Thursday, February 7, 2013
The External Advisory Committee was scheduled to make a recommendation this weekend, but Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has asked them to take more time on their decision.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has asked the External Advisory Committee on Improving School Choice to delay their recommendation on one of three proposals scheduled for this weekend. But he did say he would like the committee's recommendation by the end of February. In a letter written written on Feb. 5 (see PDF in the gallery at right) Menino spoke of the public process. "You are coming to the end of an extremely thoughtful process," the mayor wrote. "To date, there have been over 70 public meetings on improving school choice, and you have heard from 4,000 families." The External Advisory Committee was formed after Menino requested Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson to create the group in 2012. The committee offered three …
Monday, January 28, 2013
The at-large city councilor wants to make Boston Public Schools easier to navigate for parents.
While Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is pushing three new proposed student assignment plans, At-Large City Councilor John Connolly said he wants to see more. "The EAC [External Advisory Committee on School Choice] has pushed BPS [Boston Public Schools] to offer two creative options that move beyond arbitrary lines on a map. I'm still concerned about the lack of a real plan for quality, the complexity of a system that needs to be easier for parents to navigate, and the likelihood that limited capacity will prevent BPS from offering real close to home options," Connolly said. School officials offered three options in mid-January, different than the five plans they originally presented last year. One option would create 10 community-based …
The External Advisory Committee on School Choice is meeting Feb. 4 to hear the latest options from Boston Public Schools.
Monday, January 28
The following is a press release submitted by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino: With your support, in the coming weeks we will achieve meaningful education reforms that will benefit an entire generation of students and the broader community. Today I am asking for your help so we can move forward together. For nearly 25 years we have split the city into three sprawling student assignment zones—North, East and West. Families today are faced with a bewildering set of options with no assurance they'll get what they asked for. Our schools are better than ever and we do our best to match families with their choices, but too often, children are sent to schools far from home because we couldn't give them what they wanted. Many families avoid the process…
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
After months of wrangling, there are three proposals left on the table. Which do you think is best for Boston's families?
After months of deliberations, trial balloons and many neighborhood meetings, Boston school officials on Tuesday released three alternatives to the current school selection process. The three plans are designed to provide families with flexibility to select quality schools close to home, according to the Boston School Choice website. The three plans are as follows: 10-zone plan: In this plan, parents would rank the schools in their zone. The child would then be placed based on availability in each school. This plan is structurally similar to the current zone-based system for placing students in schools. Home-based proposal A: This plan would give parents the choice of at least six schools of different quality near their home address. "…
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Boston Public Schools continues to overhaul its system to provide more locations close to home.
Boston Public School administrators plan to unveil three new proposals to reform its student assignment process on Tuesday. Last year, school officials released five plans, but according to the Globe, none of the original five plans will be included in the latest rollout of plans. School officials are releasing the proposals on the School Department's website Tuesday afternoon, and will formally present it at public meeting on Wednesday for the External Advisory Committee. The committee was appointed by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino last year. One of the new proposals would create smaller assignment zones, offering anywhere from three to 14 choices of schools, Matthew Wilder, spokesperson for Boston Public Schools, told the Globe. The two …
Thursday, January 10, 2013
The mayor will file statewide legislation that could eliminate the cap on in-district charter schools.
Thursday, January 10
The following was submitted Jan. 9 by the City of Boston on behalf of Mayor Thomas Menino. All across our city this month, parents are choosing the schools where they would like to send their children to kindergarten. The Boston Public Schools are better than ever—but our school assignment process is 25 years old. Under the current system, we ask prospective families to visit as many as 30 schools—some of which may be across the street, others miles from home—and then wait and hope they’ll get what they wanted. Our school choice process can be confusing, unpredictable and unnecessarily complicated. We can do better. Rather than building strong communities, today’s system begins by splitting up communities, sending students from one street …
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Boston Public Schools administrator outlines the reasons for changing school choice.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The following was written by Boston Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Carol R. Johnson: November kicks off School Choice season in the Boston Public Schools. Over the next month we will be welcoming parents to a series of school showcases to help them explore their options for next year. Additionally, between now and early January, every Boston Public School will host at least three open houses to help parents and students can find a school that offers the right fit. You can see the full list at here. We created these opportunities because we are proud of what every school has to offer. More than eight times as many eighth grade students are enrolled in algebra today than just four years ago, and thanks to our partners, 14,000 more …
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Mayor Menino: "...your child will not be forced to change schools, but if a younger sibling is attending another school, closer to home, we will prioritize sibling access to that school if your older child wants to join his or her younger brother or siste
Thursday, October 18, 2012
The following column was submitted by the City of Boston on behalf of Mayor Thomas Menino. Our city is deep in conversation on efforts to create a new school assignment system. As many parents know and as we have heard loud and clear today’s system is too complicated, frustrating, and unpredictable for too many of our families. My goal is to create a new student assignment system that is fair, follows the laws of common sense, and prioritizes placing students in quality schools that are closer to their homes. Much hard work remains, but today I am proud to tell you that we have made significant progress toward achieving that goal. That progress is a credit to the External Advisory Committee on School Choice (EAC) which I created …
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
A Jamaica Plain parent came away unimpressed with a recent public comment night. The Boston Public Schools have presented five ways to overhaul the district's student assignment system.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
[Editor's note: The author of this column, John Radosta, is a Forest Hills resident with a child at West Roxbury's Ohrenberger School. The schools have presented plans ranging from "no zone" neighborhood schools to a 23-zone plan.] Last Thursday, I was one of over two hundred people who came to the Ohrenberger School for a presentation by the Boston Public Schools on the School Assignment proposals. The crowd was the largest of the BPS meetings that are being held over the course of two weeks, perhaps because it is the only meeting near to Roslindale and Jamaica Plain as well. In addition to a number of School Committee, External Advisory Committee members, and about half a dozen BPS principals, Representative Ed Coppinger attended, as …
Monday, October 8, 2012
The Boston Public Schools said that a "grandfathering" claus is included in all school choice plans, so students will be able to remain in their current schools once a new system begins.
Boston Public School officials said that students will be able to remain in their present school even after a new student assignment plan begins. School officials sent out a press release specifically about the issue. 'Can my child stay in his or her school if we adopt a new assignment plan?' We are doing our best to answer your great questions about our Improving School Choice proposals. One of the most common questions we have received so far comes from parents of current students, who are asking whether their child can stay in his or her current school under whatever plan we create.
The answer is yes. At Wednesday's Boston School Committee meeting, Superintendent Carol Johnson recommended to the Boston School Committee to create a '…