City Council to tackle an eternal question: What to do about Madison Park?

The Boston City Council today agreed to hold at least one hearing to try to figure out how to make Madison Park the sort of vocational school that educators from other cities would want to visit to learn how it does things.

As part of the process leading up to the hearing, Councilor Michelle Wu (at large) said she and co-sponsors Annissa Essaibi-George (at large) and Kim Janey (Roxbury) hope to visit successful vocational schools in other parts of the state.

Councilors today agreed that Madison Park, the city's only vocational high school still has what Councilor Ayanna Pressley called "the gap in excellence" that its students deserve, and that the city needs to finally figure out how to provide quality, job-prepapring education for students who either don't want to go to college or who want to go to college in a specialized technical field.

Essaibi-George, who chairs the council's education committee, said she would take the concept of vocational education even further and try to figure out how to extend it to other schools in BPS.

Pressley, however, cautioned she would fight any efforts to expand vocational education beyond Madison Park before the city finally figures out how to create a quality program at Madison Park.

"We need to make good on our promises to Madison Park" first, she said. "The students deserve that, the times and this economy requires that."

Pressley added that at some point, city officials who have held countless discussions about Madison Park, are going to have to acknowledge that fixing Madison Park is going to take more money.

Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) put in a pitch for ensuring Madison Park students get a crack at "green" jobs, through programs in everything from renewable energy to mass transit.

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Comments

It's not like we have a mayor

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It's not like we have a mayor with strong union connections to bring them into a partnership with the city's only public vocational school right?

*crickets*

It's not like we have world class hospitals, biotech, tech, R&D, pharma, aerospace, manufacturing, or chemical firms in and around the city with which to partner feeder programs to their companies through city's only public vocational school right?

*crickets*

It's not like Mike Rowe will ever visit Boston and talk about this because we are a backwater burg no one ever heard of right?

*crickets*

It's not like the obnoxious guy from Queens that happens to be president right now mentioned federal aid for vocational school programs during the State of the Union. The MA congressional delegation couldn't possible apply for money for city's only public vocational school right?

*crickets*

Is anyone out there? Bueller? Heeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllloooooooooooooo?

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Start

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by committing to a new, state of the art facility. While this is certainly not the only factor in the school's troubles, the condition of the facility does matter. If it is old and outdated, as MP seems to be, that signals to students that they are not a priority. In Springfield, the City built a brand new technical high school (Putnam Voc Tech). The State reimbursed the city for 90% of the cost, which came in under budget. It boggles my mind that MP, and so many other public schools in Boston for that matter, are antiquated. Commit to a new campus and redesign the programs offered to meet today's and future needs.

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A new facility?

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Boston Latin has been in the same building since 1936, albeit with an addition added, yet somehow they manage to keep on doing what they’ve been doing.

Now, if you’re talking renovation, sure, but if the building is solid, why not use it.

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Anon is right

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I'm pretty sure the best latin schools are *supposed* to be piles of rubble with only a few columns left standing.

One shout out

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the only time I've been on the Madison Park campus was to meander through the sub-basements to the pool.

There is an absolutely FANTASTIC pool hiding down there. Six lanes, dive well, kiddie pool. Incredible asset to the city.

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Madison Park

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I went there when it was the Hubert H. Humphrey Occupational Resource Center....Graduated in 1986.....WHen did they drop the name?

Wait, huh?

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When we were talking about high schools when I was in eighth grade back in 1985, it was Madison Park.

The whole campus was the Humphrey. There was a high school next to yours when you graduated. Both high schools are still there.

1/2 the right question

While I agree BPS needs to get this school running well immediately, I still don't have the impression anyone has been held accountable for the past 1/2 decade of repeated failures. Any discussion of how to move forward should be built on a real, hard accounting of why the school has been failing its students for so long. If it was Menino and Johnson's faults, fine but until we have an audit of what went wrong, we are in danger of history repeating itself.

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govt schooling

Is it just me or do you get the feeling that maybe,just maybe,putting all the difficult to handle kids in one ginormous school is not really such a good idea?
I mean,dispensing discipline and keeping order are not that difficult if you're not out numbered 67 to 1...
And since that seems to be a real problem with the govt run schools,could we beg our masters in gruberment to allow us mere peons and tax slaves to maybe,just maybe,allow us serfs to create a charter school or two?
Or lets just go all John Galt on y'all..

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Yeah, damn those misbehaving

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Yeah, damn those misbehaving kids, who dare to show up to a school and expect to have class schedules sometime in the first two weeks, I mean, where are their manners, where are the parents (certainly not helping with scheduling classes!!!)

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Order...

Biggest complaint from parents of students at schools in this city is the fact that assaults are second only to unexcused (aka AWOL/truent) absense suspentions.
Come on now,are really gonna try to hang the race card on me for that.
Oh and by the way I do not support busing kids from one bad school in the city to another bad school on the otherside of the city. Or its suburban counterpart,METCO.
Yup,own guns,a pickup,a Bible and I like country music too...

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And belief over fact, too!

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You know nothing about this school other than OMG URBAN BLACK YOUTHS SHOOT THEM ALL NOW FOR DISCIPLINE.

Yep. You're an idiot.

Sad...

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That Boston professes to be a world-class city but can't even get it's one and only vocational school running properly.

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Councilor Matt O'Malley

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Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) put in a pitch for ensuring Madison Park students get a crack at "green" jobs, through programs in everything from renewable energy to mass transit.

Well here's part of the problem. Pols who care more about their 'progressive' issues than about school kids. Put your friggin' checklist away, Mahatma.

The problem is that the jobs that Boston Trade used to prepare boys for no longer exist, for the most part. Machine shop? Sheet metal? Gone. Are you really going to teach these kids to program 3D printers? You can't even get them to show up most days. Good luck taking care of these kids in Boston's 'information economy.'

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Renewable energy, mass transit, 3-D printers

Three things that will, in fact exist in the future, and will require specially trained workers. IT jobs even exist and are growing in old industries like manufacturing. The already existing Technology Academy is likely to become the foundation of the Madison Park curriculum, not only for the boys, but (hope you are sitting down for this) the GIRLS(!!!) as well.

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dunno, dude, welding,

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dunno, dude, welding, plumbing, electricians, car mechanics, restaurant management, HVAC.... these things aren't going away anytime soon....

Not so sure all of those jobs are gone....

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...but there is a very great and real shortage of workers for the trades --- masons, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, painters, tile setters, etc. And, why we shouldn't we be able to train kids to run 3D printers if those jobs become in high demand?

So wrong

The New England area is full of small scale and often specialized sheet metal fabricators and machine shops. You think everything being built at Raytheon or Boston Medical is being made with imported parts? There are tons of high quality production facilities all over the place in the region and they need workers.