Schools

School assign plan okayed; but Connolly begs to differ

In a 6 to 1 vote last Wednesday night, the Boston School Committee signed off on a sweeping overhaul of the school system’s assignment process. The 57,000 students now attending the city’s schools, along with their siblings, are grandfathered under the existing three-zone plan, which has been in place for 24 years.  Read more

School Committee signs off on new student assignment plan

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 14, 2013

In a 6 to 1 vote, the School Committee on Wednesday night signed off on a sweeping overhaul of the Boston school system’s assignment process. Current students in the system of 57,000, along with their siblings, are grandfathered under the existing 3-zone plan, which has been in place for 24 years.  Read more

School assignment panel OKs ‘home-based’ plan

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Feb. 26, 2013

An advisory panel on the city’s school assignment system on Monday night signed off on a plan providing students with a minimum of six choices. The plan uses an algorithm and students’ home address to determine the set of choices, which will also include schools within a mile radius of the address, on top of new citywide schools.  Read more

Connolly launches mayoral bid outside Brighton school

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Feb. 26, 2013

City Councillor John Connolly, flanked by supporters and his wife Meg, announced his candidacy for Mayor of Boston today in Brighton. Photo courtesy Connolly campaign

Looking to make the city’s school system the focus of his campaign, City Councillor At-Large John Connolly launched his mayoral bid on Tuesday morning outside of a Brighton school. He said he plans a “bottom-up” campaign, with a community organizer’s mindset, similar to President Obama’s campaign for the White House.

In a conversation with reporters on Monday, Connolly said he is ready to “ask every voter I can meet to consider me.” Connolly has spent months building up his campaign kitty and he said last week that he was seriously considering a mayoral bid.  Read more

School assignment panel to meet at City Hall on Saturday

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Feb. 22, 2013

Awash in data and comments from the school department, parents, and outside groups, the panel tasked with revamping the city’s school assignment system will meet at City Hall for a Saturday morning (Feb. 23) discussion. A vote is still planned for Monday night (Feb. 25) at Suffolk University.

The 27-member panel appears to be leaning toward the “home-based” models as they look to make a recommendation to Superintendent Carol Johnson and the School Committee, according to its members.  Read more

(UPDATED) Menino asks advisory panel to delay vote on school assignment plan

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Feb. 5, 2013

Mayor Thomas Menino on Tuesday asked for the advisory panel eyeing a school assignment overhaul to again delay their vote, scheduled for Saturday, and wrap up their work by before the end of the month.

“I ask that you continue your work past this weekend,” Menino wrote in the letter, which was obtained by the Reporter. The advisory panel had aimed for a December vote, and that was pushed back into January, and then to this weekend.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: Baker seeks three elected slots on school committee

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jan. 16, 2013

The city’s School Committee would be converted into a hybrid group of elected and appointed officials, under a bill District 3 Councillor Frank Baker filed this week.

The home rule petition splits the panel into a group of four mayorally appointed members and three members elected by a citywide vote. The petition would need the approval of the City Council and the mayor, a most unlikely event, before being sent to the Legislature.  Read more

Think about children everywhere when talking about mass violence

In the aftermath of the horror of the Newtown massacre and the nation’s reaction to it, one notices the contrast between the grief and resolve evident after this unspeakable crime and the apathy that prevails when “collateral damage” includes the unintended death of innocent children.

How many thousands of children have been killed by our forces in the wars of the last half century, from Vietnam to Afghanistan? That they were unintended consequences may assuage the conscience of those responsible, but it does not diminish the loss or ease the pain and sorrow of loved ones.  Read more

Student assignment panel’s plan expected in early February

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jan. 9, 2013

The advisory group charged with vetting a new student assignment plan is near the finish line, from which they will hand off their proposal to Superintendent Carol Johnson and a School Committee with new leadership.  Read more

A 12-year mentoring ‘promise’ for city’s public school students

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Dec. 27, 2012

Juma Crawford speaks during an event with Friends of the Children Boston last May.

On the Friday afternoon before Christmas, when most of their friends and classmates headed home to get an early start on the holidays, about a dozen teens sat in a former manufacturing facility, several of them staring intently at their computer screens.

But they weren’t playing games; their mission was to hammer out a budget and a business plan for setting up a garden to grow vegetables and sell them in the summer.  Read more