Hey, there! Log in / Register

Eliot School parents fit to be tied, this time over what they say is a penalty for exam-school admission

The Patriot-Bridge in Charlestown, home to Charlestown High School, which Eliot School parents want to remake as an innovation school reports that parents are now upset because of a BPS plan to penalize their kids 10 points on their GPAs to try to level exam-school admissions across the entire BPS district.

Parents say this means none of their kids will get into Boston Latin School or the other two exam schools. The GPA lopping will also happen to students at the Lyndon and Kilmer schools in West Roxbury and the BTU Pilot School in Roslindale.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

Great way to reward public schools that perform well, I guess.

up
Voting closed 120

I interpret it as a great way to stop rewarding the select few kids who are lucky enough to attend certain elementary schools.

They "won" the elementary school lottery. If the parents of those children disagree, they have options. They can select a different school as their top choice.

up
Voting closed 34

until Harvard Medical School starts using a similar adjustment on the MCAT. When I go to MGH, it bothers me to think that everyone working there probably always did their homework, and got great grades. Even the females and the non-European ones. It just isn't fair. Despite the fact that the vast majority of people I have met there are also nice people, I just know that there are probably many others who could save my life just as well.

up
Voting closed 26

You probably want to read up on the racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism in medicine. And take note of how the demographics of physicians in the US don't remotely mirror the population in the US.

When you see physicians from marginalized experiences, know that they've worked a lot HARDER than their peers to get where they are.

up
Voting closed 13

Exactly. Another example of some people having a better education/opportunities from the start b/c of where they live.

up
Voting closed 11

This penalizes kids, parents, teachers, and facility who have worked hard to create high performing school in the BPS system. We aren't talking about private or parochially schools, but penalizing public schools where students do well - and to your point probably didn't have much of a choice in attending the school due to how admission works.

up
Voting closed 120

Fuck those kids in the other low performing schools - they and their families didn't work hard enough to deserve a good school.

That was your point right?

up
Voting closed 37

Rozzie kids aren’t exactly from upper class families who can afford tutors…

up
Voting closed 29

That is false. You don't necessarly have options. Discover BPS (http://discoverbps.bostonpublicschools.org/) only gives you so many schools in your bucket for K-1. If they are all non-bonus point schools, you're fucked, and your future for exam school is already determined by age 4 unless you transfer out (which will happen). It happens especially if you live in WR.

up
Voting closed 31

You have options, technically, but you're unlikely to get them. Living in Westie, all the high eligibility schools are on the no-exam-school list, so it's definitely a gamble.

On the bright side this will make housing in Westie cheaper as all the young wealthy yuppies who were settling down to replace the old racist townies who are moving out to the South Shore now choose Norwood/Milton/etc instead.

up
Voting closed 11

We deduct points from someone who sends their kid to a Boston Public School because the school is doing too well?
They are not going to some other cities schools, it's a Boston Public School.
If one school is better than another I guess it's the parents or kids fault and they need to be knocked down 10 points. The logic of that is mind boggling.
Why have exam schools?

up
Voting closed 130

Unfortunately, the privileged feel that something is being taken away from them when equity is applied correctly. There's a difference between equity and equality and the new exam school policy is using equity to right a wrong that has existed for many years.

This has never been a PENALTY against anybody; this is extra bump for those who go to schools with high populations of students from low income neighborhoods. Get off your high-horse and take a look around; your kids come from privilege and I applaud the city for doing something to stop parents from hoarding opportunities.

If you feel that this exam school policy is punishing you for going to a "good" school, please know that the vast majority of this city thinks you are a fool.

up
Voting closed 23

Equity is about advantaging the disadvantaged. How does awarding high-poverty bonus points to 568 students who are NOT economically disadvantaged (per BPS's own simulations) help the disadvantaged?

It doesn't. Guess how many additional seats the 10 most disadvantaged/underrepresented schools are simulated to win with the new policy this year? FOUR. That's 4 seats for 854 6th graders. The problem is that most of the students at these schools do not earn the minimum B GPA required to apply and, because almost everyone gets points, no one really benefits from the points - least of all the most disadvantaged students. These students are still competing with almost everyone.

