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Feds to launch probe of Boston Latin as superintentent looks to possible requirement changes to increase minority enrollment

Ortiz

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz announced today her office will investigate allegations of civil-rights violations at Boston Latin School. In a statement, she said:

We will conduct a thorough investigation into the recent complaints about racism at BLS and will go where the facts lead us. Once our investigation is complete, we will share our findings at the appropriate time. I want to thank Mayor Walsh and Superintendent Chang who have pledged their full cooperation in this independent investigation.

The investigation will focus on charges by several groups, including the ACLU, the Boston chapter of the NAACP and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice about racial harassment and discrimination, which the groups say include, but also go beyond, the allegations reviewed by BPS.

School Superintendent Tommy Chang, meanwhile, told WGBH - in an interview conducted before Ortiz's statement - that he has begun looking at ways to increase black and Latino enrollment at the nation's oldest public school without reinstituting the quotas ended after a white father sued.

Chang said one possibility is to expand the entrance criteria to include such factors as community service and entrance interviews, rather than relying solely on a student's elementary-school grades and results on the ISEE tests.

However, he added he is also looking at a dramatic increase in the number of "advanced work" classes in fourth and fifth grades as a way of preparing more students for the test; the current AWC program is often seen as a conduit to BLS and the city's other two exam schools.

He told WGBH that since the end of quotas, enrollment of blacks and Latinos at BLS has gone down, even as their percentage of the overall BPS and city populations have increased.

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Comments

What a godawful waste of time and money. Really...the state the BPS are in--but this is top priority for these folks? Is a witch hunt about one "nonblack" kid making a comment about lynching with an "electric cord"--what does this even mean? Did he bring an iron into school or was this a pair of iPhone headphones? Was it a joke? A credible threat? In either case, is this really worthy of literally--a federal investigation? Will we go the same every time any kid experiences "racially insensitive" behavior because in my experience, this kind of thing happens continually in every high school on earth. Not drawing a distinction between systemic bullying or racism and ordinary social blunders between a big, diverse group of kids seems like a huge mistake.

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I'm all for tackling the issues around increasing the number of AWC classrooms and raising the bar in general in schools across the city, but boy...this just seems like a foolish, divisive was to tackle the diversity issue at BLS and elsewhere. Compared to the elite NYC schools like Stuyvesant and BHSci, which are both 70% plus Asian, our schools are a rainbow of diversity and equal opportunity.

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It's about the lack of taking it seriously. One kid gets suspended for calling a kid his enemy, but this kid gets no punishment for threatening lynching.

And it's not just this incident. There have been a reports of racist occurrences from staff, not just students.

No, it shouldn't need a federal investigation. But when the school system isn't handling it, someone needs to.

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And six of them were handled properly and this one wasn't, why would that indicate that this is a systemic issue that deserves this level of investigation?

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Ever figure out what prompted that kid to make those comments? I feel like there's way more to the story than what's given to us.

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i mean, i'll say all sorts of things whether its here, elsewhere, or in person but i've yet to say that i'm going to lynch anybody, let alone some af am high school kid, as a joke

i mean, im all for being as grody and filthy as you want with people but i also don't act surprised when witnesses or people that hear about it act accordingly

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I agree--it's a horrible thing to say and also just kind of freakish. I have a hard time imagining the kid who said such a thing or the scenario--I mean if it were the kind of "I'm going to beat your white/black a** after school" kind of crap that was pretty much standard when I was 14 (er...not from me personally). But it also just seems pretty clear that we don't know the whole story and that this whole thing has been inflated by a lot of half truths and hyperbole, including the tweets from other random teenaged a**holes who didn't actually attend BLS. There are some very real racial and cultural issues at the school that it would be important to address, but this approach seems counterintuitive to me.

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This has truly gotten completely out of control. It has become an ugly, horrible witch hunt, fed by the media. Decades, if not centuries, of resentment and bitterness towards BLS have found a cause. I feel really badly for Mooney-Teta, a good, not perfect, leader of a very good, not perfect, school.

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how you posed a bunch of questions and then said an investigation was unnecessary.

But hey, I think you have clearly proven your racial insensitivity so you know, clearly Boston doesn't have a problem with racial insensitivity!

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Boston Latin is an exam school (meaning for the best high school students in Boston looking to stay in public school). You can't just assume the administration is being racist because there are more caucasian students than there are minorities.

