The Real Impact of Charters on Education Equity, Accountability

The crowd that filled Madison Park High School’s Cardinal Hall on January 25 heard a wide-ranging, rich presentation on the impact of charter schools in Massachusetts. Parents, educators and advocates provided a multifaceted presentation on the charter schools, with several unifying themes.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Charters Foster Inequity – Winners and Losers

Keynote speaker Dr. Daniella Ann Cook, Assistant Professor in the Department of Instruction at the University of South Carolina, reported on her research into the transforming of the New Orleans Public Schools into, as of next year, the nation’s first all-charter system.

Cook said school reform is far more than a technical discussion of curriculum and instruction; it is always political, social and racial. She noted that charter proponents saw New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina as a “green field of opportunity,” a way to wipe away the existing system and put in place something entirely new. She noted that among those wiped away from this mostly black school system were black teachers (an issue that resonates in Boston).   → Read More

Save Saturday, Jan. 25, for a CPS Charter School Forum

Have Charter Schools Broken Their Promises
to Parents, Students and the Community?
Come join us on Saturday, Jan. 25, at Madison Park High School, Cardinal Hall, for a forum and community discussion on charter schools in Massachusetts. (Click here to register now.) Massachusetts was the second state to authorize charter schools, under the Education Reform Act of 1993. Charter proponents made many promises: that all children would be welcome and would achieve at unprecedented levels; that charters would innovate and this would lead to improvements in traditional public schools as well. Eighty-one non-district charter schools are now open in Massachusetts, 25 of those in Boston. More than 31,000 students are enrolled.
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Judge Sumner Z. Kaplan Memorial Lecture and Benefit

“Is Education for Democracy at Risk?”

CPS and our cosponsors the Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action (JALSA) and Brookline PAX, are proud to present a distinguished panel of speakers on Monday,  Dec. 3, 2012 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the main branch of the Brookline Public Library. For more information and to register today, click here.

Come listen and join in a discussion of democracy and the future of public education:  What can we do to stop the privatization of our public schools, and empower parents, teachers and our communities to ensure all our students have the opportunity to learn?   → Read More

Thanks for a successful conference!

The Citizens for Public Schools Annual Fall Issues Conference exceeded our high expectations for the quality of the speakers, attendees and ideas generated for change. Thanks to all whose hard work and great ideas made it such a success.

Stay tuned for a special Fall Issues Conference edition of the Backpack, coming soon to an email address and web site near you!   → Read More

Pauline Lipman: The Attack on Public Education

Pauline Lipman is Professor of Policy Studies in the College of Education, University of Illinois-Chicago. Professor Lipman presented a powerful keynote at Saving Our Schools: Defending Public Education, a  March 27 conference co-sponsored by Citizens for Public Schools and the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM). Coming from Chicago, former home of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Lipman described the devastating consequences of Duncan’s privatization efforts as CEO of Chicago public schools. She exhorted the audience to keep at the forefront a vision of what we want for our public schools:

We need more than opposition to what we are against. Forging a social movement to defend public education means defining what we are for. It is not surprising that some parents and students in Chicago are not enthusiastic about defending public education. Public schools, like other public services (think public assistance, public hospitals, the police) have a deeply flawed record of exclusion, disrespect, racism, hostility, even violence for working class and low-income people of color.

   → Read More