How the BPS school-assignment system made schools even more segregated: Nobody checked the results after tinkering

Schoolyard News spends some time with the recent report that analyzed the performance of BPS's five-year-old school-assignment system, the one that was supposed to improve choices for parents and their kids, but didn't if they weren't white or Asian-American.

Bottom line: If you screw with a computer program, you need to make sure it still works.

The whole thing fell apart because of problems assigning students for sixth grade - not all BPS elementary schools go that high. So the authors tinkered with the algorithm and came up with new assignment lists, but then didn't check any of the resulting assignment lists actually still had good schools on them:

Most amazing: Apparently no human being checked to see that the system was working as intended.

The result was that many children applying to new schools for sixth grade had no MCAS tier 1 schools on their lists. That was true for more than half the sixth grade applicants from Jamaica Plain and Roslindale and more than a third of those from Roxbury.

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No, seriously

Two plus two is (expletive) four no matter what you are. So why is there such little parity among schools all in the same city?

EDIT: I know the historical reasons, I'm asking why it hasn't been fixed in 2018.

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I mean

because of metrics used are capturing a dataset which doesn't neatly map onto the actual problems being confronted?

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Follow through

Once upon a time BPS said they'd reduce the number of grade configurations offered at schools from the current 24 down to four. Time to follow through.

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School "choice" is not really a choice

By on

The school "choice" home-based plan failed us and we just cut a check for $28K to send our son to 6th grade at a private school. Our only 6th grade Tier 1 choice was a 7:15AM start charter school in South Boston (we live in JP). The K-8 school near us waitlisted him and still does to this day. We gave up. We then uprooted our 2nd grader from his comfy K-5 situation and transferred him into the closely K-8 school NOW so we don't have to go through this again in 2 years, leaving his friends and high comfort level behind. It's a horrible system and it's been an emotional winter/spring just trying to figure out 6th grade.

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Good illustration

Another factor in segregation of our public schools is white people opting out when they don't get the school they want.

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You could substitute “white” with “upper middle class”

By on

I tend to agree with you, but you could substitute “white” with “upper middle class” in our scenario. We’re actually not an all-white household, but we do have advanced degrees, are high wage earners, but also hold education as a key priority. We’re not going to take a risk on education if we don’t have to (we’re lucky, I know). The plan was to keep him in BPS and tutor the hell outta him (and save a bunch of $), but months of waiting for a local school to open up ended up exhausting us all.

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And therein lies the rub

Why does it need to "open up?" You're a Bostonian. You paid your taxes. The teacher makes X whether your kid is in the class or not. Why isn't your kid just in the class that you want him/her to be in? Why is the transaction so damn difficult?

You paid 28K for a year of school for a sixth grader? I'm sure I remember things I learned in sixth grade, but I don't remember the actual curriculum. Are you telling me with a straight face that a sixth grade education is worth the 28K you paid for it? There's six years to go after that, and you still haven't picked a college!

I'm in the wrong damn business. 28K to teach a kid the sixth grade curriculum. Jesus Christ, I hope lunch is included in that.

Seriously, I walked to school until high school. I understand that BVT is not Boston, and I understand that my hometown didn't have the redlining that Boston did (if at all), but reading that your kid can go to school in Southie but not the one down the street is just (expletive) stupid and makes me want to punch a wall. Is there a Southie kid in the school down the street?

People in the 1950s and 1960s screwed us good. Let's all go spit on their graves. I hope your kid gets a more useful education than I did.

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Lunch Is Not Included

By on

Which really pisses me off. Hey, gotta get ready for 7th grade exam schools. The price tag in the end may be halfway worth it. The pressure never really goes away.

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Exam schools

We didn't have those where I come from. Either you went to what the city offered you for free, or you paid the Catholics.

I assume that an exam school is a school where you have to pass a test to get in.

