Student assignment task force meets at City Hall on Nov. 29

Reporter Staff
Nov. 28, 2012

The team tasked with overhauling the city’s student assignment system meets at City Hall on Nov. 29. The 27-member group, known as the External Advisory Committee and appointed by Mayor Thomas Menino, will meet at 6 p.m. on the ninth floor.  Read more

Hot Pockets break partially foils school burglars

The Boston Police Department reports thieves who made off with several laptops yesterday from the Boston International High School, 100 Maxwell St., were planning on taking even more stuff, but were foiled when they took a break to warm up some Hot Pockets and set off an alarm that brought a custodian and police.  Read more

Under Coach Moran, unbeaten Dot Bears bound for Super Bowl

Tayla Holman, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 15, 2012

Dorchester Bears head coach Rich Moran was honored as “Coach of the Week” last Thursday in recognition of his undefeated team’s 12-0 victory over the Burke High School. The victory clinched the Bears’ spot in the Division 5 Super Bowl for the first time in over 20 years.

The Bears squad is made up of students from both TechBoston Academy and Dorchester Academy, both housed in what was once called Dorchester High. The honor from the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation includes a $1,000 donation to Dorchester Academy’s football program in Moran’s name. Former Patriot and Hall of Famer Andre Tippett, who is now the team’s executive director of community affairs, visited the school to present Moran with the award and check.  Read more

In farewell, Marshall principal denounces neglect by city officials

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Nov. 1, 2012

Teresa Harvey-Jackson: Retired as Marshall principal on Oct. 31

A week before her retirement, the outgoing principal at the Marshall Elementary School lit into Mayor Thomas Menino and Superintendent Carol Johnson, accusing them of neglecting the Dorchester school she has led for nearly two decades.

Teresa Harvey-Jackson made her views known at the Oct. 24 meeting of the Boston School Committee where the panel heard a proposal to transition the elementary school, which opened in 1971, to an in-district charter school.  Read more

Wily coyote causes stir in Mattapan; school put into 'safe mode'

A coyote spent a good part of Thursday morning sauntering around the area of Blue Hill Avenue and Walk Hill Street.  Read more

Final school choice plan will draw on 'best ideas from various proposals'

Our city is deep in conversation on efforts to create a new school assignment system. As many parents know and as we have heard loud and clear today’s system is too complicated, frustrating, and unpredictable for too many of our families. My goal is to create a new student assignment system that is fair, follows the laws of common sense, and prioritizes placing students in quality schools that are closer to their homes.

Much hard work remains, but today I am proud to tell you that we have made significant progress toward achieving that goal.  Read more

Parents air concerns about choice plans at Mattapan meeting

Tayla Holman, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 11, 2012

A small crowd was on hand Tuesday evening at the Mildred Avenue School in Mattapan as Boston public schools officials held the fifth in a series of community meetings focused on proposed changes to the city’s school assignment process.

The school department is looking to shift away from the current three-zone model, which has been in place since 1988. Although more seats have been opened up in high-performing schools, and graduation rates have increased while dropout rates have decreased, officials say there was still more to do to close the education gap.  Read more

Coalition offers new assignment plan; moves away from zones

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Oct. 3, 2012

Councillor John Connolly spoke at a State House press conference this morning. At right, lawmakers Rep. Ed Coppinger, Rep. Russell Holmes and Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry. Photo by Mike Deehan/SHNS

(Updated, Oct. 3, 3:15p.m.) — Future Boston public school students will have the option of going to one of the four schools closest to where they live while current students would be grandfathered to where they attend classes under the existing student assignment process under a plan released this week by City Councillor At-Large John Connolly and five fellow elected officials.  Read more

Seeking more reform for Boston schools not an 'extreme' position

To the Editor:

I am an extremist. In a September 20 opinion piece in the Dorchester Reporter ("City gets reform"), Mayor Menino defended the reforms in the recently settled agreement between the City and the Boston Teachers Union, but stated that "the extremes will say the contract doesn't give us much...." The agreement does provide reforms above what was in the previous contract, but it is incremental change at a time when the school system needed a giant leap forward.  Read more

City’s parents get concrete proposals that would revamp school assignments

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Sep. 26, 2012

Deputy Superintendent Michael Goar, right, and BPS Superintendent Dr. Carol Johnson spoke during Monday evening's meeting at the Frederick Middle School. Photo by Chris Lovett

Parents, take your pick. Boston School Department officials this week outlined five proposals that would move the city away from a three-zone set-up for assigning students to schools beginning with the 2014-2015 school year at the earliest.

The proposals, which were introduced Monday night at the Frederick Pilot Middle School and will be aired at a series of public meetings beginning with one Thursday at 7 o’clock at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School on Washington Street near Grove Hall, aim to send elementary and middle school students to classrooms closer to home instead of scattering children living on the same street across the city to various schools.

Related commentary: Towards a 'common-sense' system for school choice, by Mayor Thomas Menino  Read more