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There aren't more Caucasians than minorities. Latin is less than 50% white.

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Boston Latin. Hello English 2.0.

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game for the "activists" behind this and I don't mean the two young ladies.

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I am 57 years old grew up in Charlestown, there was a time when everybody took the test for Latin, it was the only way to get into Latin, this school founded in the 1600s graduated signers of the Constitution, captains of industry, it was the most prominent public school in America, it held that distinction into the late 80s early 90s because it only took the best, if you failed the test or didn't score in the top percentile you didn't get in, I was one of those kids, but along came some liberal social engineer or activist who didn't see enough people of color at Latin and they made it their mission to change that, and along came the quota system at Latin, on that day Boston Latin was Boston Latin no more, it became just another public school except it requires at test to get in, if you are any race other than black, they may not call them quotas today but the result is the same. If Boston Latin had stood up to the race pimps of the 80s and 90s and the liberal social engineers, who by the way live in Newton and Wellsley and other suburbs we would not be having this phony scandal, I wonder if these two girls could actually pass the real Latin test or are they students due to a quota system, something I was taught as a young kid growing up in Charlestown "not everything is for everybody" that includes me. Now the DOJ is involved so let me give you the outcome of this whole matter, a bunch of money will be spent to find nothing that reaches the heights to warrant this investigation, someone will be fired, the DOJ will make recommendations for diversity and sensitivity programs, you know the programs where black people preach to white people about the past, our sins and how we should act, think and believe. It is amazing that all of this and only 9% of BLS students are black, I say make them all take the real Latin entrance exam and remove the quotas, in closing "political correctness" is more dangerous to our society than any terrorist or drug, where are all the smart people in Boston, open your eyes to this farce, those parents my age with kids or grandkids at Latin, have you forgotten what "forced busing" did to us and our city, don't let what is left of Latin and it's reputation be tarnished by students who may not even belong there, or they are there for all the wrong reasons.

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1996. That's when the quotas that you're taking all this time to rant about were done away with. Twenty years ago. Like Bill Clinton was in the White House, the Spice Girls were still together, and you could still smoke at Brigham's.

Honest to God...get a life.

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of blacks and latinos by community service and entrance interviews? sounds like soft bigotry of low expectations to me.

this is setting bls up for another lawsuit.

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Wendell Arthur Garrity Jr. Part 2 ,

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Julia McLaughlin, part 2.

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Boy...I knew he was gone, but forgotten?

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I believe the another lawsuit JPNative suggested would be over the rebirth of a back-door quota system, not over the perceived segregation at BLS.

The suit that ended the quota system at BLS in 1996 was brought by Michael McLaughlin over the rejection of his daughter, Julia McLaughlin, despite having better test scores than 103 students of a different color who were admitted. At that time, the school reserved 35 percent of its opening for Black and Hispanic students.

Boston School Committee chairman Robert Gittens was quoted at the time that the new admission policy (sans quotas) would "ensure that students in Boston from every racial and ethnic group have equal access" to the schools.

The settlement came four days before the suit was to go to court; Ms. McLaughlin had been attending Latin meanwhile under a court order issued, yes, by W. Arthur Garrity himself (perhaps this is the Part 2 to which buick refers).

The first new proposal by the Committee, the "screw the Asians" plan, was to admit half the students based on test scores and the other half by their racial group's percentage of the total applicant pool. A racial set-aside by another name, it was abandoned under threat of lawsuit.

Chang and the rest of BPS would be wise to avoid some other kind of back-door quota system, because it will not be sustainable in court, and such a failure would give the new Superintendent an Eye of Color.

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I commend Carmen Ortíz, and I support the two brave young women that brought this issue to light.

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Since you're the only one who seems tickled about this. Do you have any personal experience with or connection to the school, any familiarity with what's gone on? And what outcome are you hoping for?

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It's disappointing to hear Chang talk about the percentage of any group at BLS in comparison to BPS when the actual metric should be the city demographics. BLS over-represents the white population but BPS in general under-represents the white population of kids in the city. Of course only one of these is being turned into a political football.

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you haven't been paying attention if you think BLS is the only educational football in Boston. http://learninglab.wbur.org/2016/02/23/education-board-approves-new-char...