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Surprising you haven't heard of this

In Boston, there are three schools known as "exam schools." Yes, admission is based partly on a test (the ISEE), and partly on 5th-6th grade Math and English grades. Boston's three exam schools are called Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and the O'Bryant School of Math and Science. Roughly a quarter of Boston high schoolers go to one of the exam schools. These schools start in seventh grade. They are public schools, and they are free, but admission is selective.

The selective-admission public school phenomenon isn't limited to Boston; the US has 165 exam schools, in 31 states. In other cities, exam schools mostly start in ninth grade.

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/12/the-cutthroat-worl...

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The ISEE

I found a sample test for 8th grade:

https://downloads.ivyglobal.com/ISEE/UPPER_LEVEL_TEST_1/isee_upper_level...

I've literally forgotten how I would solve many of these problems, and I like math. Imagine being a kid who hates it. How the (expletive) do you pitch to that batter if you're a teacher? What a misunderstood profession.

A box and whisker plot? I've seen those in math textbooks and literally nowhere else. Does anybody use those in presenting data in an adult job?

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yep!

You definitely see box and whisker plots in biology, decent way to show the spread of your data.

Violin plots, though...

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Tiers

The problem is the concept of "tiers." The school "tiers" are declared based solely on mcas scores.

For a resident of central Jamaica Plain only two out of the fourteen schools listed with sixth grades are in "Tier 1." One is the Kilmer in West Roxbury, one of the most desired schools in the city, which locks up all its seats in K1 and rarely has further openings.

The other "Tier 1" school one is UP Academy charter in South Boston. There are open seats there. There is no busing to UP SB from JP - the kid would have to take the T, which would be two buses or a train plus a bus, around an hour, so leaving JP shortly after six. Not a great choice.

There are twelve other schools on the list, "Tier 2" through "Tier 4" and also "Unranked," all closer than South Boston. There is probably an available seat at one of them, but some upper middle class folks figure they don't have to settle for anything less than the best Tier.

Also, 28K means something different to an upper middle-class family than it does to your broke-ass self, Will. That's actually one of the cheaper private schools around these parts.

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Exam school strategy

By on

Three thoughts:

1. Tiers and MCAS scores have little to do with school quality or the experience your child will have. My kids have had awful educational experiences in a highly rated Tier 1 school and intelligent and supportive teachers in a school that has not-great test scores. You just can't know from the Tiers.

If you are hoping for a high exam school ranking:

2. The school has little to do with ISEE scores, since most of the material on the test is not in the BPS curriculum. Private test prep is more effective than leaving it to the schools. Unless the private school is focused on getting kids into the exam schools, you'll still have to test prep anyway.

3. Your kid will need A's in ELA and math. A low pressure school with a short commute and not a lot of homework will leave more time for test prep and tutoring to get the grades.

I'm not neccessarily saying you're wrong to have made the decision to go private for 6th, I do hope that you made this choice based on more than the idea that Tier 1 has a lot of meaning.

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Let's pick this apart

The problem is the concept of "tiers." The school "tiers" are declared based solely on mcas scores.

No teacher I've met or talked to has told me that MCAS is any good...but parents accept as gospel a school's tier ranking which is based entirely upon MCAS scores? That's the education equivalent of a girl on Bumble demanding a minimum height from a partner.

For a resident of central Jamaica Plain only two out of the fourteen schools listed with sixth grades are in "Tier 1." One is the Kilmer in West Roxbury, one of the most desired schools in the city, which locks up all its seats in K1 and rarely has further openings.

Why is the Kilmer so desired? Is it their location? Is it that the teachers are so much more gifted than any other teachers at disseminating the lessons?

I can tell you that some teachers are better than others, although I only attended four schools, and it would have been three if my first elementary school hadn't folded into two of the others, owing to small class sizes.

In any case, it would seem to me that the Kilmer has a wonderful product to sell. So what are we doing as a city to help this business expand? Markets work, and clearly, there's a great customer demand for what this school does. I understand that the teachers have a finite amount of time, and that they can only give a finite amount of one-on-one time to a finite number of kids.