That is why the 10 points should be viewed as a penalty. The only thing they accomplish is to penalize 4 of the 7 “overrepresented” schools (the Lyndon, the Kilmer, the Eliot and BTU Pilot) and the 5th school, the Alighieri, gets hit in the crossfire. They also penalize most non-BPS schools which is obviously the (unconstitutional) intent.

up
Voting closed 36

Bonus points aside, the socio-economic criteria for creating tiers are mainly social, not economic. The Task Force knowingly adopted an alternative metric to median income - percentage of persons below poverty. This is a very different criterion than median income and results in some bizarre tier assignments in places like the South End. But, because it disadvantaged West Roxbury a little more, it was enthusiastically adopted.

Income is noticeably absent from the other criteria as well: percent of households not occupied by the owner, percent of families headed by a single parent, percent of households where English is not the primary language spoken, and educational attainment. These seem to relate more to stability rather than wealth or privilege. But one neighborhood is disadvantaged by every single one.

But this laser focused attack on West Roxbury is not without collateral damage. Parts of Mattapan, Hyde Park and East Boston are Tier 7 and parts of Dorchester (including Port Norfolk) and almost all of South Boston are Tier 8. Residents in these neighborhoods are surprised to repeatedly hear the superintendent and policy proponents refer to them as "wealthy" and "privileged."

up
Voting closed 21

It's the socioeconomic status of the students who attend the school. According to BPS, attending a school with a 39.9% poverty rate gives a student so much extra privilege compared to attending a school with a 40.1% poverty rate, everything else be damned (including factors like whether the individual student being affected is an ELL student, has parent/s who never attended college, lives in non-BHA government-subsidized housing, etc.).

The cut-off was originally 50% when the proposal was being worked on, up until the very last day when it was lowered to 40% after some parents (e.g. vocal JP yuppies whose kids attend the Curley) exerted behind-the-scenes political pressure, thus resulting in ~11 BPS schools getting off the penalty list and leaving only 4 behind.

The 50% cut-off might have made more sense than 40%: at least half the kids are considered poor at a school meeting the 50% threshold, then BPS' reasoning might be that it's "more likely than not that a typical student from that school is poor" -- and thus, the entire school is deserving of extra points. But the sudden change to 40%, as well as the fact that some of the 4 remaining excluded BPS schools have poverty rates in the mid/high 30s (so not exactly a millionaires' paradise), makes it clear that both thresholds are quite arbitrary.

up
Voting closed 27

This has nothing to do with how well the school performs. It is about how much of the student population is economically disadvantaged.

up
Voting closed 30

This isn’t at all an effort by BPS to punish a specific demographic group. Nope.

up
Voting closed 33

Except it’s not. If you look at the 5th and 6th grade of these schools (and all Boston public schools) without the impact of the people who use the schools only for the first few grades, then they’d all be over 40%. This only penalizes people who stay in the system and contributes to instability in enrollment. I already know numerous 3rd and 4th grade families in those schools figuring out where to enroll their kids for 5th grade. They’ll knock out the kids whose parents don’t have time to learn about enrollment deadlines, or who work 3 jobs and can only enroll when they get the time.

This plan also gives over 550 kids who are not economically disadvantaged points, whilst taking the points from almost 150 kids. It was a smart way to diminish push back. If BPS can tell you what the school percentage of economically disadvantaged are, then they should be able to tell you who those kids are and give those points to the kids that are specifically in need of them instead of sacrificing over 100 kids this year to give over 500 a benefit they don’t need.

Additionally, there are strands in some of these schools that some kids need and have no choice but to place at in order to be in the least restrictive environment. So, if you agree to what BPS says your kid needs for placement in gradesK- 5 for their IEP (and not all IEP’s are for learning disabilities), then you lose the option of the exam schools for them. This seems like a violation of the IDEA.

