Yesterday 2,200 students were chosen to attend Boston’s high performing charter schools, and that is a great thing.
What is not so great, is that 11,400 students will not get into a charter school, and will be trapped in underperforming public schools, against the will of their parents. Their future lives are being determined by an act of randomness.
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons License User srgpicker
The Boston Herald has the story:
“The demand for charters increases each year in Boston because our schools are doing so well,” said Mark Kenen, executive director of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association. “The demand of parents is the most important reason why we should raise the cap.”
More than 13,600 students have entered the lottery for about 2,200 spots, the MCPSA said. That is up from about 12,000 last year, and 10,000 in prior years.
“This tremendous demand is not going to be met to any degree unless the Legislature acts,” said Paul Grogan, president of The Boston Foundation.
Standing in the door, blocking these 11,400 children this year alone are the powerful teachers unions and their allies. The Boston Teacher’s Union came out strong against children in an email to their members.. The Union used statistics which are easily debunked.
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The Teachers Union’s greatest ally on Beacon Hill is Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston). Diaz is the chair of the Joint Committee on Education and is the person most responsible for keeping a bill to lift the cap on charters locked in her committee. In Milwaukee which fought charter school battles last decade, that is known as standing in the school house door.
The sentiment of the education monopoly was best stated by Paul Schlichtman, an elementary public school teacher, and member of the Arlington Massachusetts School Board. In 2004 Schlichtman was the head of the Massachusetts Association of School Boards, in a Facebook Conversation yesterday he stated that parents should not have choice in their children’s education. The discussion was on vouchers, which would solve the funding inequity, Schlichtman said existed with public schools and charters.
Rob Eno: Do you not trust parents paul?
Paul Schlichtman: Not with my tax money. I want it appropriated by Town Meeting.
Rob Eno: really you don’t trust parents to make decisions for the best outcome for their children?
Rob Eno: Is that your statement?
Paul Schlichtman: We have limited tax dollars. State funding is inadequate. The town is limited by Proposition 2.5. I want my tax money to be scrutinized by our finance committee and appropriated by Town Meeting. A taxpayer who pays $4000 in property taxes shouldn’t be able to go to Town Hall and demand a $13,000 check simply because he doesn’t like the public schools.
They are trying to protect their monopoly at all costs.
You can help children, and break the monopoly by calling Sonia Chang-Diaz and your legislator at 617-722-2000.