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A charter school will an excellent track record is being given the chance to offer Boston parents a badly needed quality alternative to the exam schools, the horror. You do have to admit the Brooke probably isn't a hotbed of racism though, so maybe this whole topic has nothing to do with the main drift of this post? How about offering your opinion as BLS parent (I think?) as to what your experience has been, which would be actually informative and germane?

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that need federal investigation.

BLS wasn't anywhere near being on my list, but whatever, just don't stop with BLS.

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Jesus Adam stop it

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That you are so annoyed by the news. Have you considered switching to a Web site that only features photos of fuzzy puppies or kittehs?

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these days, I need all of the puppehs, kittehs, baby otters, elephant-and-dog bffs videos I can get. It's the only way we'll get through this election year.

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During the Menino administration, when certain sons of politicians and the donor class didn't have the intellect or discipline to study the reading material and score well on the written police promotional exams, they changed the requirements and began arbitrarily issuing "Commissioner's Points." Of course this allowed the mayor to manipulate the list via his appointed civilian police commissioner who "awarded" the points. It cheapened and perverted the promotional process and defeated the goal of the Civil Service system. That's what will happen if the exam schools become the community service and entrance interview schools. How sad.

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That was an incredible pivot away from the issues actually at play here, and into the Wild Wild West of the mind that makes decisions and decides issues based on some strange thought process going on inside your head.

Were I a basketball referee, I'd call you for travelling at this point.

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I don't see a pivot. OFishl is exactly on point. Chang himself raised the possibility of replacing a data driven method with a method that would allow the BPS to manipulate admissions to achieve their particular agenda. I am not saying the current ICEE/grade system is ideal by any stretch, but does anyone really trust BPS to administer this fairly? Look at how they are flopping like fish already.

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Just in case it wasn't clear: "travelling" is a foul from the sport called "basketball", which is what those Celtics who steal time from the proud Bruins at the Garden play. I'm all about education!

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"Traveling" is the proper word used to describe that particular foul here in the States. However, you could be from the UK, in which case, I apologize. I'm all about the education!

...or you could just be as dumb as your thinly veiled all white people are racist post.

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As predicted headmaster will be
forced out.Let the dumbing down
begin.Dont worry, within ten
years there will be no problem
getting into Latin. Congrats you
have now destroyed the only
elite public school left.

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BLS has been around for a long time. I suspect Cotton Mather and Ben Franklin didn't have to take the ISEE.

Also, BLA students might object to your "only" designation.

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or, the O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science?

#2 in Boston
#11 in Massachusetts
#252 in United States

"but don't just take my word for it" *Reading Rainbow voice
US News and World Report

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Didn't mean to leave them out; as a BLS parent, I guess I just tend to think of BLA more, if only because of the confusion between the two.

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i have read
your insane ramblings
that were on uhub

and which
you were probably
using as subtly coded
race-baiting

forgive me
i'm not buying a word of it
and you need to stop using
line breaks like this

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You just made my day.

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Is it teachers or students and are the accused entitled to lawyers? Is this a criminal investigation ?
Somehow I think there are more serious issues in the BPS like gangs, teacher beatings and sexual assaults but Carmen knows best.

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Mayor.

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And you will find a target.

Did you learn nothing from Ken Starr?

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The persecutor of Aaron Schwartz is *not* someone I want to see nosing around the Boston school system.

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This is absolute BULL. This is giving me flashbacks. I have been staying quiet, but now I have to voice this is insane.

It's been years, but I still remember. I was not a BLS student (though I oddly had more friends in BLS than my own high school), but I was in a very diverse high school and there was incidents where I saw good people get punished in the game of similar BS like this.

This is hysteria. Chasing after shadows, trying to look for the witch in a crowd of innocents. A federal government investigation and shoving change of standards where no one can directly cite any unfairness in the use of testing itself is NOT proportional to anything raised.

Let me tell it will do as it did back my high school years. The key word is "chilling effect". I'm bad at explaining that concept and why it is such a big deal, but that is what it will ultimately do. Perfectly valid and honest desires and opinions suppressed for fear of innocently being on the wrong end of this. I saw it back then. And I don't even have to postulate now. Despite it has been years, I can't say "I still know students" like I can a few years ago on website when I was still commenting here while still being a BU student. But I still know students today via other connections and I asked. I can sense the fear in their response - saying with passes and tone of internal conflict with "Yeah... I think they... have raised a valid issue..." and " I mean... what they are saying has a point". And when they asked me and I told them straight up that I think this is dumb. I can see them relaxed and start responding back not like they are being questioned by the Stasi.

