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Boston school superintendent quits


WBZ reports that Tommy Chang, Boston school superintendent since 2015, is leaving his job. The Globe reports that Chang, who came here from Los Angeles, is quitting even though he doesn't have another job lined up.

Chang issued a short statement:

I am in active negotiations with the Boston School Committee for a mutual parting of ways.

When Chang wanted to come to Boston.



Tommy is leaving because of a lawsuit where BPS turned over information to ICE and a student was deported. I have a feeling that BPS has been turning over information about students to law enforcement agencies for years. If an investigation reveals that this is standard practice heads should roll if students privacy rights have been violated.

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He didn't quit over the Boston Latin/Black Lives matter and that involved an investigation by the US Attorney's office and possibly getting thrown under the bus by the mayor.

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And we shouldn’t forget the misuse of student custodial funds that resulted in a hefty fine to the IRS. While the alleged misuse is said to have occurred before his tenure, it was his district when the fine was paid.

I see this as likely a “three strikes and he’s out” situation.

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"I've been sounding alarms both Marty Walsh and Superintendent Chang were secretly cooperating with ICE while Walsh was shamefully campaigning publicly against Trump while disrespectfully ignoring his black opponent Tito Jackson."

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After the other 2 resignations (did they jump or were they pushed?), you have to wonder if Marty is responding to criticism & is trying to shake things up a bit? No idea.

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Who's going to get some kid kicked out of his/her home?

Athens of America my ass. This is a great city if you're a single adult like me. I would never in a million years enroll a child in a public school here, and this city is the damned pinnacle of American intellectual curiosity. Kids deserve a better education than the one I got in public schools.

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You, of course! Here's another direct quote from Will LaTulippe:

"I'm going to explain this one more time, so commit it to memory.

I am a lifelong resident of the United States. I was born here.

Some people in the United States were not born here. They are foreigners, and while most of them come into our country and contribute positively, some of them are criminals and nuisances.

I don't want people from other countries coming into my country and making Americans uncomfortable in their own country. I wouldn't go to somebody else's country and cause trouble, and I expect for the same respect to be extended to me and our citizens.

I don't know where these people were born that yelled at an American citizen in America in Spanish. If they were not born in the United States, I would insist that they leave.

My name is Will LaTulippe, and I stand by the above statements, because I care about the safety and security of my community."

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You really went deep to find that one.

No schoolchild is bothering me, I can assure you of that.

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Totally agree. The lawsuit -- and what will come out -- was the final straw.
That said, I support the federal governments effort to crack down on undocumented immigrants, and see Marty Walsh's sanctuary city demands as an attempt to curry favor with the national Democratic Party, so when time comes for another job, he can count on its support.

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Students privacy rights are violated when a public school system shares data with law enforcement?

That's not how privacy works.

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Google FERPA

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Google "FERPA law enforcement exception"

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If the police want information on students they have to have a warrant.

That warrant can't be a fishing expedition, either - it applies only to those named in it.

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... Lynne Mooney Teta.

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¡Que sorpresa!

"In order to successfully implement our education agenda, we need a long-term education leader with a proven record in management who can gain the confidence of the community on the strategic vision for the district and execute on the many initiatives that have been identified as priorities for our students and schools.”

Is that politician-speak for "I fired his lame ass?"

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No, it reads we need someone who is going to continue our agenda of disenfranchising predominately students of color in under-served, low performing schools.

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then I read about Charlie Baker and Hanley Ramirez.

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Cites accomplishments, but doesn't say why he's leaving right this second.

June 22, 2018

Dear Boston Public Schools Community:

It has been my great honor to serve the youth of Boston and I am proud of the work we’ve done together over the last three years. On the Nation’s Report Card, in numerous areas, Boston has been one of only a handful of districts that have made progress. Gaps of achievement and opportunity have begun to close. That’s a credit to our teachers, principals, staff, and families - and I’m proud of it. But no one can or should be satisfied with where we stand, and with some crucial building blocks in place, the time will never be better for the next leader to take the helm.

