Mattahunt closure plan spurs debate at Board of Education hearing

Community members and public education advocates on Tuesday urged state officials to halt a city plan to close the Mattahunt Elementary School. Earlier this month, Boston officials announced plans to close the school, which has been labeled since 2012 as a Level 4 or "underperforming" school in the state's accountability ranking system.

Lincoln Larmond, co-chair of the community group Mattapan United, told the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education there is "resolute and vociferous" opposition to the closure from Mattahunt parents. He asked board members to "respond the way you'd respond if this was your child" at the school.

At the board meeting, speakers during the public comment period suggested alternatives, including appointing a receiver to develop a new rapid turnaround plan for the school. Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester said an additional nearly $2 million has been spent so far to support a turnaround at the Mattahunt.

"We've seen results at best stay flat if not decline," he said, citing an "incredibly low" year-to-year learning gain.

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