CommonWealth Magazine ponders a Boston with a continuing decline in the pre-18 set.
Boston is becoming not only a city without young people to shovel snow for those of us with arthritic hands and bad backs, but also a city which has a strikingly reduced number of young people participating in Little League, youth hockey, scout groups, and all of those other bedrock institutions that cement neighborhoods and create a sense of community.
The Globe reports one way BPS plans to save money is by reducing options for school breakfasts and lunches - and that some mornings, kids will be given a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and some fruit or they can just go hungry.
Jamaicaplainiac ponders the news that some high-priced lawyers are looking at a civil-rights lawsuit to force the state to end its cap on charter schools, decides to look at some enrollment and test numbers in Boston and comes to somewhat different conclusions:
If the contention of the potential lawsuit is that charter schools are so much better than district schools that itâ€™s a civil rights violation to cap the number of charters, well, I just donâ€™t see it.
Indeed, some of those ELL and students with disabilities numbers are so suspiciously low that if I were running one of these schools, I would get pretty nervous when people start bringing up civil rights violations.
And I have to wonder not only why theyâ€™re fighting to expand charter schools, but why some of these schools havenâ€™t been closed down.
City parks officials and a design firm last week showed off renovation plans for the Fallon Field playground that would include Roslindale's first playground spray deck and a "secret garden" in a layout that spreads across two levels on the park's hillside.
The School Committee tonight selected Tommy Chang, who currently oversees a system of 95,000 students in the Los Angeles school district, as Boston's next school superintendent.
West Roxbury Academy students plan a protest outside City Hall tomorrow over BPS plans to shut their school and send them somewhere else in the system.
A T rider forwarded photos of fliers posted on the wall on the outbound Orange Line platform at State Street this morning calling for the protest between 4 and 6 p.m. outside City Hall.
Interim Boston School Superintendent John McDonough last night released the names of the five schools he says need to be shut this year to save money: Community Academy in Jamaica Plain, Middle School Academy in South Boston, Rogers Middle School in Hyde Park, Elihu Greenwood Leadership Academy in Hyde Park and West Roxbury Academy.
BPS says that with a $40 million to $50 million shortfall in the coming fiscal year's budget, these schools are too small to keep operating.
Pedro Martinez, currently a state education administrator in Nevada, said he was initially reluctant to apply for the superintendent's job in Boston because the city's school system has such a good reputation nationally that he didn't know what he could really add to it.
He recalled going to educational seminars at Harvard in the early part of the 2000s and being so impressed by BPS under then Superintendent Thomas Payzant. "God, this is such a cool district," he recalled thinking.
Barely a year ago, Dana Bedden signed a contract with Richmond, VA to become its school superintendent through June, 2017. But next Tuesday, the Boston School Committee could vote to recommend Mayor Walsh hire him to lead Boston schools.
At an interview today, School Committee member Meg Campbell was blunt: How do we know that Bedden wouldn't turn around and do the same thing to Boston if, say, the Ford Foundation offered him a job?
Bedden said Boston is different - and worth the difficult conversations he said he's had with his mayor and even governor - because of its role in helping set the national educational agenda.
Parents in Richmond, Va., are signing a petition to convince their current school superintendent, Dana Bedden from moving to Boston if he's offered the superintendent's job here.
Bedden, being interviewed in Boston today, is one of four finalists for the job left vacant when Carol Johnson left in 2013. The School Committee expects to pick one of the four on March 3 for consideration by Mayor Walsh.
At least one candidate for Boston school superintendent already knows how challenging BPS can be: Starting in 2002, he spent six years as principal of the chronically underperforming Dever School on Columbia Point.
In an interview with School Committee members today, Guadalupe Guerrero said his experiences - both good and bad - helped shape the way he took on his next job as an administrator with the San Francisco Unified School District, and how he would try to take BPS into the future.
Scraping by in Boston is a blog by, well, somebody who was already scraping by when we got hit by all the business-closing snow:
A superintendent search committee today recommended four candidates to the School Committee and Mayor Walsh; none from either Boston or Massachusetts:
The Globe reports interim School Superintendent John McDonough will name the specific schools within two weeks.
UPDATE: No, they can't - Mayor Walsh just postponed the parade to Wednesday.
Just got The Call again: No school on Tuesday in BPSville.
So kids can go root on the Patriots on Boylston or Tremont. But let's make it a learning experience: Kids, do you know the warning signs of frostbite?
We got The Call this evening. Kidlet's response: A quiet "Yeah!"
In a statement, Mayor Walsh said:
Gov. Baker said he's lifting the eastern-Massachusetts driving ban at midnight, but Mayor Walsh said that doesn't mean everybody should go out and release their pent-up driving urges. He said he's keeping the ban on parking on key roads "until further notice:"
Boston is still in the middle of a winter storm of historic proportions. People should only be driving under emergency circumstances. We are doing everything we can to dig out and stay on top of every safety concern, but we need everyone's co-operation. It is not time for anyone to relax or get complacent.
In his State of the City address, Mayor Walsh said he wants to set up the authority to fund the state-of-the-art schools he said Boston schoolkids deserve.
He said the authority will start with overhauls of the Boston Arts Academy in the Fenway and the upper Quincy School - and creation of a ten-year facilities plan for all Boston schools.
Walsh also announced a program with software company SAP to help Charlestown High School students take technology classes at Bunker Hill Community College.
He also addressed the more general issue of the state of Boston Public Schools: