Horace Mann charters are supposed to be open to all students, providing equal access and equal opportunity to all. In fact, the superintendent’s plan says that UP Academy is ‘an in-district charter school that will serve current Gavin students.’
Or is it? Initially the UP Academy CEOs came to the Gavin School and said that all 6th and 7th graders would automatically continue in the school. In a subsequent visit, the CEOs qualified that statement, saying the students could stay ONLY IF they filled out an application. Late last week, we heard that the UP folks have taken this a step further and are making phone calls to hand-selected students at the Gavin.
So here’s where this stands: There will be no equal access to the Gavin/UP next year. The UP folks have set up obstacles designed to cream students. Sure, all children in the city can go to UP If they fill out an application. What kind of application? This is not the same procedure as how children typically get assigned to school in the BPS. Do 6th graders at the Umana or Irving, for example, have to fill out an application to remain in the school in the 7th grade?
We now we see a real life example as to how the charters self-select their students. This application required to remain at the Gavin is an unnecessary obstacle that is designed to separate those who take the initiative from those who will not. By the way, Boston Green Academy, the other new Horace Mann In-District Charter to open, will follow the same application process. We can assure you in advance that each school’s application will be more complicated than merely checking off a box that says “I want to go to UP or Green Academy.
The state mandates that charter school students be chosen by lottery, and therefore, we have heard, the application and the lottery are acceptable. Welcome to the wonderful world of charter schools equal access.