Lastly, and more importantly, the idea that we spent (and continue to spend) so much capital on this as opposed to our open enrollment schools is disheartening. BPS approved common core curriculum more than one year ago but haven’t yet fully funded it. Yet they approved this change to the exam schools 6 month ago and spent the time and money making sure it goes through by this spring even though common core impacts more kids. Every action they take continues to send the message that exam schools are more important and more worthy and then they publicly diminish parents who are fighting for their own child’s right to attend them. When I read newer parents who naively believe BPS will change the open enrollment schools with more supports, I feel bad for them. We have some brilliant teachers, administrators and students in those schools but BPS, by it’s own actions, continuously puts them last- and then we criticize parents who pick up on that message and don’t want to send their kids there.

If anything, in all of this, I hope people will hold BPS accountable to actually improve the open enrollment schools. Common Core curriculum should be implemented yesterday. The building are in disrepair. AP offerings are meek and sports had to be financed out of private funds (which were cut last year!). I respect those who will try it out for their kids (but would like to hear from them when their kids stay to graduate) but I understand and also respect those who are hesitant to send their kids there when they have easier choices.

up
Voting closed 38

Tinfoil hat time but maybe this is a plan to force middle-class families whose children will always test well and do alright academically (because they have books in the home, because one parents stays home during their very early childhood, because they have access to enrichment opportunities outside of school, because they're well fed and in stable housing) into failing open enrollment schools to up the ratings and "even out" the school quality. What's cheaper, actually improving schools, or shuffling around demographic cards until, at least on paper, the school's numbers look better?

Add in the fact that engaged middle class parents also improve schools by forming committees, sponsoring activities, volunteering, etc (and no shade on low income people who are too busy surviving to do these things), and it's a win-win for rank 4 schools across the city.

up
Voting closed 8

Even more telling than withholding the bonus points from 4 historically "overrepresented" BPS schools is the adoption of an 11 point GPA scale. This means that an A and A+ both equate to 100 and that an A- with 10 bonus points equates to a 101. Not only does an A- with bonus points now beat an A+ without bonus points, but it means a huge number of applicants will be tied at 100 - their fates determined by BPS's randomly generated number. So, BPS and Dr. Tung will get the lottery they wanted after all - at least this year.

BPS has not yet said how the exam scores will be calculated next year when they count for 30% of the composite score, but we should expect they will find a way to level scores to continue to penalize high performers.

up
Voting closed 27

To reward parents who have worked hard over years to improve schools.

And a great advertisement for bps.

up
Voting closed 43

If there are more students who would be successful at an exam school and who want to go to an exam school than there are slots, why isn't the solution investing in adding an additional exam school?

I get that not every school can be like an exam school, because that's not the right fit for every student, but if the fundamental issue is that there aren't enough slots, then why is the conversation about reallocating slots rather than expanding the number of slots?

up
Voting closed 28

You have hit on a key point. BPS could easily accommodate all 1600 students who meet the minimum GPA requirement in an exam school. But if they did that, hundreds of A+ students from private schools and West Roxbury and the Eliot could continue to enroll in BLS. If you haven't noticed, BPS and the policy proponents have absolute disdain for these students and their families. That's why they came up with a policy to exclude them entirely.

up
Voting closed 33

I'm going to say what we're all thinking. If BPS policymakers did not have such clear hatred for white people, they would have just proposed building a new exam school in WR/Roslindale, which doesn't have a public high school of any kind currently, with a large percentage of slots reserved for students from other neighborhoods. Or heck, build a new exam school in Mattapan and bus anybody who wants to go there in. There were so many routes thye could have gone, but they wouldn't have given the finger to what they perceive to be wealthy white people (but actually aren't that white or that wealthy by the scale of the Boston area) in the same way.

up
Voting closed 11

I've said it before and I'll say it again, except for a handful of schools the BPS is an embarrassment, just spend a half hour looking at the States rankings of our schools, cost per student, graduation rates, subject proficiency etc. It isn't a spending problem in my opinion it's a management problem.

up
Voting closed 87

If you spend sometime on this site: https://profiles.doe.mass.edu/profiles/student.aspx?orgcode=00350096&org...