So, what can we do to ensure that every kid who exists can be exposed to these teachers in some way? Can we maybe feed their lessons via video streaming into classrooms at the other schools, and then the live teachers in those classrooms could reinforce the ideas? We used to watch instructional videos all the time. Make TV stars of the best teachers at this school.

The other "Tier 1" school one is UP Academy charter in South Boston. There are open seats there. There is no busing to UP SB from JP - the kid would have to take the T, which would be two buses or a train plus a bus, around an hour, so leaving JP shortly after six. Not a great choice.

Again, it's only Tier 1 because of how some other kids did on a test, no? Why is this parent concerned about how other peoples' kids did on a single test one time? I've never had to pick a school for a kid before.

If you could go to any school in a vacuum, you would pick the one with the best teachers that was a reasonable commute from your home, right? Why not go meet the teachers and talk to them instead of relying on scores from a test? Boston's a small town. Do we not know and engage our neighbors?

Maybe your sixth grader is really into science. Maybe there's a really good but underrated science teacher in that lower-tier school within walking distance. Did this family even bother walking over to the school to meet the teachers?

There are twelve other schools on the list, "Tier 2" through "Tier 4" and also "Unranked," all closer than South Boston. There is probably an available seat at one of them, but some upper middle class folks figure they don't have to settle for anything less than the best Tier.

Again, markets. I don't hate capitalism. They made that money, I didn't.

Also, 28K means something different to an upper middle-class family than it does to your broke-ass self, Will. That's actually one of the cheaper private schools around these parts.

I'm not broke, but I do have a weaker cash flow than I would like, owing to the fact that I lack urgency in trying harder at a life which isn't bothering me right now because it's summer and I'm happy.

What is teaching if it's not fostering wisdom while holding the attention of the listener? I don't feel like either of those tasks are outside of my skillset. Maybe I really am in the wrong business.

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I assume you aren't being serious

but if you are, your whole conceit is built on the assumption that all kids require the same amount of resources (including instructional time) as each other to attain the same level of success (however that might be defined) and that the teachers are the variable or the building. To pretend all 60k school aged kids in the city are the same and require the same level of support, instruction, services, etc... is a fallacy.

Many schools succeed by filtering out the kids who for a vast slew of reasons are not a good fit for a 'standard' education experience. Maybe a kid can't handle sitting quietly and learning for 6-8 hours a day. Maybe a kid has dyslexia. Maybe a kid has a difficult home life and isn't arriving at school daily with sufficient sleep/food/etc... These kids are filtered out of attending the top HS through exams, from attending the top K-5 by proximity (class/wealth filter of local preference) and from top performing charters (Lottery/parental indifference) These kids all end up other schools where the network effect of school success stuff doesn't happen.

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I was sincere in everything I said

I also recognize that some kids learn differently and/or come from homes that aren't so great. I just didn't cover that in my talking points.

There's plenty of great public school staff who work with those kids. My mom is among them.

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The Kilmer

By on

Will, I applaud your enthusiasm for using reason and data to determine, progressively, how we could create better schools city-wide by replicating what a Tier 1 school is doing. However, respectfully, I think you may be stumbling over your own point that a school is ranked Tier 1 based on how its kids did on a test. To wit, it is not necessarily anything the school did as much as it is how the kids did on a test. In response to your question of why is the Kilmer so desired, I would also offer the perspective that it is in the heart of West Roxbury surrounded largely by middle and upper middle-class families who, due to the 1-mile walk preference, get first dibs at the Kilmer. While I have not taken the time to analyze the socioeconomic makeup of the Kilmer as compared to other BPS schools of similar size, etc., I will take an educated guess that one reason its kids test so well is because of their socioeconomic background. This is the pervasive problem in ranking schools based on test scores, as it does not, necessarily, measure the quality of the school at all, but rather serves as a proxy of the background of the families who send their children there and cannot be replicated.

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In that case

It would seem to me that what needs to be duplicated is the family backgrounds.

So...we build a bunch more houses and condos and apartments near this school so that the prices and values and rents of the existing shelter come down to a price where somebody who doesn't live there now because they don't have the money can go live there?

