Thursday, March 14, 2013
The new program will use a computer-generated list of six schools for parents to choose from based on a variety of factors.
The Boston School Committee adopted a new assignment policy that does away with a decades-old system at a landmark Wednesday night vote. The new policy will use a computer-generated algorithm to produce a list of six schools for parents to choose from based on distance to school, capacity and MCAS test scores, according to Boston.com. Four of the six schools listed will be of “medium to high quality,” Boston.com reports. The system will be implemented starting in September 2014. “Tonight’s historic vote marks a new day for every child in the City of Boston,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “A more predictable and equitable student assignment system that emphasizes quality and keeps our children close to home has been a long time coming for …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
After months of wrangling, there are three proposals left on the table. Which do you think is best for Boston's families?
After months of deliberations, trial balloons and many neighborhood meetings, Boston school officials on Tuesday released three alternatives to the current school selection process. The three plans are designed to provide families with flexibility to select quality schools close to home, according to the Boston School Choice website. The three plans are as follows: 10-zone plan: In this plan, parents would rank the schools in their zone. The child would then be placed based on availability in each school. This plan is structurally similar to the current zone-based system for placing students in schools. Home-based proposal A: This plan would give parents the choice of at least six schools of different quality near their home address. "…
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Boston Public Schools continues to overhaul its system to provide more schools close to home.
Boston Public School administrators will unveil three new proposals to reform its student assignment process today. Last year school officials released five plans, but according to the Globe, none of the original five plans will be included in the latest rollout of plans. School officials are releasing the proposals on the School Department's website Tuesday afternoon, and will formally present it at public meeting on Wednesday for the External Advisory Committee. The committee was appointed by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino last year. One of the new proposals would create smaller assignment zones, offering anywhere from three to 14 choices of schools, said Matthew Wilder, spokesperson for Boston Public Schools, according to the Globe. The …
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Menino will file statewide legislation that could eliminate the cap on in-district charter schools.
Thursday, January 10
The following was submitted by the city of Boston on behalf of Mayor Thomas Menino. All across our city this month, parents are choosing the schools where they would like to send their children to kindergarten. The Boston Public Schools are better than ever – but our school assignment process is 25 years old. Under the current system, we ask prospective families to visit as many as 30 schools – some of which may be across the street, others miles from home – and then wait and hope they’ll get what they wanted. Our school choice process can be confusing, unpredictable and unnecessarily complicated. We can do better. Rather than building strong communities, today’s system begins by splitting up communities, sending students from one street …
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
A Jamaica Plain parent came away unimpressed with a recent public comment night. The Boston Public Schools have presented five ways to overhaul the district's student assignment system.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
[Editor's note: The author of this column, John Radosta, is a Forest Hills resident with a child at West Roxbury's Ohrenberger School. The schools have presented plans ranging from "no zone" neighborhood schools to a 23-zone plan.] Last Thursday, I was one of over two hundred people who came to the Ohrenberger School for a presentation by the Boston Public Schools on the School Assignment proposals. The crowd was the largest of the BPS meetings that are being held over the course of two weeks, perhaps because it is the only meeting near to Roslindale and Jamaica Plain as well. In addition to a number of School Committee, External Advisory Committee members, and about half a dozen BPS principals, Representative Ed Coppinger attended, as …
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
"BPS has just offered its best thinking on how a new system might look in the future and is asking for your feedback." - Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Editor's note: The following column was submitted by the City of Boston by Mayor Thomas Menino. Read about the five plans proposed by the Boston School Department here. In January I made a promise to our city’s parents and children. Our families would like a school choice system that passes the common-sense test. Today’s system does not. In the Bowdoin/Geneva area of Dorchester, where families speak 15 different languages and one in four falls below the poverty line, 2,000 students attend 100 different schools. Something similar could be said in East Boston, in Jamaica Plain, in Allston and in Dorchester. We cannot build a stronger community when we split ourselves apart every morning. This spring we asked you to tell us how we can …
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Officials from the Boston Public School Department presented five different plans to address the issue of school choice in the city. All the proposals would mark a significant change for Back Bay residents.
The choices are on the table for future generations of Boston Public School students. The Boston Public Schools Department presented a series of five options that would address school choice among students in Boston, with proposals ranging from doing away with the zone system completely to a system involving 23 different zones that span the city. The schools currently run in a three zone system, meaning some students attend schools across large swaths of the city. In thinking about the different plans, BPS said the frameworks considered equitable access, proximity to home for students, element of choice, diversity, safety, predictability, simpler for families, transportation savings, ease of execution. Option 1 - No zones This model would…
Monday, September 24, 2012
Boston Public Schools will release five alternative plans for school choice. What would you like to see the school system do to improve school assignments for kids?
Boston Public Schools will host a meeting 6 p.m. Monday night to announce five alternative school choice plans. The five alternatives were designed to improve local school access while preserving a parent's ability to choose the best school for their child, according to Superintendent Carol Johnson. Johnson made her remarks to WBUR. The schools have been mum on the details of the plan, preferring to present them Monday night at the Lilla Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester. From there, the department plans more public meetings to present and vet the alternatives, which will also be examined by an advisory committee appointed by Mayor Thomas Menino, according to boston.com. What do you think? What kind of changes should the school …
Friday, September 14, 2012
On Oct. 4 there will be an Improving School Choice meeting at the Ohrenberger School. There will be 11 neighborhood meetings starting Sept. 27 through Oct. 12.
(Editor's note: The following is an email sent out by Boston Public Schools from Superintendent Carol Johnson.) Dear BPS family, Welcome back to school! We hope you had a wonderful summer - especially the 11,000 students who participated in our expanded summer academic programs. As we welcome you back to the classroom we are pleased to let you know that for the first time, BPS is offering free breakfast for all students in every school. Last spring and summer we asked how we can improve school choice and student assignment. More than 2,300 people from every corner of Boston offered great suggestions. Now, our team is using these ideas to develop several new school assignment possibilities, which we expect to share at a meeting of the …
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Low attendance at a city-sponsored meeting sends the wrong signal.
When you’re a member of the audience, you hope to outnumber the performers. An empty venue is disheartening for those on stage and there’s less energy in the room. Boston Public Schools (BPS) took the stage on a rainy Tuesday night, holding its latest community meeting on improving school choice. But with fewer than two dozen people attending, speakers included – we barely made it. Go ahead, you can yawn – “community meeting on improving school choice” is one boring string of words, and not an event destined to be standing room only. But I was wide-eyed, thinking of the immense task Mayor Thomas Menino created for the city in January, in promising to overhaul the lottery assignment process and begin fostering school communities for 57,000…