Please stop. All you doing is hurting the spirit that makes Boston Latin, Boston Latin.

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Molehills

This really seems like over reaching.

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Kudos Carmen Ortiz its time to find the truth and expose The racism that still exists in our schools and I applaud you The BLS is considered one of the Best schools in Boston and should be held to a higher standard racism should not be tolerated no matter skin color or nationality or religious beliefs

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students? If not, then it won't accomplish much.

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This just reminds me of the inevitable backlash that the Black Lives Matter movement faces. There are just sections of society that can't understand that empowerment and legitimization—in the face of centuries of dehumanization and straight-up violence—is not about the people who are at the top, it's for those who are at the bottom. Feel free to fill in those blanks however you want to.

I'm astounded that a simple investigation has turned into a touchstone racial issue in this city once again. At the risk of feeding the trolls, I want to say this to my beloved Bostonian brothers and sisters: "White people: sometimes it just isn't about you." (Shout out to rapper and activist Michael Render aka Killer Mike for that line.)

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Paternalistic BS. You see this backlash because someone good like BLS is getting smeared. That the system that allow BLS to select the student body - and thus the culture and character - to about be undermined.

Striking fear into a bunch of people who generally been good people is does not produce results you think you're trying to accomplish.

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BPS feeder schools
Do rotten job w preparing kids for the test - but the kids from those schools most likely don't have the family support/network. The Feds should investigate the BPS overall - like Madison park not having class schedules set or having a drug dealing gang-banger murderer as a youth advisor who was using the school to recruit for his business. Shame shame shame on the BPS !

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Seriously. The kid who made the 'joke' should be punished, and administration should be seriously questioned and maybe punished for not taking it seriously, but if we're talking about actual, systematic crimes against the education of minority students, there's entire schools in BPS who are failing kids every. single. day. But going after those doesn't make news.

Carmen Ortiz likes easy targets.

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some of the very same "activists" demanding "change".

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You've put your finger on the real question -- why aren't BPS grade schools doing enough to get their good students prepared and competitive w regard to their own exam school entry?

I have heard the excuses over the years, the kids are poor blah blah blah. School administrators set the bar low, exaggerate the poverty of students so minimal results are blown up into major social accomplishments.

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Just come out and say it, Chang. You want a front door and a back door to BLS, just like those fancy apartment buildings.

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Man, white people sure are prickly about the prospect of institutional bias that doesn't help them specifically.

I'm allowed to say "white people" without being accused of being a race-traitor reverse-racist, right?

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"White people" you can say. "Black people" will get you a federal investigation.

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.

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Does this warrant a federal investigation?

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To the extent that the investigation will look into more incidents and patterns than covered by the BPS report, then, yes, possibly a more in-depth look is needed. Test scores do not seem to be the only reason BLS has way, way lower black/Latino enrollment than the rest of BPS - there do seem to be minority kids who could get in but choose not to go because of what they've heard about the school.

To be honest, however, I am glad that groups other than the NAACP joined in the request, because I really have no faith in that particular group whatsoever, at least when it comes to Boston public schools.

I keep hearing NAACP officials saying the problems in BPS go beyond Latin. Well, where the hell were they when kids at Madison Park went a week without classes because of a scheduling screwup? Did they ever demand an investigation into how Shaun Harrison kept getting BPS jobs, let alone call for anybody's resignation after he got charged with shooting a kid in the head?

If I've missed their activism on education in a BPS system affected with a sort of malign neglect that has long affected far more black kids than what's going on at BLS, I will apologize, but as I type this now, it really looks like they hooked onto the BLS issue solely because, hey, it's "the nation's oldest public school" and they know that automatically means a lot more attention than anything going on a couple miles away at other schools (I mean, the New York Times sent a reporter and photographer to a Boston school-committee meeting for a story on BLS; something they didn't do with Madison Park or Shaun Harrison or the ongoing problems at English High).

And that concludes my rant for the day.

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"I don't know" - you're feeling conflicted. Trying to give them some credit as some kind of force trying to do "good" while seeing something you know is innocent getting targeted.