I’m grateful to the people of Boston for the opportunity to serve here - and for what that opportunity means about what’s possible in America. Thirty-seven years ago, as an immigrant from Taiwan, I showed up in public schools without knowing a word of English. Public school teachers guided me in a journey that gave me one of the greatest responsibilities a human being can have - the education of a city’s children. In this moment more than ever, I want every immigrant child to know that’s the country America strives to be, must be, and will be.

The youth of Boston inspire me each and every day. They are truly the future leaders, scholars, entrepreneurs, and innovators of tomorrow. I am proud of the accomplishments of my leadership team who have worked closely with school leaders and teachers over the last three years to serve the students of this great city. Together, we have worked tirelessly each and every day to ensure better life outcomes for young people.

Since my first day as superintendent, I have worked to improve the system of education in the City of Boston. A stronger school system means a stronger Boston. In partnership with you, and guided by the values of equity, coherence, and innovation, we are getting better outcomes for youth.

Over the last three years:

Graduation rates have increased from 70.7% in 2015 to 72.7% in 2017 while dropout rates have decreased from 4.4% in 2015 to 3.6% in 2017. We have more high-performing schools than ever before in district history, with a combined 46 schools ranked among the highest-performing in the state (Level 1 and Level 2).

Suspensions have significantly decreased as we have codified restorative justice practices and ensured that all schools are safe, welcoming and sustaining learning environments. We have fought courageously for our immigrant students, LGBTQ youth, and homeless youth while leading on important issues around school safety and access to safe drinking water. We created the Office of Social Emotional Learning and Wellness and won a four-year Wallace Foundation grant to promote social-emotional development of students.

We have laid a strong foundation for academic growth and closing opportunity and achievement gaps by instituting the Essentials for Instructional Equity, a coherent, research-based vision of instruction and related competencies. Through Excellence for All, more students in grades 4-5 now have access to more rigorous curriculum and enriched learning opportunities in an inclusive setting. We have fully implemented Extended Learning Time to 57 schools serving 23,000 students in grades K-8. We have supported our English Learners (EL) by ensuring delivery of services and investing in quality EL programs. We also launched the first-in-the-nation Haitian Creole pre-K dual-language program at the Mattahunt Elementary School. Lastly, we have instituted Exam School Initiative reforms that have dramatically increased participation and acceptance rates for Black and Latino children.

We have expanded access to healthy and appetizing food by bringing in Revolution Foods, launching the Hub and Spoke school kitchen program and investing in year-round learning opportunities through the "5th Quarter of Learning" to engage over 12,000 students in the summer months.

I want to thank Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston School Committee for having faith in me to lead this incredible school district and serve the families and students of this city, the birthplace of public education.

Lastly, I want to personally thank the entire Boston Public Schools community. To the BPS staff, thank you for your dedication and commitment to our students. We give our entire self emotionally, intellectually, professionally and personally to serving youth. Continue to do so.

I thank all of you for the opportunity to be of service to you.

Tommy Chang, Ed.D.

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think Tommy wrote that or one of the poor saps that has to teach Mahty Hooked On Phonics did ?

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I hate the modern format of resignation letters / farewell emails where you humblebrag everything you worked on.

It was so much nicer when all you had to write was "I had fun. Will miss everyone so much. Keep in touch!"

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Release of data regarding Harvard admissions (Latin) and he has already provided it or perhaps doesn't want his name attached to eventual access to it...

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BPS lawyers asked to be excluded from that suit; judge said nope.

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They pipe in Ryan Seacrest five hours a day. I caught one of his talk breaks on the way to work today. It was pablum, but it was no less relevant than anything that a live, local person would have said.

Rather than pay a full salary and benefits to a local DJ, Kiss 108/iHeart Radio simply runs recorded patter from LA (now from NY since he started doing Live with Kelly Ripa), and the station still sounds great. You get celebrity/entertainment news from a guy who actually talks to celebrities instead of from some guy/girl just quoting Perez Hilton. It's called "voicetracking."

