The Boston Teachers Union doesn’t plan to endorse either one of mayoral candidates in the upcoming race.
According to WBUR, the Teachers Union hasn’t endorsed a mayoral candidate for 22 years. They backed Edward Doherty, a past president of the Boston Teachers Union, in a race against incumbent Ray Flynn in 1992. Nevertheless, education has been a hot topic this election season. Both candidates John R. Connolly and Martin J. Walsh have demonstrated their support of lifting the cap on the number of charter school options available in Boston, which the Teachers’ Union is against.
Yet more than half of Boston school district students are not proficient at math or language arts at a time when Commonwealth charter schools have been reporting improved standardized test scores across the board. James Peyer summarizes these findings in EducationNext:
Over the past few years, several studies of charter school performance in Boston have been conducted by a variety of researchers using different methodologies. Regardless of the sponsoring organization or the research design, these studies all reach the same conclusion: Commonwealth charter schools in Boston are exceptionally high performing.
The research shows that charter schools are producing better test scores, but they aren’t producing careers for teachers. Most of these charters do not hire union teachers, and according to many accounts including this one by Nancy Bloom, they subject teachers to longer days for less pay and no guarantee of job security.
As both candidates support abolishing the charter school cap, are we looking for a test –score based, data-driven school reform in 2014, regardless of who Boston elects? Do test scores really point to the educational improvements being made in our schools? Either way, even Boston’s most experienced teachers are looking at longer days for less pay.
Sean Lords is a writer interested in education and advising those considering tesol certification in Boston