You'll see what those "handful" have in common. Spoiler: lots of white and wealthy students

up
Voting closed 12

I guess the whole Boston School System is segregated then..
Are you saying schools with a minority of white students can't succeed? Do white kids bring magic dust to the schools they attend which makes them better?

up
Voting closed 34

When one school's population differs this significantly from the district's student population that school is segregated.

up
Voting closed 3

They should just have a lottery. Take a number and if your number gets picked your in. As the parent of two adults, looking back. I does not really matter

up
Voting closed 10

Just take the top GPAs proportionally from each school.

Then address the inequities instead of this ridiculous gaming of various bogus point systems.

up
Voting closed 64

Same thing I said in my head when I read this. Just find students from the other schools that have similar gpa and test scores to kids from the 4 schools they selected. Then put them in the exam schools. And if they are good students they will have a chance to excel instead of taking all the kids from the top preforming schools. I honestly don’t like how they deduct and add points for the area you live/schools your parents selected for you.

up
Voting closed 15

Precisely. Normative selection instead of criterion selection, just like colleges do. I can't believe they didn't think of it and went with this arbitrary penalty instead.

up
Voting closed 13

Watch the participation trophy kids flunk out.

up
Voting closed 58

Maybe this will make parents reconsider the rat race of getting their kids into the "good" school that is just "good" because it has the highest % of higher income families?

Better to be the big fish in the little pond, etc

up
Voting closed 11

Start a math and science magnet school in Boston that isn't controlled by BPS.

up
Voting closed 19

That is the endgame of the Globe and the people who have been underwriting the Globe's coverage of the BPS.

up
Voting closed 38

...Charter schools are not the answer. Charter schools have their own problems that comes with little oversight and their own underhanded tactics to paint rosy pictures.

Public schools have their own issues, but I'll pick them any day over Charter schools.

up
Voting closed 25

I am not suggesting an in-district charter, but a school which is not subject to the district at all, a statewide magnet school located in Boston. In short, I am suggesting something similar to Mass Academy at WPI, but in Boston.

https://www.massacademy.org

What is the difference between a charter school and the Academy?
A charter school is a public school that operates independently from a school committee under a five-year charter granted by the Board of Education and must attract and admit a cross-section of the district’s population. The Academy, however, is classified by the state as a “school of excellence” and can best be thought of as a state-wide math and science magnet school that is linked to a research university. Academy students are selected competitively based on grades, teacher recommendations, standardized test scores, and a diagnostic test.

It's sad that Boston students have to take a back seat to Worcester students (and Marlborough students) as far as math and science education goes. And BPS is never going to fix this.

up
Voting closed 15

If BLS was available to residents of Newton, Dedham and anyone else?

In the end even schools like this aren't going to fix the "bad" schools (I still don't know what a bad school means).

up
Voting closed 10

Boston Latin will continue to follow its traditions, no matter what BPS or any other supposed authority does. Among those traditions is a lack of quality, modern math and science education. "If it was good enough for your grandfather, it's good enough for you" is not a helpful guiding principle in fields that change rapidly. Compared to top high schools that specialize in math and science, Boston Latin is simply not competitive. And it never will be.

I am suggesting that Boston would benefit from a school of the level of Stuyvesant or Thomas Jefferson. BLS will never be such a school; it doesn't even encompass enough talent to enable such a school. The only way that the Boston area could collect enough students to have a public high school that offers advanced math and science classes would be for it to draw kids from surrounding areas. The only way for such a school to actually be founded would be for it not to be under the thumb of BPS.

If a high school student in Boston wants to study anything past Calculus, he can't do it in public school here. If he wants to study physics that requires calculus, he can't do it in public school here. "Shut up and do grade-level math" is not a good enough response to mathematically precocious children. Nor is a begrudging "Okay, you can move one year ahead. But that's all!"

If you don't know kids like that, or believe they exist, move on. This is irrelevant to you. But if you've listened to a sixteen year-old babble on excitedly about tensors and machine learning, then you've listened to a kid who hasn't been taking math classes in BPS.

up
Voting closed 11

Congrats, you've created a school that already exists.

up
Voting closed 10

Congrats, you've demonstrated what little familiarity you have with the O'Bryant.

