Boston: Teachers’ Union Plans Rally Against Likely State Takeover

The state of Massachusetts appears ready to take control of the Boston Public Schools at its meeting tomorrow, despite the fact that state takeovers have failed everywhere. The state does not have a special reservoir of knowledge that is lacking at the local level, and if they did, they could provide it without taking control of the school district and ending local control.

This morning, as a seeming prelude to takeover, the state released a “blistering” report about the condition of BPS.

Boston Public Schools is largely stuck in “entrenched dysfunction” and its failure to achieve systemwide change on a number of fronts is causing thousands of students to languish in their classrooms, even as school district leaders have taken initial steps to help remedy some of the problems, according to a blistering state review released Monday.

”The district has failed to effectively serve its most vulnerable students, carry out basic operational functions, and address systemic barriers to providing an equitable, quality education,” the review states. “The problems facing BPS are abundantly clear.”

And the report makes the case that state Commissioner Jeffrey Riley and the state Board of Elementary and Education will take action, although the report doesn’t state what specific steps will be taken. The state education board is scheduled to discuss the report’s findings at its monthly meeting Tuesday...

The new review paints a devastating portrait of the state of BPS, but gives outgoing Superintendent Brenda Cassellius and the school system credit for launching several new district-wide initiatives that show promising signs for boosting student achievement.

Among them: Raising high school graduation standards to align with entry requirements to the state’s public universities, adopting a new literacy curriculum and higher-quality instructional materials, and expanding the diversity of its teaching staff. But full implementation has not been realized yet, and the report raised concerns that the efforts could be thwarted by the district’s lack of a strategic approach to training staff and setting clear expectations and deadlines for schools to embrace the changes.

Despite these improvements, takeover is on the horizon.

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The Boston Teachers Union plans a rally tomorrow to protest the state takeover:

As announced last week– we are attending the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) meeting tomorrow to say NO to receivership! 

BESE just announced a location change for this meeting. The meeting will now be at 1 Ashburton Pl, Boston, MA 02108 (NOT Wellesley HS). We will meet in front of the State House at 8am and walk over to the meeting together.

You can drive and meet us there but parking is limited and expensive in that area. You can also take the T to Park Street. Or we’ll still have two buses leaving at 7:30am:

  • Boston Teachers Union in Dorchester (180 Mt. Vernon St. 02125. Be sure you go to the address in Dorchester, not downtown). Lots of free parking.
  • St. Stephen’s Youth Programs in the South End (419 Shawmut Ave, 02119). Limited parking.

If you haven’t already, RSVP here if you can join us.

If you can’t join in person, you can watch the livestream of the meeting at https://livestream.com/accounts/22459134 and take action here. Follow the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #OurCityOurSchools. 

Tomorrow BESE will hear from students, parents, and educators united against state takeover!