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Two more BPS high schools join English for possible risk of state takeover

Brighton High School and Excel High School in South Boston have joined English High School on a list of schools performing badly enough on state standardized tests to warrant warnings the state could consider taking them over if BPS doesn't do enough to turn them around.

English was already a Level 4 school - on a 1-5 system. The Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan also dropped to 4, which means "underperfoming," BPS says.

BPS says English had "significant gains" in the 2014-15 test scores, but didn't match the improvements in the 2015-16 school year. It's been on the state's "underperforming" list since 2010.

In a more positive note, BPS said several schools had increased their scores enough to merit a Level 1 rating - the state's highest: Boston Arts Academy, Boston International and Newcomers Academy (BINcA), Bradley Elementary, Fenway High, Harvard/Kent Elementary, Umana Academy, McKay K-8, Mildred Avenue K-8, Mozart Elementary, New Mission High, Otis Elementary and Quincy Elementary.

Boston now has 21 Level 1 schools and 25 as Level 2 - including Boston Latin School and Boston Latin Academy, which used to be at 1.

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Comments

This isn't good. Why are these schools underperforming? I feel bad for the students who want to learn and have the work ethic but can't get ahead. Sucks.

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Brighton High School and Excel High School in South Boston have joined English High School on a list of schools performing badly enough on state standardized tests to warrant warnings the state could consider taking them over if BPS doesn't do enough to turn them around.

Wait. Excel High School is a charter school. I thought charter schools were suppose to be better.. I mean they sound like to by the montage of commercials and ads I am bombarded with about Question 2...

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This is Excel- the BPS school, not the charter. Located in the old South Boston HS. Part of the challenge may be the number of high risk kids- they have an ED strand.
http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/school/excel-high-school

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Now I checked before I posted that to make sure I was right.

Excel lists that high school as one of their charter schools on their own website.

http://www.excelacademy.org/our-schools/high-school/

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Excel Academy Charter High School is on Bremen Street in East Boston. Excel High School, the BPS school, is on G Street in South Boston.

Yes, it's kind of dumb there are two schools with similar names in the same city.

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what threw me off is this comment on Excel Academy's page about their High School..

"Excel Academy Charter School opened in fall 2015, and is the newest school in the Excel Academy network of schools. It is also Excel's first college-preparatory high school. Launching with 9th grade, the school will be fully enrolled in 2019. It is temporarily located at 7 Elkins Street, South Boston, MA, and will re-locate to a new building currently under construction in East Boston in 2016."

So originally it was located in Southie but moved to Eastie this year. Talk about confusing!

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taxed public school system. Especially in Boston. You can open a bunch of new charters. The per pupil funding drain will affect traditional schools by leaving them with fewer dollars and students charters don't want and won't take. Special needs, ed plans and the discipline nightmares. Charter supporters argue this is untrue while they root for the collapse of public education and look forward to the corporate takeover of the American education system.

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The per pupil funding drain will affect traditional schools by leaving them with fewer dollars and students charters don't want and won't take. Special needs, ed plans and the discipline nightmares.

We've argued this a thousand times before, so I'll just copy and paste from the last go-around:

If anyone, anywhere, in any public school, can provide a single name of a student who they think was removed from a charter school at such a time as to benefit that school's performance, there are three separate routes they can go to trumpet this news from the rooftops. Since charters here are regularly up for renewal, and the state is absolutely vicious about revoking the charter of any school found to be (a) underperforming local public schools or (b) breaking any of the great tome of laws devoted specifically to the governance of charter schools, such a report, if corroborated (and the paper trail would be pretty clear, given the record-keeping requirements and the absurdly high barriers to expulsion), would spell instant demise for the school that tried to get away with it. It would guarantee an overnight review of their charter, and a relentless march to shut it down. Yet, of the dozens of people from whom I have heard this argument, no one has been able to name a name, or even a school where it's supposedly happening.

I'm not being idly contrarian here: I'll take the complaint to the state DOE myself. If it's real, it's antithetical to public education, and I want to stop it. Just tell me where it's happening.

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... that's a document with an overview of national statistics from 2012. So out of date and not particularly local. Here's the only specific data about MA that I found:

" For the 2006-2007 school year, the percentage of enrolled students with disabilities in traditional urban schools was 19.9%, while the percentage of enrolled students with disabilities enrolled in urban charter schools was significantly lower, 10.8%."

That's not nothing obviously but what I'd be interested in knowing is what percentage of BPS kids with disabilities are integrated vs segregated environments. I know the push was towards inclusion but I don't think it's at 100% by a long shot. I also believe SPED students pull in more resources from state and federal sources - am I wrong on that?

A larger question, which is the trickiest part of the charter question IMO, is what do the parents want? I bet there are very specific schools that parents of SPED kids want for their children in many cases. They should be welcomed to charters and BPS schools alike but is it reasonable to require a family to attend a charter school if they don't want to?

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" For the 2006-2007 school year, the percentage of enrolled students with disabilities in traditional urban schools was 19.9%, while the percentage of enrolled students with disabilities enrolled in urban charter schools was significantly lower, 10.8%."

My working-class urban primary school in a different part of the country had less than 2% recognized disabilities.

Where are they getting 20% disabilities? Is it something in the water in Boston?

And are the 11% disabilities in charters of a different kind than the 20% in public? Maybe charters have more affluent students on overprescribed meds, and public has more poor and absentee parents?

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In Boston, I can tell you first hand that the charter schools are not full of affluent kids.

You maybe thinking of Brimmer and May or the Park School?

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We've had three return by fifth grade after leaving for a charter school in third and fourth. The beauty of the scheme is that charters don't expel, they get families to leave. Not the right fit. in addition to students with recognized disabilities and linguistic challenges, there is a population of students that is not really talked about in polite company. These are challenging families. They are difficult, at times involved in illicit activity, and have no compunctions about about exposing their kids to street culture. One favorite pastime is to go up to a school and loudly cuss out the administrators. I'm not passing judgement and want to clarify that these families' situations are complex and varied. These students also often overlap with the former student population that I mentioned. However, the fact is that barring something horrible (read actionable) happening, there is little that bps schools currently do to get rid of these families. Not to say that "getting rid of" should be the school administrations goal, but there are many more structures in place to basically harass these families into shaping up in a charter setting. Basically the implicit attitude at a charter school seems to be that you are taking up a valuable spot and must do your part in terms of behavior and effort. At a public school there is more of an attitude of we have to be here legally; so as long as a parent gets them to the front door, and gives a note before taking that out-of-state three week trip, its all good.

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Are we going to demand the heads of these schools resign or not so much?

I guess when it was no big deal when that English counselor was dealing drugs so this won't move the needle either...

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The Mattahunt is just failing all of its children, 96% minority.

It's not like anybody received a rude tweet or anything.

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