The Associated Press

Lawmakers To Weigh Charter School Expansion

BOSTON — House lawmakers are weighing a bill that would allow for an expansion of charter schools in Boston and several other communities, and require more struggling public schools to adopt turnaround plans.

The measure expected to be debated in the House on Wednesday calls for gradually raising the existing cap on charter school spending in underperforming school districts from 15 to 23 percent by the year 2022.

The legislation would also allow schools that are in danger of falling into underperforming status to be designated as “challenge schools,” prompting implementation of two-year turnaround plans.

The bill emerged from the House after the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education failed to reach agreement on raising the charter school cap.

Critics of charter schools say they drain financial resources from traditional public schools.

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  • gossipy

    YES! Charter schools work! The money follows the student. District schools need to do a better job of educating students if they don’t want to “lose” money.

    • jonshore

      No charter schools do not work. Again, and then again, one criterion for making AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) in Massachusetts is high school graduation in 4 years. The 4 year Boston charter school graduation rate is dismal!

      - Academy of the Pacific Rim started out in 2009 with 62 freshmen graduated 41 students in 2012 = 66.12% 4-year Graduation Rate

      - Boston Collegiate Charter started out in 2009 with 52 freshmen graduated 23 seniors in 2012 = 44.23% 4-year Graduation Rate

      - Boston Preparatory Charter started out in 2009 with 32 freshmen graduated 20 seniors in 2012 = 62.5% 4-year Graduation Rate

      - City on a Hill Charter started out in 2009 with 99 freshmen graduated 31 seniors in 2012 = 31.31% 4-year Graduation Rate

      - Codman Academy Charter started out in 2009 with 40 freshmen graduated 15 seniors in 2012 = 37.5% 4-year Graduation Rate

      - Match Charter started out in 2009 with 94 freshmen graduated 30 seniors in 2012 = 31.9% 4-year Graduation Rate

      After being set-up by the Boston Public School District for failure and turnaround, The English High School, the first public high school in America, was taken over by the state and given to the Blueprint Schools Network because their adjusted 4 year graduation rate was 65%! So why are these charter schools with 4 year graduation rates lower than The English High School allowed to remain open!

      There is not only a societal cost, but there is a lifetime cost to a student who has to repeat a year or TWO in school. Think about it, why can’t a charter school with a longer day, longer year and cherry picked population of students, able to graduate a student who has passed MCAS in 4 years with their class? Boston charter schools do not backfill students; the “overwhelming evidence” appears to be that charter schools are forward filling students. How is that “high quality!

      I wrote more about this here: http://bluemassgroup.com/2014/03/massachusetts-charter-public-school-associationlisten-up/

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