Published On: April 13, 2016

Charter legislation passed the Senate last week, 22-13, and from here it goes to the House, then probably to committee. See a report from the State House News Service on WBUR’s Learning Lab website.

The charter cap fight also headed to another venue late last week as plaintiffs went to court to keep the cap:

On Friday, April 8, traditional public school students and the New England Area Conference of the NAACP will argue for their right to intervene in pending litigation over the cap on charter schools. The proposed intervenors, comprised of students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities, argue that the cap on charter schools is necessary to preserve educational opportunities for students like themselves in traditional public schools…

Read the full press release from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice.

And if you’ve always wanted to know how the typical Mass Charter School Board of Directors is constructed:

Parents of students in charter schools comprise only 14 percent of charter trustees statewide, and only five charter high schools include any student representatives on the board of trustees, according to the report. Approximately one-third of charter school trustees in Massachusetts are affiliated with the financial services or corporate sectors, while less than a quarter have educational expertise…

When 60 percent of the charter schools in Massachusetts lack even a single parent on their boards of trustees, it’s clear that the original mission of charter schools has been corrupted by the charter school industry and their corporate backers,” said Ricardo Rosa, a parent of three children in the New Bedford Public School system. “These disturbing findings make it clear that new charter schools in Massachusetts are increasingly run by corporate executives and hedge fund managers, not parents and educators who know what’s best for our kids…

See a press release from Save Our Public Schools MA to read more.

Math Rocks was a great success, with more than 200 students competing from 44 school teams. Thanks go to many people, but most of all to BTU staffers Marimar Escoto and Shanika Houlder, as well as BTU retirees Jan Dwyer, Pat Yingling, Angela Philactos, and Phyllis Kirschner, all of whom put in countless hours for this wonderful event. School team winners were as follows. See a complete list of all team and individual winners.

4th-5th Grade Team Winners

  • 1st Place – Murphy
  • 2nd Place – Ohrenberger
  • 3rd Place – Haley Pilot

6th-8th Grade Team Winners

  • 1st Place – Kilmer K-8
  • 2nd Place – Roosevelt
  • 3rd Place – Jackson/Mann

BTU Voting & Proposed Change in By-Laws: An ad-hoc committee has been meeting for months to develop a proposed by-law change to improve the policies around the BTU election. Read a draft of the proposed by-law language. Please plan to join us for an open forum will on Monday, April 25 at 4:30 PM at the BTU Hall. Simply, the new by-law calls for the following proposed changes and more:

  • Every BTU member will be sent a ballot; there will be no need to request a ballot. Members will have an option to vote at the polls as well.
  • Membership lists will be verified by a defined process in advance of the mailing
  • The election committee will operate by a new set of rules, including the publishing of minutes and publishing of an agenda
  • The polls will be open on election day from 6 AM until 8 PM.

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