Seemed easier to me to make the schools in places with less valuable housing better, but you can only get a kid to pay so much attention. Maybe the kids who come from families who don't have a lot of money would care more if teachers told them straight up what jobs they can get and how much they pay.

I don't recall one time in 13 years of public school being told straight up during a lesson that I should give a (expletive) because people with this knowledge make X and live in Y and vacation in Z. Where's the joy, and where's the motivation? School just felt so joyless to me. I hope it's better today.

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Two ways

Some people think a better way to duplicate the family backgrounds of successful students is to bring people who suffer in poverty into the middle class.

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Agreed!

I hear home ownership is a great path to that. Let's build those instead of spending everybody's money on war planes and ships.

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Tiers Again (or tears)

By on

We weren't necessarily looking for a Tier 1 school, but just was mentioning that our only Tier 1 possibility was in Southie given our address and other factors (AWC, no IEP, no special needs/language needs). For us, we wanted start times that didn't uproot our household and walkability. The 2 preferred options (yes, lower tiers!) within 1/2 mile from us have waitlisted us. We visited (it's called "school preview") all of the schools in our bucket in the fall/winter. That's what parents do. I even had my kid shadow some of the schools we felt strongly about. We talked with Principals and teachers. We informally interviewed parents. We didn't just blindly give up. The schools that would work best for our family, lifestyle, and might potentially meet our educational standards with only a 10-minute walk don't have room for us. Bottom line.

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If I had kids

I would homeschool them, because I could do better for the price than any school. Social interaction would come from participation in sport or the arts.

Is that an option for your family?

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No, unfortunately

By on

I need and want to work. My partner makes the real money and spends a lot of his nominal free time on their tutoring. My kid is a social creature and gets depressed when he's not among friends daily. I know you can organize outings with other homeschool families and do the sports thing. And were it me to do the teaching, I'd totally have to bone up on algebra.

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Our country is broken

Because you need to work in addition to your partner. I grew up in a single-income family, and I had a brother. I didn't travel on an airplane until I was an independent adult in 2004, but my basic needs were met, and my stay-at-home mom was integral in my educational development.

Do both you and your partner work because you would have gotten outbid for your existing shelter if you didn't?

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Too Many Assumptions

By on

I need to work because my brain and body need me to work. I can't sit home. I need to be around adults and my brain needs to be stimulated regularly. We bought our existing shelter at the right time and paid it off already (7 years). It's not hard to save money for us. We're not spenders, but we also want experiences. My Dad didn't get on a plane until he visited me across the country at age 55. My kids have passports. We spend our money on education, travel and life experience. Basic needs are fine. That's all I had too, but for us, we want our kids to have better than what we did. There's no shame in that.

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Hear hear

I need to work because my brain and body need me to work. I can't sit home. I need to be around adults and my brain needs to be stimulated regularly.

I feel ya.

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It's not too late

You can always go back to college and get a teaching certificate, Will. Public school teachers in Boston are well-paid, and you wouldn't really stand out as a crackpot in that company.

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In this country, yes

One could substitute "white" with "upper middle class." The two are statistically coincident, as race and class share cleavage.

Among the reasons for the resegregation of Boston schools one can count a greater degree of financial choice among white families.

I know a lot of people in the city feel emotionally exhausted by the assignment system. People used to having a greater degree of agency probably take it hardest. Anyone who has been here for a few decades at least is used to seeing an exodus of white families (and mostly white, like yours) at key ages, such as five and eleven.

I'm sure you had other choices besides busing to South Boston to a charter school, but were certain nothing would do but Tier 1. Obviously, most families in Boston don't have that luxury, any more than they have the luxury of private school, or of 'tutoring the hell outta' their kids.

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Don't play the blame game

By on

Why the hell are there still failing schools?

The system was set up with the notion that "we'll just close the failing ones". Guess what? Ain't happening because the space isn't there.

The problem isn't "there should be no parents with high standards" but "there should be no failing schools".