The top math class at the O'Bryant is AP Calculus BC.

https://www.obryant.us/pdf/OB-COURSE-CATALOG-2020-21-FINAL-6_0.pdf

Top math and science magnet schools go far beyond this. And the top math class at O'Bryant never will, because that would be unfair.

up
Voting closed 18

Back in the 1990s. Large suburban high school. Those kids who exceeded what HS math had to offer (finishing 12th grade AP calculus in the 9th grade) went to MIT and Harvard which had special programs for kids like that and coordinated with local high schools because when they graduated they wanted them to continue their education at MIT and Harvard (BU also had a program I believe). There weren't many but I'd guess 5 or 10?

Now I can see a system like this might not be the best for a students general welfare. Why not have a magnet school like you speak of and have the best and brightest right there in a healthy HS setting (Massacademy is two grades I believe).

In the end a Magnet school is only going to serve a very small percentage of students, which is good but doesn't solve the problems of BPS and equality. That wasn't your point either I realize but even private schools in the area are giving out free rides (Roxbury Latin gives about 25 spots a class to Boston residents) for the top students.

up
Voting closed 10

It would be better for those kids to be able to study their advanced math and science at their own schools, with their own peers, rather than taking evening classes at local universities, especially if they currently go to schools which won't even allow them to do that (say, BLS).

Yes, there were five or ten of those kids in your suburban high school in the 90s (and no, the private schools probably don't want them either, because sports). Group them together with similar kids from the 150 or so high schools in the area, and you might get more than a thousand kids, which is plenty enough.

No, it doesn't solve problems of BPS and equality. And BPS is going to continue to be primarily concerned about equality (as enrollment drops year over year, especially among the most academically advanced kids). It solves a different problem, one which the BPS is unable to solve. Anybody proposing exam schools offer more advanced math and science courses (i.e. those science courses that require calculus as a prerequisite) would be pilloried. Such a proposal could only be made on a state-level basis.

up
Voting closed 12

There is a Boston area population of about 4 million people who would benefit from a school or schools like this, especially residents of places where options are even more limited (or unequal) like Boston.

Upon closer look at Mass Academy of Math and Science though, it looks like their seniors take classes at WPI. I'm guessing that is a huge factor in someone wanting to go there. You might need a place like Harvard or MIT help out with this one. Incorporate it with local PILOT programs maybe.

I also got a chuckle seeing Arizona State as a place where recent MassAcad grads went. I just envision the family dinner conversation where that decision was made. (I know Arizona State is a great school with great programs, but still)

up
Voting closed 8

... prefectural (i.e. state-level) and municipal high schools -- and lots of private ones as well. All schools require entrance exams -- and generally it is the top college-prep public schools that have the highest requirements (and are most competitive).

up
Voting closed 9

Is there a link to information about this 10-point "penalty"? I have children in 6th grade at the BTU school and this doesn't line up with anything I'm aware of.

up
Voting closed 13

Which students at every BPS school will receive, except the four schools Adam listed (Eliot, BTU, Lyndon, Kilmer).

From a certain angle, it might be fair to describe the bonus as a penalty for those who do not receive it. However, at the same time, kids in METCO or parochial schools do not receive any bonus points, either, so from that angle, it's not necessarily a penalty.

It's a complicated system that you can find more information about here.

up
Voting closed 14

10 extra points for applicants from schools where more than 40 percent of the students fit the state definition of “economically disadvantaged.”

https://schoolyardnews.com/school-committee-members-reaffirm-support-for...

up
Voting closed 7

I read but generally don’t comment. I don’t think it’s fair, Adam, to describe this as a “BPS plan to penalize their kids 10 points on their GPAs” or as “GPA lopping.” No one is being penalized or having points lopped off. Points are being added to some students, and not to the Eliot school students. It’s a pretty well-thought out plan. These are the schools that receive and do not receive the additional points: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/1Vb3vSUnIDrkgVW8ZjjJTV4hbbgMw...

up
Voting closed 27

Is there one which includes non-BPS schools in the city? I.e. charters, parochial, etc...

up
Voting closed 11

Get nothing.

up
Voting closed 9

Still giving some students a competitive advantage. It doesn't matter if you are adding or deducting points. Its still an unfair practice.

up
Voting closed 24

True. It's a ten-point addition to the 100-point scale BPS is using to assign exam school seats. They are not taking away 10 points from anyone's GPA (or even adding 10-points to anyone's GPA).

