Cambridge bucks trend; brings back middle school

WBUR reports why the city decided to move away from its K-8 model.

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    Are Boston

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    Supt. Tommy Chang and School Committee listening? Because they are talking about doing away with middle schools.

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    Well ...

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    Maybe if Boston didn't have exam schools that go 7-12, I could see that, but to be honest, we were all in favor of our daughter's school going from K-5 to K-8 because it would remove one less bit of stress from the whole BPS experience, which is stressful enough as it is.

    If the school had stayed K-5, she would have gone to a middle school (unless she went into AWS in grade 4, don't get me started on that), then taken the ISEE, then, assuming she did OK, go to one of the exam schools. So three schools in three years. Ugh.

    With the school going K-8, that wasn't an issue. And, it was a bit reassuring that, if she didn't get into BLS or BLA (O'Bryant never a consideration because she's not a math-and-science type), she'd get to stay in the same school.

    Yes, it's all kind of a jury-rigged system, but barring a really major overhaul of the entire system (which could happen - the school committee made it pretty clear it wants to look at closing and consolidating schools), it's better than the alternative for a lot of kids.

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    Yes, the fact that the exam

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    Yes, the fact that the exam schools don't start until 7th grade and there are still K-5 schools makes the idea of doing away with K-8 schools problematic. My son was one who attended a K-5 school, then attended 6th grade at a K-8 school before starting at one of the exam schools in 7th grade. This model isn't fair to the schools that get these kids for just a year, because they are unlikely to get involved families if the assumption is that they are short timers there. I certainly didn't feel a pull to be involved in the school, unlike his K-5 school and exam school.

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