Now, all I hear about when I read about Boston schools is how great Latin is, and how poor so many of the others are. So, when do the Latin teachers start voicetracking into other classrooms in Boston? Stick an intern into the classroom to handle discipline and giving the tests, and play recorded lessons from the best teachers.

It would appear that the number of good school personnel is finite. If we can't keep this guy around for even half a decade, then's what's the point? He got to live in Boston and make a quarter million dollars a year. Sounds like a sweet life to me.

What return did the Boston schools get on that investment? When are school systems going to be built around this uncomfortable truth that there just aren't as many people as we would like who can do this job and do it well?

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With all due respect for someone who committed so much time to setting up this analogy, I think you’d be hard pressed to find many people in education who believe it all comes down to an impersonal lecture, some tests, and direct discipline.

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Boston Latin is good because of casting, not because of pedagogy. They skim off the top 10% of Boston students, then haze them until a third of them leave. You want to pipe in lessons, do it from a school known for the quality of its teaching, not for the cruelty of its traditions. It wouldn't benefit students in other schools at all to listen to disembodied BLS teachers fulminate and cuss their way through a class period.

Some of the kids at BLS thrive, but most of the kids don't, and the outcomes are unimpressive beyond the top 4% who go to Harvard. Few of the grads go anywhere they wouldn't be able to go without BLS, and most grads still go to state schools or community colleges. The kids who ditch BLS probably do just as well as the kids who stay.

Don't believe the hype. BLS is as much as cult as it is a school. It's middle-of-the pack for high-pressure public schools, not exceptional. The difference is that most of the other schools that are just as good (e.g. Lexington, Brookline, Wellesley, Newton North...) take all comers and don't haze kids until they drop out. So pedagogically they're probably accomplishing more.

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... is nowhere near one-third. In fact, it is currently close to zero percent:


The rest of your comment is equally factual...


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You know as well as I do that kids only get counted as "dropouts" if they don't go to any other school. The third of the kids who start BLS in 7th grade and end up graduating from a different school aren't "dropouts" as listed in that table. You're a smart guy. You couldn't figure that out?

And US News as the sole arbiter of school quality? It's a great shortcut, and it has the benefit of being easy to game. But there are other rankings.


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... with attrition rates -- 2 percent not 33.

BLS is hardly perfect -- but your sliming of it is outright dishonest.

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If this is the best you can do, you should not be defending whoever taught you math in high school. Pulling in odd statistics that don't quite match the question at hand doesn't bolster your argument.

Just stop and think about it for a moment. 450 kids start in 7th grade. If 97% of them graduated six years later, there would be no B track at BLS, and a lot more kids would graduate every year.

Per the DOE, only 417 of the starting 450 kids remained in 7th grade this year, and only 380 of last year's 7th graders continued on to 8th.


If you have a strong, fact-based case to make, you don't have to make up things.

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... here's the mobility rate (including churn): http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/mobility/default.aspx?orgcode=00350560&fyco...

Making things up? {rest of what I feel like saying deleted}

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Context as well

Not knowing the definitions involved enables a whole lot of different scenarios to explain the statistics

Let's assume that some fraction of Latin students might be children of some graduate student at one of Boston and Cambridge's many institutions of higher ed

Suppose that grad student finishes his/her degree and is accepted into a post-doc program in California -- and takes the family with him/herself-- how is the loss of the corresponding BLS student counted

My own situation several decades ago is an example I was a graduate student and then a member of the research staff at the U of Texas Austin -- our daughter was a student in a prestigious private high school in Austin. We moved up here and she followed in the middle of the school year. An "attit" would have occured in the school in Austin and a corresponding gain occurred in Lexington High School.

Pray-tell who keeps track of that kind of "transaction" -- Google?

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I knew a guy who moved his family from Newton to Boston just so his kid could attend BLS. I guess he should have asked you first.

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