Charter Envy in Boston


Boston, long suffering from charter envy, now plans to convert several of its district public schools into charter schools. On November 3, the Boston School Committee unanimously voted to
convert a middle school and a high school into charter schools. This is
part of their “Redesign and Reinvest” plan to close 5 public schools
and merge two others by year’s end. The closings have been presented by
Superintendent Carol Johnson as a necessary step in the wake of budget
cuts and declining student enrollment because so many are moving to
charter schools. Twelve Boston schools have already been designated as
failing, with teachers at six of these schools being forced to reapply
for their jobs.

In January, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick signed a law that would raise the cap on new charter schools in the state. The new law is projected to double the number of new charter
schools in the poorest performing districts. Patrick is a former Coca
Cola executive and Ameriquest board member. A state government report, “The New Promise of Public Education: Ready for 21st Century Success,”
argues that the current education system is not adequately training
students for “success in life and work,” and doesn’t “meet the needs of
employers.” Charter schools managed by for-profit private companies
ostensibly would succeed in training kids to be good workers
probably because they would bust the union, downsize the staff, cut
services, and make the kids work harder with less support so they get
used to their future lives as cubicle drones.

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Tags: Charter, Privatization, Race, Schools, Top, the, to

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