Read about Charter Review 2015 from Chris Faraone writing in Dig Boston, “The Barbarism of Charterism: New Year, New Theater in the War Over Corporate Ed Reform in Mass:”
Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson was smiling. Not the ordinary cheery ear-to-ear look his constituents have come to expect from the ebullient official, but rather a modest show of relief dashed with giddiness because the side of Boston’s education battle he has come to represent—namely, public school instructors, parents, and students—was getting an official forum to air grievances on-record at his ‘Hearing to Review the Number of Students Returning to BPS from Charter Schools.’
On this mid-December Wednesday at the height of the holiday season, the council chamber—not even close to packed with roughly 40 heads in attendance, many anxiously retracing notes waiting to testify—was much less hectic than the shopping thoroughfares on either side of Government Center. Fewer than half the councilors showed. Nonetheless, Jackson, there to oversee things as the sponsor of said hearing order, treated the proceeding as a watershed event come at long last.
‘We need to hit the pause button and focus on the schools we have,’ said Jackson, who has seen public academies in his Roxbury neighborhood neglected while the charter apparatus gains momentum. (In the prickly case of the Dearborn School, charter operators gained control of a new state-of-the-art $70+ million facility which families, faculty, and members of the local community had rallied to secure.) Reminding onlookers at City Hall and those watching from home that Massachusetts schools are among the best in the country, Jackson added, ‘Sometimes we forget what we have,’ and so ‘it’s critical and timely that we have this conversation.’
If you have time for one more piece, “The Charter School Business… and how to keep it from being the charter school racket: An interview with Bruce Baker,” in The American Prospect is a good read.