There has been much talk about the school district’s contracting out of the Marshall School to a charter non-profit called Unlocking Potential (UP), which also manages what was formerly the Gavin Middle School. The Marshall will now be an in-district Horace Mann Charter School. All teachers will have to re-apply for their positions. If history is any guide, none of the teachers currently at the Marshall will be invited to stay.
There was no apparent bidding process that led to the choice of UP as manager. Nor was there any school community or staff involvement. It was clearly a top-down decision made by the Court Street hierarchy.
The school department says that there were no other management companies willing to assume control over a district school, that all respondents wanted to run a new starting-from-scratch school only. You can see a Globe article excerpt here.
“…Some also questioned why Unlocking Potential, a non-profit formed in 2008, was designated the group to lead the change at the school. Johnson said it’s because most providers BPS talked to wanted to start with a fresh school and not take over an existing school.
“‘We went around to schools asking providers if they wanted to turnaround an underperforming school, they would say, ‘well we will start a new school in your district’,’ said Johnson. ‘I have a school, I don’t want to tell the parents they have to move, I want to tell the parents they get to stay exactly where they are, it’s their school and except for UP Academy none of the other providers would agree to take the kids….'”
By way of background, the Marshall was one of 35 level 3 schools in the district and was on no particular or unique path to becoming a state-sanctioned charter school.
We’d like you to weigh in on this by taking a poll vote. Do you approve of the process the school district has followed in turning the Marshall Elementary School into an in-district Horace Mann Charter school? Do you not?
This is an unscientific poll. All 10,500+ recipients of this email are eligible to vote. (Votes are counted only once per computer.) While 90% of the recipients are estimated to be either BTU members or BPS employees, the list is open to the public, and therefore the results must be seen in that light.