To read BPS' press release, please click here. If you did not have a chance to see the proposals yet, please check the BPS Proposals page. And please, whether you are a current BPS parent, potential BPS parent or a community member, be sure to take the Survey and attend the meetings that are scheduled as every voice counts.
After spending the last few days wading through the proposals made by the Boston Public Schools' School Choice External Advisory Committee (EAC) my initial observations are below.
Going through the online survey and using the interactive maps, plus careful reading of the questions to be answered in the survey shows how unfair all these models could potentially be: there will still be over-chosen schools - those that are the better schools within a zone, and the models still ensure that K-8 schools like Lyndon, Kilmer, etc., have no availability at middle school level for anyone not already in that school for elementary school.
We will still have all the same issues we face: buildings falling apart, schools having to cut programs due to budgets being cut, some schools getting more while others right down the street get less - even when they have more students (so much for the new per pupil system of budgeting). And yes, the Turnaround Schools have improved, but at what cost? Has anyone else noticed that other schools whose budgets were cut every year, may now be struggling, hopefully not as badly as becoming a Turnaround School, but let's face it, check the scores and see how even those popular "great" schools have been going downhill both in scores and other areas. And what about the schools that were in the middle, or not quite turnaround level? How are they fairing? More to add to my investigation into the proposals, anyone want to help????
Despite the cries you will hear, this is not about segregation, with the exception of ELL & special needs students POTENTIALLY (need further info), it is all about getting rid of busing in Boston for general education students. The goal is actually to cut busing with the exception of those students who need it due to a disability. I already know the arguments: "But Karen, that will definitely lead to segregation of the races!"
Not as likely, and not in nearly the same way it did way back when there was a larger number of whites in the schools. DESE BPS Profile breakdown:
Boston Public School Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity (2011-12)
Race % of District % of State
African American 33.7 8.3
Asian 8.3 5.7
Hispanic 43.0 6.1
Native American 0.3 0.2
White 12.6 67.0
Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Multi-Race, Non-Hispanic 1.9 2.5
I am still going over all of the proposals and need some answers because there are concerns besides the above; such as the fact that on the proposal page they state that ALL zone models will have a middle school feeder pattern, but in the survey they say it is a proposal which means that may not happen at all, so what becomes of the Roslindale Pathway* which is the model for the feeder pattern?
*According to my latest discussion with Councilor Rob Consalvo, the Roslindale K-8 Pathway will continue as it is and not be impacted by these new models. Councilor Consalvo will be forwarding this in writing from Superintendent Carol Johnson within the next few days. Many thanks to Rob for his constant advocacy on behalf of all the children in Boston!