You shouldn't. This is part of the chilling effect. This is outrageous. At best, all this will really accomplish is strike fear into the heart of anyone who has a thought to anything not fitting to their expectations. It will leave - a best - a resentment with no true change in heart (or should one, as many thoughts are not wrong or evil).

At worse, it's even more outrageous. Undermining the very core that somehow - for a "theory" of the white majority doing stuff to suppress the minority - has been very good to Asians. And yet, they ignore that and somehow want to see heads roll and admission changed. Which - like it or not - the standards is part of what allow BLS be BLS.

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The main chilling effect I see, and the one I've mentioned before, is the one involving some black kids, who do well enough to go to BLS but don't because of what they think the racial environment at BLS is like. There's got to be a reason for that, and I'd want to find out what that is and do something about.

Yes, it is absurd to call for the ouster of the headmaster because she didn't tell parents about a racially charged incident - granted one that, had it happened outside of school could have led to criminal assault and civil-rights charges - and yet remain silent on a school counselor who shot a kid in the head. And I've expressed my opinions about the NAACP above. And if it were just the Boston branch of the NAACP calling for a probe, I'd just dismiss it. That other groups, including the ACLU, have joined in, however, is what does give me pause (disclaimer: At one time, yes, I was a card-carrying member of the ACLU).

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ACLU is piling on like the rest of this hysteria. There's no need to pause. Like it or not that may hate to think of a group you once was a member, they are not going at this fairly nor justly.

The chilling effect I see is involving everyone else. The fear in the voice when I asked the BLS students. The memory I recalled from a similar incident back in high school (though this blown up much bigger) where it teaches us (non-black students - at least the white and asian ones) that how much we need to be careful lest get hammer down.

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No way out of this cycle. Once it gets to this kind of investigation there is going to be no support from the school department or the city. It's just cover your ass mode. The headmaster will be gone within a year or two, somebody black will get hired as an administrator somewhere, that's an acceptable payoff.

Very little will change for the kids though. BPS exam schools are not offering a great education, which is sad, because the kids could do it. That's what's really unfair to black kids. The second-rate education they are getting out of these schools.

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BLS is not a good school.
BLS has good test scores, that's true. But someone getting a good test score at BLS would be getting an equally good score at English.
BLS has the same outdated pedagogical methods as every other basic public school.
I am a senior. I hear people saying things like,
"I don't know any Latin. I forgot all of it."
"I never learned any Spanish, haha."
Nobody knows anything here, except the people who would have known things anywhere! I did not learn Pre-Algebra (because the BLS math curriculum is not good), so I did not learn Algebra I or Algebra II or Pre-Calculus either. Probably you will tell me that is my fault for not being motivated. Probably you are right. But a lot of people have not learned math at BLS. And a lot of eighth graders have to repeat Algebra I, because the eighth grade math teachers cannot teach.

And everyone knows which teachers are terrible. When you ask someone who they have for [English/Math/Latin/whatever] and they tell you [Dr/Ms/Mrs/Mr So-and-So], you say, "I'm sorry." Everyone knows which teacher is racist, which teacher is sexist, which teachers should retire and which teachers should have stuck to engineering.

BLS may be the best public school in Boston, but it's not exactly a high bar.

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It was the same when I went to and English-style college prep Catholic school.
They threw a ton of information at us in a disorganized way. If you could sort it out, the teachers figured you were smart, and you got good grades. If not, you were going to muddle through somehow.

(Later in life I figured out that successful test taking was about understanding the scope of the question and never going beyond it. But really making a change in life demands going beyond the original question!)

Now we say that we can't leave kids behind, which is true, we need all of you to be great. But are we really giving you the teachers who can reach all the kids who try?

If the lessons they are throwing at you are vital, you would think they teachers would make sure they actually stuck, right? But they don't, so everyone knows that they are not important. They say it's about learning but how can it be?

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I've seen some of these complaints, but in all honesty, they follow the same pattern and language I've seen used by whites I know who sent their kids to BLA over BLS. The knock has always been that BLS is not supportive. That affects everybody, not just one particular racial group. Like you, I'm a BLS parent, and I know it's not the right place for some kids. But should the solution be that we make it more like BLA, and then maybe not the right place for the kids who are there now? The challenge should be ensuring multiple and varied attractive options across the system, rather than arguing that a single school needs to fit all needs.

