Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Charter school discussion on WBUR this Friday, mayoral debate tonight

WBUR's Radio Boston will discuss charter schools on its program at 1 p.m. Friday. (Editor's note: It looks like this has been postponed due to a special show on the life of Sen. Ted Kennedy.) I haven't toured any charter schools yet, but that's on my to-do list this fall. I would prefer to have my son attend BPS, but we'd be crazy not to have a Plan B, given the unpredictable nature of the lottery.

But the odds don't look good on the charter school front either. According to this April article in the Wall Street Journal, Edward Brooke Charter School in Roslindale had a waitlist of 1000 students. (1000!!! I really don't know whether to laugh or cry.) It looks like they have about 64 spots for K2 students.

Charter schools have become an issue in this year's race for Boston mayor. The candidates -- Thomas Menino, Michael Flaherty, Kevin McCrea, and Sam Yoon -- are having their first debate tonight at 7 p.m. on WBZ. (Edited to add: This has been rescheduled to Wed., Sept. 2, 7-8 p.m.) I look forward to hearing their thoughts on Boston's schools.

So far, here's what I can distill from various sources.

Flaherty: He has proposed lifting the cap on the number of charter schools. I believe this could go before voters in November 2010.
He was against the proposed 5-zone plan.
He wants to develop a universal pre-K program for 4-year-olds.
He hopes to implement more advanced work programs.
Flaherty's education platform

McCrea: He doesn't support lifting the cap on charter schools.
He wants to improve neighborhood schools and work toward eliminating bussing.
McCrea's education press release

Menino: Menino has called for turning some failing public schools into "in-district" charter schools, and if that doesn't work, lifting the cap on charter schools.
Menino's education platform

Yoon: He wants to make the Boston School Committee half elected, half appointed. Right now, these are all appointed positions.
He did not support the 5-zone system proposed earlier.
He supports lifting the cap on charter schools.
Yoon's education platform

For more on lifting the charter school cap, check out this Globe article from earlier this month.

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