Even if you use MCAS, flawed as it is, you can see differences in the progress of students from class to class in the low ranked schools.

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Confusing

By on

I'm not a parent with a child in school, and maybe that's why I just don't get this. According to the BPS website, 42% of students are Hispanic, 35% are Black, 14% are White, 9% are Asian-American and 1% are other. That means White and Asian-American count for 23% of the student population. So you're telling me a full 77% of the population are getting the short shrift? How can that be, mathematically? It's very confusing.

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The issue (well, as I understand it)

By on

The city used to have three school-assignment zones. For 20 years, the city tried to ditch that, because it meant extra costs for busing (kids could go to any school in their zone, whether by choice or because they were assigned to them). The problem was that every single solution (which usually focused on creating more zones) ended up with at least one zone of failure where none of the schools ranked high on the standardized scores used to judge how good a school is.

Then some MIT researchers came up with a solution: Get rid of zones and create an individualized list of schools for each kids on which they would always have at least one crack at a high-scoring school - even if it was relatively far away from their house. Bravo, BPS said, and then it adopted the idea.

Only problem: BPS has a very complex set of schools - some are K-3, some K-5, some K-6, some K-8, some K-12, some 6-8, some 9-12, some 7-12, etc. And BPS kept a one-mile preference around schools (so kids within a mile of a particular school would have better odds in the lottery of getting in), as well as sibling preference (so if you had a kid in a school, your other kid would get a seat there).

So somebody had to tinker with the algorithms used to generate the lists given to parents looking for a new school. And they screwed things up by not looking at the lists the system was generating to ensure that all kids had a crack at a good school.

And here's where the segregation part comes in (yes, in a district that is something like 87% minority), and which is what the most recent study discovered: Kids in certain neighborhoods had like an 80% chance of being able to get into a good school. Kids in other neighborhoods had a far less likely chance (I think it was 5% in Mattapan).

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Well-summarized

By on

In a city like Boston, you don't actually have to try that hard to end up with a school-placement system that's horribly racist. If you let geographic proximity dictate school choice, you're basically abandoning half the city to the vicissitudes of horrible schools.

However, speaking as a software developer, I have to say: BPS needs to have a come-to-Jesus talk with whoever was put in charge of tweaking the algorithm to account for weird school-grade boundaries. This is a solved problem. Screwing it up this badly means someone decided to be a cowboy, and didn't understand the problem they were trying to solve. I've never seen the specifications for how the lottery needs to work, but I could probably look at a result set from it and tell you immediately if, say, a minority group just so happened to be thrown under the bus by a shitty design choice. It's completely inexcusable for this to have affected families looking for BPS placement in 2018.

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BPS has a long history of messing with algorithms

By on

Back in 2002, I attended West Zone Parent meetings in the basement of St. Thomas'. Jerry Burrell came to speak to the group and said that the took in all the applications, and then "massaged the data" and then did the assignments. Burrell retired September 2017, so I bet he "massaged" MIT's algorithms too.

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Consider

That the "tiers" of schools are decided based solely on standardized test performance. And that standardized test performance tracks socio-economic status very closely. And that about a quarter of schoolkids in Boston go to private schools. It will start to make better sense.

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You folks are just clowning around right ????

The citizens of Boston continue to elect officials that promise NOTHING in terms of education except those lovely words "We need to do better". If you think "we need to better" is promising something substantial.....

Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite!!!!

How many people voted in the last election? None of the people on my street that I've talked to that have school age children. They didn't even know an election was happening. What percentage of the people voted last year, or any year?

I remember once when I was running for office, I was talking to a city councilor and asked him about campaigning in a public housing project in his district. He said "Don't even bother going there, only 15 people in the entire place (of thousands) vote."

Why is the system this way? Because this is what the citizens who vote and give money to politicians want. As people have noted, the people of means are getting their kids into good schools because they vote and they give money to politicians to make sure a system exists where they can game the system into getting their kids into good schools.

It's not very complicated. Or maybe it is.

Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite!!!!

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What to do?