And it has absolutely nothing to do with punishing high-performing schools. It is based entirely on how economically disadvantaged the schools' populations are. It does not matter if it is the best or worst performing school.

It is in some ways a convoluted, confusing system, and BPS has done as terrible a job of explaining it to parents as they did when they overhauled the school choice system several years ago, but this article has also done a terrible job of explaining what is actually going on, which has lead to a number of comments which are way off-base.

up
Voting closed 19

This year, a student's standing on the 100-point scale is determined solely by their GPA, so how is adding the 10 points not adding directly to a student's GPA?

For example: two students each receive a 90 on the 100-point scale, based on their GPA. One student attends a qualifying school, and the other doesn't. The first student will be at 100 points, and the second will be at 90. If this is not called "adding", please let me know so that I can re-enroll in BPS ESL.

Even in future years, where an exam will be administered, each student's standing on the 100-point scale will be determined by a 70% GPA, 30% exam formula. This means that the 10-point bonus will still be added on top of a score that is largely determined by their GPA.

up
Voting closed 29

Ten points are added to the GPA of students in a BPS school where 40% or more of the students come from families who are economically disadvantaged. This is the majority of BPS schools! Eleven BPS schools in total will not get the extra points.

So if a student as a 99 GPA and they are in a school that qualifies for bonus points, they will now have a 109 GPA. In order to get into the pool students must have a B GPA. Effectively nearly all BPS students in the pool will have an A with the 10 points added to their GPA.

If a students lives in public housing they get an extra 15 points added to their score, so a 99 GPA becomes a 114 GPA.

Then students are assigned tiers based on their economic situation. There are 8 tiers and about 125 seats to allocate in each tier across the 3 exam schools. The tiers include families from across the city, not just in a specific neighborhood.

Students who do not get the bonus points, and are assigned to the higher tiers will have a very hard time getting a seat at the exam schools. This includes students from the BPS schools who are not allotted extra points, students in charter schools, METCO, parochial schools and private schools.

A test is coming back this year for applicants this fall, and it will count 30% towards the admissions formula. Everything else with bonus point and tiers will remain the same. The tests will be administered this spring and this fall.

Many parents do not understand the new system and they will be very surprised in May when the exam school results come out this year. There are very few options available for students in a K-6 school if they do not have a seat elsewhere by May of the 6th grade.

BPS has information on their web site about how the process will work this year.

https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/site/default.aspx?PageID=8809

There is a map on the web site where families can enter their address and see what tier they will fall into.

up
Voting closed 18

How is this news? And it's confusing. Is this about the CTown Innovation proposal or exam schools. If exam schools, this has been going on since July since SJW supporters (all applying to exam schools right now. You know who you are) endorsed a small group of CRT experts to create this mess and let's face it, racially balance BLS. And you forgot the Alighieri and Manning - not getting bonus points.

-Manning
-Alighieri
-Lyndon
-Kilmer
-BTU
-Elliott

Rich kids go to bonus point schools and poor kids go to non-bonus point schools. Don't forget the 8 socioeconomic tiers. Rich kids live in poor socioeconomic tiers and poor kids like in rich socioeconmic tiers. Advantages given to rich kids and disadvantages given to poor kids arbitrarilty and capriciously.

https://www.change.org/p/mayor-wu-no-10-point-penalty-for-students-at-bo...

up
Voting closed 17

To all BPS students, except for students attending the four schools that Adam listed (plus the Mozart, so that makes it five). The very large number of students who receive additional points makes it a penalty for the students who do not.

