Something missing from city video that decries effects of busing on one poor Dorchester neighborhoodBy adamg - 12/12/12 - 8:26 am
The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics produced this video to support its proposals to rejigger school-assignment zones for elementary and middle-school students: If you totaled up all the miles students in the Bowdoin/Geneva area travel to school each morning, it would be the equivalent of a trip from Boston to Cheyenne, WY (the city has used Bowdoin/Geneva as its poster child for its proposals throughout the current evaluation process).
What the brief video doesn't mention, however, is that the city plans to turn one of the neighborhood's schools, the Marshall Elementary, into a privately run charter school, open to students from across the city, which means the city will have to bus many of its students, and which means one less local option for Bowdoin/Geneva parents.
Teresa Harvey, retiring Marshall principal, tears into school officials at a School Committee meeting over the conversion to a charter school:
Boston School Choice - Background on proposals to change school-assignment zones.
A concerned citizen parent complains:
Frog Pond playground. Is this ramp supposed to hang so far below handrails? Seems dangerous. Have seen lots of kiddos fall through, including mine today.
A task force looking at ways of revamping how Boston kids get assigned to elementary and middle schools says it needs more time to let experts from Harvard and MIT run simulations and analyses of various options, from no assignment zones at all to 23.
The External Advisory Committee on School Choice had originally hoped to have a proposal to city official by year's end, but the mayor's office announced yesterday the committee would continue its work through at least January:
The Mayor's decision supports Superintendent Carol R. Johnson's recommendation that her technical team work with Professor Parag Pathak, director of the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative (SEII) at MIT, and experts at Harvard's Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. Together, the team will conduct an in-depth analysis on zone-based and non-zone-based models to simulate how families would choose schools under a new system. The analysis is based on several years of assignment data and used to project choice patterns in the future.
Boston Public Schools will be open tomorrow, the city announced. In contrast, Newton, Somerville, Chelsea and Revere will be closed.
The MBTA, meanwhile, announced it expects to run normal subway and trolley service tomorrow, except between Reservoir and Riverside, where buses will be swapped in. On commuter rail, downed trees will mean no service on the Providence/Stoughton line past Mansfield. Other lines will run, but likely with delays.
A BPS advisory committee is now considering a plan in which low-income students would get a better shot at elementary schools selected by their parents as a way to deal with the fact that too many Boston schools don't measure up, the Globe reports.
As with every other attempt to rejigger the current three assignment zones, officials are finding their latest proposals wind up with zones in which parents just would have no or little choice of schools that do well on standardized tests.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council weighs in on the Boston school-zone process, basically says there are just not enough decent schools in Boston no matter how you slice up assignment zones. Their report has copious maps and charts.
The Atlantic Cities: Bostonians Committed to School Diversity Haven't Given Up on Busing.
Boston Police report they are doing everything they can to reunite a California girl with her stuffed dog, Rocco, which went missing in a cab on Sept. 10.
Addison Ocker, 13, was in Boston with her brother, Aiden, a brain-cancer patient flown here for a Red Sox/Yankees game by the Make a Wish Foundation because he really wanted to see a game at Fenway. Unfortunately, Aiden's condition worsened on his arrival in Boston and he spent the night in Children's Hospital instead of at the ballgame - and then he was airlifted back to California, where he died two days later.
Somewhere between the hours of 10:00pm and midnight, Aiden’s mom and 13 year-old sister Addison took a cab (possibly Metro Cab) from the Back Bay Hotel to Children’s Hospital. Upon exiting the cab, Aiden’s sister, Addison, inadvertently left behind her stuffed dog, Rocco. To say the least, Rocco has tremendous sentimental value to Addison and, as anyone who has ever loved a favorite toy or stuffed animal can imagine, Rocco means the world to Addison. In fact, according to family friends, Rocco and Addison have been all but inseparable for the past 10 years and we at the Boston Police Department are seeking your help in reuniting Addison with her stuffed friend – Rocco.
If you know where Rocco is, contact the BPD Hackney Unit at 617-343-4475 or the BPD Office of Public Information at 617-343-4520.
The Globe reports the Boston School Committee tonight is expected to get a recommendation from Superintendent Carol Johnson on how to grandfather thousands of students who might find themselves in new school assignment zones come the fall of 2014.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at school headquarters on Court Street downtown.
Options range from no grandfathering at all to two variants of grandfathering - one in which students could stay in their current schools with continued busing until they age out or one in which they only receive busing for a limited period of time. Also up for discussion: What to do in a new zone system about the city's traditional sibling preference, in which families with a kid in a particular school get first dibs on seats there for younger children.
