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Boston Officials Release Student-Assignment Proposals

BOSTON — Boston Public Schools officials have unveiled three proposals to overhaul how students are assigned to schools in the city.

One plan would divide the city into 10 assignment zones, rather than the current three-zone system. The two other plans call for no zones, and families would apply to schools within a certain distance of their homes.

School officials say all three proposals would increase access to neighborhood schools. Critics say the primary focus should be on improving overall school quality.

“The concern continues to be that there just isn’t enough of quality schools to go around,” said Kim Janey, senior project director of Massachusetts Advocates for Children. “And so it’s really important to have a plan that ensures equitable access to quality.”

Boston Public Schools spokesman Matt Wilder says the proposals address the issue of families having too many choices, which can lead to students ending up schools far from home.

“You can live in South Boston and your child can attend school in Allston-Brighton,” Wilder said. “It just doesn’t work for the families in this city.”

An external advisory committee, appointed by Mayor Thomas Menino, could make a final recommendation to the school committee next month.

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  • jshore

    It’s time to dump the “portfolio” model and go to a Unified School District model! As I mentioned in an earlier post, in the quest for “quality schools” for all Boston students, the EAC killed a lot of trees and presented a lot of data in numerous scenarios, now we have 3 more to add to the pile and it is fuming!

    It doesn’t matter if you label a school Tier 1, 2, 3, or 4. With the movement of students ALL schools will change overnight! Parents need to see the neighborhood MCAS scores. In the East Zone especially, Parents need to see the MCAS test scores of
    students living in those neighborhoods who are assigned to charter schools. The students are the data! The MCAS test scores of BPS students by neighborhood will determine the “quality” of a neighborhood school.

    Just a few questions, I’ll have more when I can make my way through the SPED & ELL “vision”:

    How many open seats is BPS talking about in the Roslindale K-8 Pathway? – “The second 50% of seats are open to students throughout the West Zone who had not
    attended one of the six schools.”

    It’s a little late but what schools are you “exploring” for “transformation” into K-8? Did BPS current administration ever entertain the idea of stopping and doing something well before going off on another tangent? – “we are exploring the feasibility of potential K-8 conversions.”

    Parents need to see a breakdown of how many students expected to be placed in each of the zones.

    Parents need a breakdown of how many students and siblings that may remain in current schools (speculative figure)

    Finally, a diamond shape icon for the charter schools! Charter’s are getting $3,146. more to service a regular ed kid, and better transportation, than our traditional schools that have been decimated by theme! I think a $$$ sign would have been more appropriate icon. Moreover, a “diamond” is insensitive and a slap in the face to those families who end up at a Tier 4 school!

    Time to move to an ELECTED Boston School Committee so this mess doesn’t happen again!

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