Writing in today’s Boston Herald, Jim Stergios, of the Pioneer Institute, implores Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz to stop blocking charter schools in Boston.
Boston parents who want to send their children to a charter school represent thousands of votes for or against her. She should be advancing the interests of the children and families in the neighborhoods she represents. That would require that she support increasing the number of public charter schools in Boston.
Last year, a Stanford University study found that Boston charters are doing more to close wealth- and race-based achievement gaps than any other group of public schools in the country. Another recent study, commissioned by the Boston Foundation and conducted by Harvard and MIT researchers, found that academic gains from a year in a Boston charter school were similar to those from a year spent in one of the city’s elite exam schools. In 2012, 20 charter schools – including six from Boston – were the top performers in the entire commonwealth on various MCAS tests. Finally, the success of Boston charter school students in college is well-documented.
Leadership is not always doing what is politically expedient. While anyone familiar with Massachusetts politics understands that teachers unions are a powerful force in the State House, Chang-Diaz’s personal ambitions should take a back seat to students’ futures and the aspirations of the thousands of parents that she represents.
Diaz continues to stand in the school house door.