Mass. Ed. Commissioner Recommends 17 New Charter Schools

The state's education commissioner has recommended 17 schools — including 10 in Boston — be granted charters by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The recommendations from Commissioner Mitchell Chester include 14 Commonwealth charter schools and three Horace Mann, or so-called "in-district," charter schools in Boston, Chelsea, Lawrence, Lynn, New Beford, Salem and Springfield.

"I have every expectation that these 17 charter schools, if granted a charter by the Board later this month, are well positioned to succeed academically and become high performing organizations," Chester said in a statement. "This year's group of applicants was impressive in terms of the volume of interested parties; the quality of the proposals; and the potential to provide students with a strong academic program."

Many of the proposals are from existing charter schools wanting to clone themselves. Chester made his selections from a list of 23 final applications.

The state raised the charter cap last year, but Marc Kenen, of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, says that may not be enough.

"Most if not all the seats will be gone from Boston by next year, and then we'll have to go back to the Legislature and talk about raising the cap again," Kenen said.

Charter schools are publicly funded, but typically run independently of school districts. The board will vote on the recommendations Feb. 28, and the lottery for all charters is in March.

Here are Chester's recommendations, starting with Commonwealth charters:

  • Alma del Mar Charter School (New Bedford)
  • Bridge Boston Charter School (Boston)
  • Community Day Charter Public School – Riverside (Lawrence)
  • Community Day Charter Public School – South (Lawrence)
  • Dorchester Preparatory Charter School (Boston)
  • Edward W. Brooke Charter School 2 (Boston)
  • Edward W. Brooke Charter School 3 (Regional school serving Boston and Chelsea)
  • Excel Academy Charter School – Boston II (Boston)
  • Excel Academy Charter School – Chelsea (Chelsea)
  • Grove Hall Preparatory Charter School (Boston)
  • KIPP Academy Boston Charter School (Boston)
  • Lynn Preparatory Charter School (Lynn)
  • MATCH Community Day Charter Public School (Boston)
  • Veritas Preparatory Charter School (Springfield)

Horace Mann charters:

  • Boston Green Academy Horace Mann Charter School (Boston)
  • Salem Community Charter School (Salem)
  • UP Academy Charter School of Boston (Boston)

With reporting from WBUR's Bianca Vazquez Toness.

This program aired on February 17, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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