|More than 500 came to see candidates (Mike Maguire)|
Wednesday night more than 500 people jammed into the BTU hall to see 11 of 12 mayoral candidates debate the issues facing our school system. It was one of the largest forums so far. The forum, which lasted close to 2 hours, focused primarily on charter school growth and how it either helps the BPS or hurts it; the necessity of facility improvements and how to finance same; and the lack of resources, just to name a few topics.
The chief takeaway: A few candidates believe that the key to improving the Boston Public Schools is to encourage the growth of out-of-district charter schools. A few candidates, on the other hand, had more thoughtful proposals.
At the meeting yesterday BTU members handed out the following: AStand for Children flier and the letter that accompanied it. Both of these were supposed to be mailed to each member late last week, but due to a problem with a third party vendor who was hired by our national AFT office, the mail was regrettably delayed. Some of you may have received the letter, which was dated 9/4, on 9/12 or later. We are embarrassed at the delay and not-too-happy with the vendor, whom we will never use again. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Also handed out at the forum was a packet of information on where the BTU stands on a variety of issues. The packet includes a description of discriminatory practices that are customary in many charter schools, our position on on extended day program, and another piece describing a fledgling, pro-public education organization we have joined.
Thank you; the video is fairly long, but it contains many interesting give and takes.