Charter school scam vote

March 4, 2010
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Many, many schools in this city are underperforming or have students who cannot compare statistically to kids living in other towns less than two miles away.

More kids here have lower reading and math scores than in most other cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

Many, many students in the Lynn School system cannot read or write in the English language – and cannot read or write in their own native language.

This is not exclusively the problem of the Lynn School Department – and so many students from poverty stricken homes with so little ability to comprehend inevitably takes away from the educational experience offered in the public schools in this city.

It is a proven fact, in fact, proven locally at Lynn’s KIPP Academy, that when given smaller class size, longer school days and non-union teachers inclined to work more for less, kids who might otherwise be lost in the vastness of the public school system do much better for themselves.

The test scores prove it. They do not lie. This is inarguable.

KIPP is going on to become a Charter high school. This is proper and this is right, even though Lynn’s school superintendent and her predecessor were dead set against charter schools for some of Lynn’s public school children and have gone to bat against them at public hearings.

The founders of the Hathaway School in Swampscott appeared to be on their way to a charter school mandate last week for a K-6 Lynn Preparatory School.

Even the Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts recommended the school for approval.

Lynn’s superintendent was there at the hearing where the school was nixed to express her opinion that she is against such a charter school for Lynn students seeking something better for themselves than the Harrington School, for instance.

She won the fight.

She had some help from the Legislature, which passed obscure legislation recently disallowing private schools from becoming public charter schools, thereby invalidating the Hathaway School from becoming a charter school.

Bottom line – the perpetuation of the failing worst schools in this city at the expense of charter schools shown to raise the bar in public school education makes no sense.

When a well educated, highly paid, very smart school superintendent of public schools here or anywhere stands against excellence because excellence would cost too much, then something is radically wrong.

It is one thing to work for better public schools.

It is another to stand against the proven excellence of charter schools.

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