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

Gov. Patrick shakes up RCC board, adds new members

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Sep. 6, 2012

In a further shake-up of the leadership at Roxbury Community College, Gov. Deval Patrick plans on Thursday to appoint six new members to the college's board following questions raised over crime reporting, financial aid distribution and the former president's stewardship of the school's educational mission.

The six new board members are Kathy Taylor, who will take over as chairwoman, Beth Williams, Michael Curry, Mark Culliton, Glynn Lloyd and Jeffrey Greenberg. Steven Tompkins, a member of the RCC board since 2010, will also be reappointed for a second five-year term.  Read more

$113m arts/science center next for UMass Boston

Latest UMass Boston building plan: Will house performing arts and science classes. UMass Boston imageLatest UMass Boston building plan: Will house performing arts and science classes. UMass Boston imageUMass Boston officials are aiming to break ground on their next academic building this winter and hope to have the $113 million structure open by summer 2015. The building will include chemistry teaching labs and house studios for the arts department and performing arts, which are currently scattered across the Columbia Point campus.

The 181,000-square foot facility will be located next to the Campus Center, a site currently being used for parking. It will include studios for producing sculptures, photography, painting and video; dance and acting students, a 150-seat recital hall and a theater that could hold up to 200 people.  Read more

Senator predicts Patrick amendments as Senate sends sentencing bill to governor

Michael Norton, Gintautas Dumcius and Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jul. 20, 2012

The Senate on Thursday voted 31-7 to approve a bill broadening crime-fighting tools, ensuring that certain repeat violent offenders serve their full sentences, and easing prison overcrowding by adjusting sentencing laws for drug offenders.

Shortly after the vote, the House gave the bill final approval and senators sent it to Gov. Deval Patrick.

"The governor should sign it because it's the balanced bill that he asked for when the discussion began," Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr said after the vote.  Read more