When school officials first began talking about increasing the number of assignment zones about eight years ago, they pointed to saving money on transportation costs as the main reason. Today, however, school officials acknowledge the city will save little or no money - and might wind up spending extra money depending on the grandfathering option chosen - and that rezoning is all about creating more tightknit school communities, by reducing the sizes of assignment zones.
Boston Public Schools officials formally released five possible plans for re-aligning assignment zones for elementary and middle-school students today, but promptly said three of the proposals - for 11 or 23 zones or pure neighborhood schools - were too extreme for the goals of ensuring quality education with a diverse student population.
An advisory committee will spend the next month analyzing the proposals and holding public meetings and then come up with a recommendation for action by the School Committee, which has been studying and rejecting zone changes for more than eight years now, mainly because past proposals have always left the city with one zone where all the schools were underperforming.
At-large City Councilor John Connolly discusses the proposed teacher contract announced yesterday; calls it "a very mediocre contract" that doesn't go far enough to improve education, "close the achievement gap" and bring more middle-class students back into Boston public schools. "If we want to close the achievement gap, we need to transform the system."
After more than two years, the Globe reports.
The Globe reports on efforts by the school department to prevent the fiascos of the past two years, which led to thousands of students getting to school late - if at all.
She dials 911 to break up the crowd of drinking, pissing, sexed-up teens from God knows where at the very heart of the North End.
A Quincy father has turned his daughter in for bank robbery. According to the Patriot-Ledger, Meredith Cunniff, 36, was arrested and charged with the robbery of the Colonial Federal Savings Bank on Beach Street in Quincy. Her family believes she has substance-abuse issues and her father had tried to send her to rehab. Her father identified her after seeing what he believed was her photo on a most-wanted poster at the Quincy police station.
He bailed her out later.
“Farmers To You” Announces Roslindale Service Starting August 1
For Immediate Release
Calais, Vermont. July 23, 2012
The Roslindale Congregational Church will be the pick up site. Located on Cummins Highway just a few yards from the village center, it is well suited for a community centered site.
“We have been looking for a Roslindale site for a while” says Will Forest, Director of Outreach and Communications. “What is essential in making a successful community partnership is a committed site host and a location that sees the benefits of what Farmers To You can bring to Roslindale. We are very grateful to Branwen Cook and the Chruch trustees Committee for allowing us to use their site”.
The local site hosts for Roslindale will be Holly Carmen and Christine Wenc.
Roslindale residents who order online by Sunday can pick up their orders at the Congregational Church lot between 5:15 and 6:30pm on Wednesdays starting August1st.
With weekly delivery to hundreds of families in Cambridge, Somerville, Newburport,
The Globe reports a teacher at the Joyce Kilmer School is under investigation by police and school and state child-protection officials for "inappropriate contact with students" and that the school's principal has been removed from his position.
The Globe says Superintendent Carol Johnson announced the news - along with news that the principal at the Frederick Middle School in Dorchester has been put on paid leave for possible "inappropriate" use of funds - on Friday night, the traditional time for announcing bad news.
State Police report a woman gave birth in the back seat of a car stuck in traffic on Rte. 16 this afternoon.
The traffic was at a near standstill due to malfunctioning traffic lights at Wellington Circle, State Police said in a statement. When a frantic 911 call came in around 1:30 p.m. about a woman who appeared to be about ready to give birth, state troopers rushed to Rte. 16 on foot to try to get cars off the road - so that the driver could get her to the hospital in time. It didn't work:
As the vehicle pulled up the occupants told the troopers the baby was being born and was directed into the paking lot of the Medford barracks.
When troopers opened the door the back door the baby girl had just been born. Troopers ensured the baby was breathing and wrapped her up in blankets until the arrival of Medford EMS. The mother and child were transported to Massachusetts General Hospital by ambulance with a State Police escort. At this time the mother and child are reportedly in good condition.
The Globe details how School Superintendent Carol Johnson did nothing after then O'Bryant co-headmaster Rodney Peterson pleaded guilty to domestic violence and applied for a new job in Memphis - and may have promised to keep that up as long as news didn't leak out (which it did). But the kicker to the whole thing is in the very last two paragraphs:
He is now looking for work, and a School Department spokesman said that if he applied for another job in Boston, he might return.
“The superintendent believes he has great potential as a school leader, so she wouldn’t rule it out,” said Boston school spokesman Matthew Wilder.