By on

This is exactly the issue. Schools are essentially ranked oaccording to the predominant socioeconomic status of the kids who go there, which tends to break down along racial lines. No one is going to solve racial integration problems through a school selection process because at its heart it is really an issue of economic disparity. Those with means can always opt out. Ironically this is what access to a good free education is intended to alleviate. It is truly a vicious circle. I do not know the answer. However it strikes me that the city could take two steps to try to draw middle and upper income families back into the system. First, make the schools look and feel like the schools in middle/upper income areas by doing what the Mayor said he would during his campaign and putting $1BB into building and renovating (not a cent of which has been spent). Second, get the administrative office of BPS to a level of competence and trustworthiness that the administrators could be trusted to provide metrics on schools that are more qualitative than just test scores. Presently there is not nearly enough confidence in the administration to trust that any subjective analysis they could provide would be sound, or free of bias in one form or another. This would not be a cure all, as class runs deep in Boston and there will always be families who view education as a social experience above all else. However there are enough families who don’t share those views that I think this could make a difference.

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Interestingly, some of the

By on

Interestingly, some of the solutions seen in other cities to failing schools - strong, integrated parent organizations and community partnerships, building the school not just as a place but a community, linking together long term disadvantaged residents who want what's best for their kids with would-be gentrifying new residents who know how to make noise - are very very difficult in boston, because schools are adrift among the communities they reside in. there are no neighborhood schools, so how does a neighborhood band together to improve their school?

it's a sad, complex problem.

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technocracy is dangerous

By on

trusting algorithms made by people to be non biased or to correct for bias is simply foolish.

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The discussion of the

By on

The discussion of the assignment system masks the underlying problem. The city doesn’t have enough good schools and the ones it does have are not accessible to all students. A fancy software package, endless transits, and kids being shuttled off to private schools are not going to fix that.

Until better schools are provided throughout the city, not just in pockets, the assignment system will always be unbalanced and inequitable. There is no educational benefit to sitting on a bus, only costs. Perhaps if the education system was less roulette like more families would stay and help strengthen the school system rather than going private or to the burbs.

More discussion is needed about solving the underlying issue and less time in the assignment rabbit hole. That is unless of course BPS has already concluded providing better schools throughout the city is politically unsolvable. A leader, past two mayors excluded, is needed to correct this longstanding problem.

If we ever hope to make any progress addressing the housing segregation, income disparities, etc. the place to start is kindergarten.

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One Councilor is looking that way

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/07/24/should-boston-schools-get-r...

In a city where school buses criss-cross neighborhoods, taking some students to high-performing schools but too many others to lackluster ones, some city and school officials are now raising one of the most contentious questions since the days of court-ordered desegregation: Should Boston get rid of busing?

City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George has been the most vocal, taking to social media last week, exclaiming, “Those dollars would be better spent in the classroom, directly supporting kids!”

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Reserved seats by income / Equitably distribute funding

By on

History (and the supreme court!) have shown that there is no such thing as separate-but-equal. Segregated education is not acceptable, because money and resources follow white and financially-comfortable students. Those schools also have robust private fundraising groups that many other BPS schools cannot possibly emulate on their own.

BPS should reserve a number of seats at the Lyndon, Elliott, Kilmer, et al for students from low-income families in order to ensure that the capacity side meets the options presented in the Discover BPS site.

In addition, Tier 3 and 4 schools should receive extra funding in order to more equitably assign resources to our most vulnerable students.

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Lower performing schools do already get more funding.

It's called weighted funding. A school with more kids that need language or development assistance get much more money per student than a theoretical school with all kids that do not require these kinds of additional assistance.

https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/cms/lib/MA01906464/Centricity/Domain...

"Our current WSF model accounts for:

● Grade-level
● Poverty
● English Language Learner status
● Student disabilities
● Vocational status"

As for holding 'a number of seats' per the BPS data the Kilmer for example has 24% low income and 22% kids with disabilities. It's not like it's 100% middle class white kids over there. I don't think the remedy is to drive more middle class kids out of the system - that only removes more stakeholders in the system who are more likely to vote for more funding, reforms, etc...

