What Parents Think Of Lifting The Charter School Cap

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A school crossing sign. (Kelly Hunter/Flickr)
A school crossing sign. (Kelly Hunter/Flickr)

Over the past many months, we've spoken with many people on both sides of ballot Question 2 -- the question to lift the cap on charter schools. We've talked with some major donors on either side of the spectacularly expensive campaigns. We've talked with local officials, and education policy experts.

Today, we talked to two parents who have different views on Question 2. We heard what these two parents want for their children's education. They are both mothers and they both live in Boston.

We start with Shellina Semexant of Dorchester, who has three children. Shellina's oldest daughter goes to the Dennis C. Haley Pilot School in Roslindale — a public school which the state has classified as Level 3. That means it is among the lowest 20 percent of similar schools.

Her two other children attend Kipp Academy Boston Charter School, which the state ranks as Level 1. She says Joshua and Jianna have a very different experience at school than her oldest daughter.

We also speak to Keisha Lewis, a paraprofessional in the Boston Public Schools. She works with students on the autism spectrum. She's also the parent of children who attend Boston Public Schools. She also has three children.

Her sons attend Beethoven Elementary School in Roslindale and the William H. Ohrenberger School in West Roxbury, a Level 2 school. Her daughter is 11 months old.

Lewis told us that not all Boston schools are in the top tier. But she believes local accountability, and parental support, are essential to fixing those schools. She sees evidence of how that can work at her sons' own schools right now.


Shellina Semexant, mother of three, supports lifting the charter school cap.

Keisha Lewis, mother of three, is against lifting the charter school cap.

This segment aired on November 7, 2016.


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Kathleen McNerney Senior Producer / Editor, Edify
Kathleen McNerney was the senior producer/editor of Edify.


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Meghna Chakrabarti Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.



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