Regional Charter School to throw Matt Kowalski a goodbye party after seven years as a dedicated social studies teacher at the Malden school. Instead, they sent him a bill. In a heavy-handed move that appears to be unique among Massachusetts charter schools, Mystic Valley includes in its teachers’ contract(...)

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Charters offer high-quality choice

Charters offer high-quality choice

High-poverty areas of Boston lack enough high-performing district schools

MY SUBURBAN FRIENDS are asking for my stand on Question 2. I tell them my “yes” vote is based on one critical measure: There are simply not enough high-performing district schools in Boston to serve even half of the students enrolled in them. My view is not based on hearsay, but rather hard-earned facts. I’ve(...)

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Charter narrative gets story wrong

Charter narrative gets story wrong

Inadequate resources the real problem at so-called "failing" district schools

A narrative is like a room on whose walls a number of false doors have been painted; while within the narrative, we have many apparent choices of exit, but when the author leads us to one particular door, we know it is the right one because it opens. – John Updike AS THE CHARTER school(...)

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Could raising charter cap help district school students?

Could raising charter cap help district school students?

Studies point toward district gains or no effects when charters grow

ON NOVEMBER 8, Massachusetts voters will decide whether to lift the cap on charter schools operating in the state. Measure 2 is surely the most hotly contested issue on the ballot, attracting large sums of cash and heated rhetoric on both sides. CommonWealth has already published several essays for and against raising the cap—but there(...)

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A vote for students

A vote for students

Why I am voting "yes" on Question 2 to raise the charter school cap

AT THE OUTSET, I make two admissions: I am not a fan of making public policy via ballot initiative and my children currently are enrolled in private, independent schools. I suppose I should make a third admission: I am a Democrat who believes in public education and thinks teachers are the most put upon –(...)

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Arne Duncan calls charter schools part of the Mass. solution

Arne Duncan calls charter schools part of the Mass. solution

Former ed secretary says Democrats should embrace models that work for poor kids

WADING INTO A battle that has become increasingly contentious and has divided Democrats like no other domestic policy issue, President Obama’s longtime education secretary, Arne Duncan, said allowing more charter schools in Massachusetts is the right thing to do, particularly for poorer black and Latino children who too often have no one fighting for them.(...)

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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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