Councilors blast BPS for failure of Madison Park High School

An angry Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) today demanded an in-depth audit of finances at the city's only vocational high school.

BPS "should be absolutely ashamed" that the school has 62 staff vacancies just two weeks before school opens, Jackson said today, calling for a hearing to consider the issue.

Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester) agreed. "The situation at Madison is really at a crisis level," he said.

"The school is failing because we have failed these kids," at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley said. "If the school is being set up to fail, the students are being set up to fail. Enough is enough."

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I'd like to know more about

I'd like to know more about the 62 vacancies, and how that fits into the overall staffing at the school, and whether or not that number is normal.

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That's a good question

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Although this does sound like a lot of personnel at a single school, rumor has it that many departments budget for more staff than they need - leave the positions vacant, and then use those savings to patch budget overruns.

Pretty normal budget shenanigans universally - but would be interesting to see the variances etc.

Did anyone hear that segment

Did anyone hear that segment on Marketplace recently about the apprenticeship program VW is running the US? Three years of vocational training, and you come out with a job at VW, a certificate qualifying you to work at any German auto plant in the world, and an associates degree. A few graduates were going to work right away at their US VW plant, a few were going to Germany for a year to work at VW, and a few were deferring their jobs to pursue a bachelors degree.

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reminds me alot

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of the movie lean on me. Hopefully they can get someone to turn this school around for the better.

What?

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"The school is failing because we have failed these kids," at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley said.

Did she attend Madison?

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a couple issues:

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a couple issues:

some schools were legitimately restructuring positions and departments this past year, but the culture among a large number of principals is that in the past they used "excessing" as a way of getting rid of teachers who they had issues with (either they weren't effective or simply because they didn't like them - usually the latter). This means if you're "excessed" - even if you are a highly effective and highly qualified teacher, it's unfortunately a signal to other principals that you're "a problem." There's also a loophole where if principals attach a stipend to the position they don't have to hire from the excess pool.

(as an aside - there are a handful of principals in BPS who don't play this game - especially if they know the person was excessed from certain schools...)

BPS really needs to work with BTU and principals to figure out a better way of getting rid of the small handful of teachers who aren't very effective - IMO - it could be as simple as BPS providing adequate professional support to principals - better helping them through the correct process. unfortunately - by using "excessing" and the stipend loophole, they're screwing over other teachers who would be totally qualified for open positions - these teachers have essentially been black-listed in the open hiring pool (meaning - if a school "fires" all their teachers, the only school they can effectively apply to is their current school - instead of having the freedom to look elsewhere). I'm wondering if the principal at Madison Park attached stipends to their open teaching positions - or - if none of those teachers decided to come back - which probably means there's an admin/culture issue there...

I've heard rumors that the superintendent is aware of what is going on and is trying to end this practice, though.

I'm sure if the council were to dig into this, they'd find out more. there's some entrenched stuff at the admin level that really needs to change.

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The public schools fail..

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In large part because of their standards for hiring...

I think if we opened up to doing actual "hiring" instead of the ol' "oh you're certified?" "You have a job," then we'd all be in a much better place.

Content mastery and skill set have nothing to do with standardized testing. In 2014 I think we all can agree.

Think of the people who are ready, willin and able to change the very culture/ fabric of the school....but who cant. Think of those who are eligible, but who wont..

Public schools stopped hiring social constructivist a long time ago.

Teach to the test, water down the curriculum, pass em all through and like they say at the barber... "NEXT."

Parking

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If they had more parking, a bigger garage or a larger parking lot, more kids would go to school there. The parking is terrible and it's too far of a walk from any MBTA station.

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Madison Park

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The administration at the school is incompetent to say the least. The reason why there are so many teacher vacancies is because of this. The teachers all left because they don't want to work for administrators who are not qualified to run the school. Also Madison Park is in the middle of three MBTA stations and several buses stop in front of the school.

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You obviously don't know

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You obviously don't know where Madison Pk HS is located, because its located between two T stations