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

Mayor: Towards a ‘common-sense’ model for school choice

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.  Read more

Superintendent's remarks at school assignment meeting

Remarks to the External Advisory Committee on School Choice
Superintendent Carol R. Johnson
Monday, September 24, 2012

Let me begin by acknowledging Mayor Menino and the tremendous team efforts that have gone into this report; the community feedback and the broad process that culminates tonight with this presentation.  Read more

School assignment options get airing at meeting tonight

Boston Public Schools officials plan to roll out several proposals to refit the school assignment policy on Monday by presenting options to a mayorally appointed advisory committee at the Frederick Pilot Middle School on Columbia Road at 6 p.m.

“They’re going to lay out three or four plans, I believe, that will be discussed,” Mayor Thomas Menino told the Reporter this week. “And after they get back the feedback on that and maybe some adjustments, they’ll go to a plan that the school committee will eventually approve.”  Read more

Connolly: A missed opportunity to close the gap in Boston Schools

Two transformative opportunities for the Boston Public Schools hung in the balance as students began the new school year. First, students desperately needed a longer school day and a system that kept good teachers in the classroom. Unfortunately, this opportunity came and went, as the Boston Public Schools’ leadership and the Boston Teachers Union agreed to a status quo teachers contract.  Read more

Teachers, city reach accord in contract dispute

Reporter Staff
Sep. 12, 2012

Mayor Menino discussed a deal with Boston teachers in a press conference this morning at City Hall. Photo courtesy Mayor's office

After more than two years of on-again, off-again negotiations, a tentative agreement between Boston teachers union leaders and the city of Boston was reached on Wednesday morning. The new six-year contract, if approved, will raise teachers’ salaries only if they meet certain performance thresholds based on student test scores.  Read more

Orchard Gardens— cited by Patrick— has shown improvement, but lags in testing

Sep. 6, 2012

During his Democratic National Convention speech Tuesday night, Gov. Deval Patrick gave a surprise highlight to a Boston school that was recently among the worst-performing in the state, but while Patrick said Orchard Gardens is now “one of the best” schools in the state, it still lags behind in standardized testing.  Read more

Colorful new look for Mattapan elementary school

The Mattahunt School on Hebron St. sports a colorful new exterior for today's first-day of class. Photo courtesy BPS

Students at the Mattahunt Elementary School will return to a dramatically improved school building today— the result of an $8 million city-funded modernization project that wrapped up over the summer. The renovation — which focused on exterior improvements to the Mattahunt campus – included a new roof, windows and landscaping. But, it’s the Lego-like color scheme on the building’s sheet metal façade that is the real eye-catcher.  Read more