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Let me clarify

By on

Yes WSF is a start in terms of making the funding more equitable, but that's JUST district funding (which is hardly enough across the board). What schools like the Kilmer, etc. enjoy is a network of families with the time and means to actively fundraise a LOT of money from outside the district.

What we need is MORE funding dedicated to the schools that serve students with less fortunate circumstances. The Opportunity Index is a good step toward that goal, though I'd argue that the calculation needs some work. But what the OI does is simply reshuffle funding for programs within the district, and what we really need is a bigger funding pool to begin with.

I also take exception to the idea that reserving a portion of seats at predominantly white school for low-income families would cause middle class families to flee the system. Schools like the Kilmer, Elliot, and Lyndon have over 50% white students in a district that is only 14% white students. They are islands in BPS and can afford to share their resources with less fortunate kids.

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"White flight"

My experience is that white middle class families don't bail out the schools for diversity reasons (unlike previous generations) but simply because they do not want to put their K-5 kids on 40-60 minute bus rides twice a day to farther away neighborhoods. I can't blame them for that. And yes, it also sucks for the kids from Mattapan or Roxbury, etc... who do have to ride a hour each way to get to school.

I don't think there's a practical way to tell parents in one specific white neighborhood that the school preference criteria has to be waived for them because they have too many white neighbors. West Roxbury is 70% white - it shouldn't be any weirder that those schools which are 50% filled from local population are largely white any more than it is that a school in Roxbury is majority black and Latino. It's just demographics and distribution. Now, back in the bad old days, the WR schools did get way more funding per student but that has ended.

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This suggests the solution

Is getting white families to move to minority neighborhoods, not bussing minority kids to white neighborhoods.

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Voting is closed. 13

Fricking algorithms

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Algorithms used for school assignment process and algorithm used for new start times. Both total disasters. MIT computer engineers need to think of the real world applications of their modeling.

My family is at the Eliot. I have a going into 6th grader and a going into 4th grader. The assignment process changed in the year between them. My older daughter has enjoyed a richly diverse class with kids from all over the City. My younger daughters class has been very noticeably whiter and wealthier with kids mostly from North End, Charlestown and East Boston.

My biggest fear is substantial unpredictable change coming to BPS in the next few years. If chill start times had changed this year, it would have really upset my family balance, my kids wouldn’t have seen my husband much, and there was nothing I could do about it. (So many other families wer so much worse off but even these small but abrupt changes have major implications) We can afford private school so I think we are done with this Public school experience. Way too family un friendly.

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Voting is closed. 9

I think that's a problem

I think it's a problem for BPS that families like yours get sick of being jerked around. You have other choices, and you take them. The result is more segregation.

I don't believe that folks at BPS think you leaving is a problem. And I think that's a problem too.

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Voting is closed. 10

Good point about BPS headcount

I am sure the city is very, very happy that they only have to pay for the education of 75% of the kids in the city.

That's what bugs me about the crowd who insist BLS should only be for kids who went to BPS for years K-7 - those families are saving the city so much money by paying to get their kids educated elsewhere up to 8th grade.

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Voting is closed. 12

I don't think it's a problem either

This lady's kids need not go to a school to be among a diverse crowd, provided that they participate in sports or the arts with a diverse crowd outside of school.

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Voting is closed. 7

I think it’s a problem

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I chose BOS over private school because I believe in public education. I’ve spent years advocating and fundraising for ALL the students in my school. My daughters are wonderfully social and adaptable and I credit their school for supporting that. I think the loss of families like mine is a problem for all stakeholders. I think it’s a shame that BPS has been unanchired for so long. And has made bad decisions that lead me to feel this way. When we started I wanted to use my energy to help the system. It’s run over me.

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Voting is closed. 8

I'm With You

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BPS wants families like ours (yours and mine) but they ran us out because we are lucky enough to buy our way out of the system.

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Voting is closed. 5