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Madison Park question. The very same people that are fanning these flames were advocates on behalf of the head shooter. Their selective amnesia is defended by simply calling you a racist.

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''but choose not to go because of what they've heard about the school ''

With respect to that , I am sure the notions of 3 hours homework , is another thing that is heard. That must scare a lot of children away as well. There is no shortcut to success in this world , aside from being a member of the lucky sperm club. So what would you say if this became an issue , that the school was just too tough? This is not some vague idea, it seems like a lot of beating around the bush. I have heard rantings about Parochial schools giving an unfair advantage, followed by ideas of excluding children of tax paying residents from attending BLS that went to such schools. I can see it coming , the dilution of this school masked under all sort of rhetoric. I thought busing was supposed to level the playing field, guess that didnt work. Just pass the test , screw the interviews and profiling and community service and other inventions. I am sure community services done to fulfill a religious obligation will probably be excluded somehow.

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I think that the whole thing has been blown up out of proportion. Some of the things I heard about BLS and Racial issues are not completely true. There are some students (Black, white, latino, asian,etc) at BLS that are sometimes ignorants and they don't know if they might insulting another student race by saying things that students of the same race call each other. My son attends BLS and once during a video game called a friend the N-word. As soon as I heard that. I stopped him playing the game and told him that in my house. we do not use that word because it has historical/racial repercussion. He said to me that some of his friends call themselves the N-word. I told him I don't care if they call themselves the N-word. He should not use that word period. He told me that he did not know that this word might cause a problem with his friends. I told him that the problem was that if somebody hears him using the word. They might think that he is racist when he is not. A lot of the BPS students don't know about the racial and segregation history in our country (according to them that happened many decades ago). I don't know how many of you BPS parents have taken a bus in Boston. and see kids calling themselves the N-word and don't even call them up for the use of it. By they I am black.

This is a waste of time. We should focus on demanding the Boston mayor to restore the school budget instead.

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D you are not naive here , the n word situation is very perplexing. You acted respectfully telling your lad to just dont use the word ever anywhere.

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But what happens if a kid's grades aren't that great but they get accepted in to the school because they volunteered at a homeless shelter? Will they be sitting in a classroom feeling ashamed because their grades are lower than others? I'm Latino, and personally, I find that to be embarrassing. I'd rather be accepted in for my brain and not my looks and bad grades!!! Why don't we help elementary school aged Black and Latino children to excel and get smarter so they won't have to be "categorized" as the stupid minority kid with bad grades?

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First, I don't know why Chang brought up community service, because we're talking fourth and fifth-graders here: I hope he's not seriously considering making 11 year-olds go out and do volunteer work (as they will have to do at BLS). But that aside:

Not every kid learns the same way and a kid who does relatively poorly on a standardized test is not necessarily any less smart or worthy than a kid who does. High school can be a place where a kid really blossoms and if BPS can figure out a new way to ensure kids who want and deserve to be at an exam school but who maybe didn't do as well on the ISEE or in some classes can get there, I'm all for it.

As for categorizing minority kids as "stupid," sorry, you're really insulting those kids. Yes, perhaps, some day, we will have lower-grade schools all across this city that are consistently great; until then, I'm not seeing why kids who have been held back through no fault of their own should not be given the same chance as kids who are in what are basically exam-school prep schools. And BLS is not for everybody - it is grueling and demanding and no, not every kid is ready for that or does well in a setting like that, and hopefully whatever screening BPS adds to the admission process will help pick the kids who are (yes, we also deserve a BPS where all high schools give kids a chance to excel, too).

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BLS should be a good, challenging environment for anyone regardless of ethnicity, orientation, etc... However, I can't get past the feeling that the biggest issue BPS faces is providing a good education for kids, largely minority, who aren't going to exam schools for whatever reason. A kid who gets into Latin is likely on a good trajectory but a kid who's going to English or Madison, etc... is entering the world in a much worse starting point and needs the support more. Both are issues, but the one getting the press is not the biggest problem with BPS.

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To its credit, the Globe has covered not just the BLS issue, but the overall BPS budget issue, which is disproportionately hitting high schools, because they have a lot more "optional' stuff that can be cut, like libraries (or in the case of BLS, a Latin AP class, which is kind of sad). But, yes, this BLS thing seems to be getting way more attention than an issue that affects thousands more students.

