Get the Facts on Charter Schools in Massachusetts!

CPS has a new, detailed and downloadable fact sheet (with references) about charter schools in Massachusetts. It includes solid information about charters’ impact on local school budgets, who is included and who is excluded, waitlist numbers, and discipline practices. Click HERE to read and download and then share the information with your friends, neighbors and elected representatives!   → Read More

Charter School Waitlist Claims Greatly Exaggerated, CPS Analysis Reveals

Charter school promoters are making vastly exaggerated claims about students “trapped on waiting lists” in their campaign to lift the cap on charter schools, a Citizens for Public Schools analysis shows.

Charter school promoters say the waitlists show high demand for charter seats that cannot be met without lifting the caps on how much public funding can be diverted from district schools to charter schools.

But a CPS analysis of state data suggests the number affected by the cap is less than 15,000, probably thousands less. The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) confusing and opaque reporting system makes it impossible to be precise, but CPS found:

  • The waitlist count includes schools that are not Commonwealth charter schools and would not be affected if the cap were lifted.
  • Of the students on waitlists for Commonwealth charter schools, many were taken from old lists, rolled over from past years with permission from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), even after state Auditor Suzanne Bump warned DESE against this practice.
   → Read More

Public Education Activists Turned Out, Calling for More, Not Less!

As Marlena Rose, of the Boston Education Justice Alliance, said, “Welcome to the movement!” Thanks to Marlena and all the beautiful, brilliant students, parents, teachers and others who filled the streets of Boston yesterday. We walked in to City Hall and the State House to stand up for public education and against brutal cuts. Just one example of the excellent coverage was this, from WBUR Learning Lab reporter Erica Morrison. (Photo by Jesse Costa)   → Read More

Stand Up for Public Education, Join Us Tomorrow, Feb. 17!

In over 30 cities across the country, parents, students and teachers are standing up against unacceptable budget cuts! 
Here in Boston, we face $50 million in budget cuts, over $140 million in just the last three years! Enough is enough!
 Join us in walking-in to show your support for public education and demand fully funded, equitable public education for all students!
We’ll be handing in the BPS Budget Cuts petition: Please sign and share it today!    → Read More

CPS Thanks the Parent, Labor and Student Reps for Saying “No to MCAS 2.0!”

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted Tuesday to adopt Commissioner Mitchell Chester’s “door number three” recommendation: a new testto be developed by a contractor using many PARCC questions.

CPS members opposed this recommendation and believe that the board’s decision only strengthens the need for a three-year moratorium on the high stakes uses of standardized tests, whatever name is attached to them.

We agree with the Commissioner on one thing: our students, teachers and schools have reached a point of diminishing returns. But the diminishing returns are from the whole high-stakes testing enterprise, not MCAS itself, as Chester claims.

In voting to continue with a new and untested test, our data-driven education policymakers ignored their own data from a study commissioned by Secretary of Education Peyser. The study compared MCAS and PARCC in terms of their ability to predict college readiness. The results showed that neither test predicts more than 5% to 18% of the variation in college grades in math and English.   → Read More