The Boston Globe reports that Superintendent Tommy Chang is renewing his push for district-wide school reconfiguration. Reporter James Vaznis writes:
Parents still reeling from a failed proposal to change the opening and closing bells at schools across Boston are now facing another proposal that could dramatically alter the fabric of their children’s schools, generating a mix of outrage and support.
Superintendent Tommy Chang is renewing his push to reduce the variety of schools across the city, a move that could eliminate Boston’s six remaining middle schools as elementary and high schools absorb the middle grades.
Chang is advocating for the changes out of a belief that students should switch schools just once during their education instead of multiple times, which can be disruptive both academically and socially, and to address declining enrollment in the middle and upper grades.
BTU President Jessica Tang weighed in:
The Boston Teachers Union has taken no formal position on changing grade configurations.
“Any such changes warrant an authentic and thoughtful community process that truly values the knowledge, experiences and insights of those most impacted,” said Jessica Tang, the union’s president, in a statement. “Input from families and educators should be integral to the formulation of any potential plans for grade reconfiguration.”
In this week’s BTU bulletin, President Tang wrote in more depth:
…we have been in conversations with the BPS about the possible changes in school configurations and closing of middle schools and met late last week after the news broke. They have assured us that there will be no changes for the following school year and that we will be involved in any plans that impact our schools moving forward. We will continue to insist that impacted stakeholders be a part of a thoughtful process where our knowledge and expertise are valued and taken into consideration.