Charter Cap ‘n Gown II: The College Years

A new report finds that Boston’s charter high schools are sending kids on a path through college, one at a time…

kindergarten_cap_gowns‘Tis time for another stroll down the path to college, reader. Alas, you will need to *suck in your gut* for this one as this path turns out to be even narrower than when last we stepped upon it. The occasion for our ramble down readiness way is a new report on college completion by graduates of Boston’s public high schools. Alas, alas, the report, which was supposed to confirm Boston charter excellence once and for all, fell a tad short, finding that grads of BPS high schools were more likely to complete college than their charter peers. But a deep dive into the data reveals that there’s even more — or rather, less — to this story than meets the eye. Continue reading →

Philadelphia: City of Choice

The City of Brotherly Love will soon be the City of Choice—unless your choice is a neighborhood school…

choice11By Susan DeJarnatt
Thanks to the Pennsylvania state legislature, Philadelphia now has no choice but to accept applications for new charter schools. The forty proposed schools envision more than 40,000 new seats—*high performing seats* naturally; is there any other kind? Should all 40 schools be approved—rejects get a chance to appeal to a state board—the cost to the School District of Philadelphia would be $280 million, a death blow to a district that suffered budget cuts in 2013 and 2014 that the superintendent himself called catastrophic. The City of Brotherly Love will soon be the City of Choice. Unless your choice is to attend your neighborhood school, then you don’t have much choice at all.
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Charlie Baker’s Army

The Bay State’s new governor has a bold plan to bring fresh New Schools to Massachusetts…

charlie-baker-via-charliebaker2014-media-site-630x411It’s a new day in Massachusetts, reader. And the Bay State’s new captain, Charlie Baker, has a bold new plan to at last un-stifle our long-suffering schools: fresh New Schools. But there’s a hitch, or rather a cap. You see, Massachusetts has a cap on fresh New Schools that Governor Baker must figure out how to uncap in order to give the people New Schools, whether they want them or not. Now he could move to boldly seize another entire school district, a la Lawrence, as the state is said to be days from doing in Holyoke, and impose New Schools. Or Baker could go the legislative route and use the bully pulpit to push lawmakers to uncap the cap. But democracy is soooooo old school, especially when it comes to a cause as fiercely urgent as replacing our old schools with fresh New Schools. Continue reading →

Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

The charter express bears down on the Bay State…

objectsIt’s math time, reader, and today’s problem is an excellent one. Ready? What do you get when you subtract 1,001,279 from 1,041,640? If you answered *38,000 and change,* or *the margin by which the new governor of Massachusetts, Charles Duane Baker, Jr., swept into office,* you would be technically right. But these are bold new days and we are thinking big, bold thoughts, which means that the correct answer is *a bold mandate to replace all of our old failed and failing schools with Excellent New Schools.*
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Spare a Little (Disruptive) Change?

Charter schools, parking meters and the privatization of Chicago…

Parking MeterQuick, reader: what do charter schools and parking meters have in common? If you’re drawing a blank, may I invite you to accompany me on a ride through Chicago’s South Side, at the expert hands of driver Frank Kuran? Full disclosure: Frank isn’t a traditional cabbie but a driver for that driver of disruptive change, Uber. Unable to find a cab that will take me to Gage Park and the K-8 school that I’m visiting, Frank has come to my rescue, and a la Tom Friedman, supplied me with a post that is practically writing itself. You see, Frank has plenty to say about the subject of education in Chicago and about the charter schools that are proliferating like Starbucks in this part of the city. *They’re a rip off,* he tells me as we make our way up Ashland. *Just like when the city sold the parking meters. It takes money away from the public and poor people pay the price.*   Continue reading →