Published On: May 25, 2016

By now most have probably heard of the McKinsey Report, which claimed that Boston Public Schools has an excess seating capacity of 38,000 seats and called for the closing of 30 to 50 schools. Though discredited by many city councilors and school committee members, the report, which cost the city $670,000, has become a central piece of the city’s blueprint for a school closing proposal next year. What’s more, though its estimate of 38,000 excess seats has received widespread criticism from many quarters, the city has failed to renounce that calculation. A report that relied on much more recent data about the city’s schools pegged the excess capacity at around 4,900. See this report to learn more.

Why is this important? It wasn’t all that long ago that the city embarked on a drastic school closing proposal that defies imagination. From January 1, 1975 through December 31, 1979, the city closed 41 schools buildings. From January 1, 1980 through July, 1981, the city closed an additional 28 school buildings. Those 69 school closings (see the list of closed schools) paved the way for massive teacher layoffs and a huge spike in class size: 710 permanent teachers were laid off at the end of the 1981 school year. An additional 595 permanent teachers were laid off at the end of the following school year. The claim of widespread excess capacity in our schools is a ruse to propose a massive school closing sometime next year.

Sticking by capacity figures we all know to be greatly inflated is dishonest. For the school district and city to fail to renounce the data supplied by McKinsey, and to repeatedly allow the Globe, the Herald, and other media outlets to restate it without correction is irresponsible as well. The city has said that there is ‘no plan’ to close schools. There may not be an actual list, but there is a plan. You can count on that.

Building Rep Banquet: The BTU Building Rep Banquet will be held next week, on Thursday, June 2 beginning at 5:30, with music by one of our own, the Condon’s Laura Delgado-Clemons. Sign up to attend and download a flyer.

The 3rd Annual Professional Learning Conference is less than two weeks away! Register today for our 3rd Annual Professional Learning Conference on Saturday, June 4 at the BTU. The full schedule of workshops, activities, panels and speakers is now live. Highlights include:
Workshops and panels led by BTU educators

  • An update from the Mayor’s office of education on the BPS Facilities Master Plan, including a Q&A session
  • Keynote speaker Zac Chase: teacher, blogger, US Department of Education ConnectEd Fellow and co-author of the acclaimed Building School 2.0: Creating the Schools We Need
  • A design conversation where we shape the future of PD in BPS

Breakfast and lunch will be served. The event is free, but please RSVP for planning purposes.

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