Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Amendment may prevent opening new charter schools in Boston

The Globe has an article on the charter school legislation that the Senate passed last month. Apparently, one of the late amendments added by Boston's Sonia Chang-Diaz could prevent Boston, Lawrence, and other cities from opening new charter schools. The original point of the bill was to lift the cap on the number of charter schools in underperforming districts. Under the amendment, as interpreted by the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association and the state Department of Education, districts would have to be in the bottom 10% of both MCAS scores and improvement of MCAS scores to be eligible for more charter schools. That would whittle the number of eligible districts from 33 to 4.

Chang-Diaz said she was open to changing the language and it was not her intent to exclude Boston. Oops. She said she intended to have a combined list of MCAS scores and test improvement and have the bottom 10% of that list be eligible for charter school expansion.

The House is expected to take up the bill in January.

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