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But do you just discard the notion of test? The entrance exam is just one of many tests to be encountered. Now do you have to tailor fashion each class subject test as well? And you seem to have something about tax paying residents sending their children to '' exam-school prep schools " , which I perceive to be Parochial Schools . And there is no guarantee that if you gain admittance to BLS you are going to stay there. Do you tinker with that as well?

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Go back and read the transcript of Chang's interview with WGBH. He's not saying we should drop ISEE, but that we should supplement it with other criteria.

As for "exam-school prep schools," no, I didn't mean parochial schools - although, yes, there is a possible issue of private schools giving kids higher grades than they would get at a BPS school, which gives them a head start on exam-school admission.

I was thinking of certain schools across the city - some private, some public - that, for whatever reason, do a better job with their kids and get more of them accepted into one of the exam schools.

Our daughter went to a BPS school we thought was doing a good enough job of educating her that we decided against transferring her to an AWC program when she got accepted into AWC (despite arguments from the then head of the AWC system that, basically, she'd wind up living in a cardboard box under an overpass if she didn't transfer). Not all families are so lucky.

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'' giving kids higher grades than they would get at a BPS school, which gives them a head start on exam-school admission ''

I am not buying that for a second. These kids still have to pass the test. Do you suggest that they are marginal students that need the boost? Do you really think parents would spend their hard earned money for inferior schooling just so they can gain a place in a superior schooling situation? And the Chang thing is just machination for meddling and posturing away from the exam by lowering its value. I saw this bullshit with the busing , you can fool some of the people some of the time , you can't fool all of the people all of the time. I know nothing of AWC so you're off the hook there. But seriously , just take the fucken test already , and stop the rest of the conjuring. Shalom to you , with respect !

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I know people have gone into their private school and said my kid is getting A's in 5th and 6th grade or we're leaving.

I know people who have kept their kid back a year when they didn't get the right grades in 5th grade.

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It was the Haley, right? Some schools are more equal than others seems to be their motto.

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How can Supt Chang possibly talk about any new supplement? How, with a straight face, can he suggest expanding AWC when BPS isn't currently fully funded? Yep, this is coming from a BPS parent, who loves her daughter's K-8 which got a $200K cut.

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Reread her comment--she's referring to kids being categorized as "stupid" not calling them stupid herself. As difficult as it is to parse these issues, it's impossible to ignore them completely as part of the discussion. Part of the inevitable backlash of any attempt to level the playing field is accusations, even sometimes just the silent implication that black and Latino kids somehow need extra help because they're not as smart, don't study as hard, etc. I've heard enough of this over the years in a hundred different forms and ways, from people of every age and shade and it's much more nuanced and trickier to combat than say, a Louise Day Hicks.

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I do wonder how these accusations of a racist administration and racist students is impacting ALL students at BLS. This kind of negative national attention directed at kids who are already under an enormous amount of academic pressure must be overwhelming. Will the student who made the disgusting lynching comment be expelled? And if not, then why the hell not? Will his/her parents be held accountable? A racist out-of-state tweeter and a racist student and an unacceptable response to this racist student is certainly giving a bad reputation to a public school and its students which I thought were supposed to represent the best and brightest that Boston had to offer.

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Perhaps Metco is attracting students who might otherwise go to BLS. White students don't have that option, so it makes getting into the exam school even more important for many.

A friend of my dad's attended BLS in the late 1940's. Then, it was as much as FIVE hours of homework per night. His graduating class was over 50% Jewish, which did not reflect either the freshman class or the city's demographics. According to him, Jewish families were just very insistent that their boys stay there, and wouldn't let them transfer out because they didn't like the workload.

I think that the exam and charter schools, and the Metco program, attract the kids of the most involved, motivated parents. Which may explain a good deal of their success relative to the other schools.

It seems there ought to be something short of a federal investigation to look into this, maybe at the state level?

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My family moved from the NYC Public Schools to the suburbs when I was in middle school, as did a high number of my classmates in the honors/AP program path.

The reason was, while the oldest children in many of these families were solid candidates for getting into and thriving in a competitive exam school, the younger siblings were not showing a similar inclination or Type A personality. So rather than sort out 2-4 different schooling tracks for 2-4 children, they moved to a school district where the kids would just go to their local elementary/middle/high and that would be that. No thinking.

I suspect many parents opt to simplify logistics when picking schools.

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