Yes, there are a total of 11 schools (out of 120) on your list that won't get points. So let's go through the 6 others:

  • Alighieri Dante: it's a very small, special-admissions school meant for students with individualized needs. The number of students applying to the exam schools is marginal at best.
  • Beethoven: this is a K-2 school, no one is applying to the exam schools from 2nd grade.
  • BLS, BLA: self-explanatory, they do not count since students are already in an exam school.
  • Manning: 5th graders have a guaranteed pathway to 6th grade at the BTU School, so for counting purposes, it's one and the same.
up
Voting closed 18

1. So because the number of kids applying is small at the Aleghieri, it doesn’t matter?
2. No. 5th graders at the Manning do not have a guaranteed pathway to BTU because they added a 6th grade two years ago. Definitely not one and the same. Your info is behind the times.
3. It counts what school the students is at in 5th grade so any guaranteed 6th grade pathways wouldn’t matter anyhow.

up
Voting closed 11

A 10 point bonus for everyone else is the exact same thing as a 10 point penalty. Especially since Eliot School parents have discovered that ZERO kids from there would get into the exam schools under this plan.

Is this in addition to the incredibly stupid low-income zip code preference plan, which hurts poor kids who live in a zip code that's rich on average?

up
Voting closed 19

When I read the title I thought I don't know grammar, but now I realize I also don't know math.

up
Voting closed 14

BikeBoston, Based on the data you provided, they are penalizing higher-performing schools. All of 120+ Boston schools except 9 schools are eligible for 10 extra points. That tells me that they are penalizing the 9 specific schools.

Instead of creating these complex systems to pick exam schools making it a zero-sum game, why not increase the number of seats in exam schools or build another exam school or magnet school of BLS caliber? Why do we need to stick to three exam schools with a limited number of seats?

Giving access to an exam school to a student from a disadvantaged school does not mean you need to take away the place of equally deserving students from Eliot or another good school.
There is enough demand, interest, resources, and money in the city of Boston for another high-performing exam school. All students, whether they are economically disadvantaged or advantaged, deserve a high-quality high school.

up
Voting closed 21

"We're not penalizing you. We're just giving a bonus to your opponents."

evil: a > b - x
good: a + x > b

up
Voting closed 74

Kinda like those same parents that get better schools just b/c of where they live...that's not unfair at all.

up
Voting closed 8

The plan doesn’t help disadvantaged students. All schools have some disadvantaged students. If you go to a West Roxbury school and you are low income you get zero extra points. The only thing that this plan accomplishes is eliminating students from certain neighborhoods.

up
Voting closed 32

Giving 10 bonus points to all “disadvantaged” schools does not help the students, it just eliminates the students who get no points.

up
Voting closed 13

opponents, they're students in elementary, what the hell are you talking about?

up
Voting closed 8

The reasons the superintendent cited for the points was (1) to correct for the historical overrepresentation of invitations at 7 BPS schools and (2) to prevent the exclusion of 10 sending schools that have historically received <5 invitations.

On the first point, 3 of the 7 schools deemed overrepresented (the Quincy, the Murphy and the Ohrenberger) actually receive bonus points and will see no change or an increase in their admission rates.

On the second point, of the ten schools that historically received <5 invitations, five schools will still receive <5 invitations. The net gain for the other schools as a result of the 10 points is just 4 seats this year. That’s 4 seats for 854 6th graders. The reason the 10 points do not work for these schools is (1) most of the students at these schools do not earn the minimum B GPA required to apply and (2) because almost everyone gets points, no one really benefits from the points - least of all the most disadvantaged students. These students are still competing with almost everyone.

That is why the 10 points should be viewed as a penalty. The only thing they accomplish is to penalize 4 of the 7 “overrepresented” schools (the Lyndon, the Kilmer, the Eliot and BTU Pilot) and the 5th school, the Alighieri, gets hit in the crossfire. They also penalize most non-BPS schools which is obviously the intent.

up
Voting closed 28

Hundreds of years of slavery, decades of Jim Crow, redlining, school segregation and systematic school underfunding* and here’s someone kvetching about how poorly treated the rich white kids of Boston are.

This is the good shit!

*edit: I left out decades of an exam school selection process begot by a noted racist with predictably prejudiced results.

up
Voting closed 17

This made me wonder how my grandfather got to BLS. He lived in Chelsea. There were shenanigans there!

up
Voting closed 7

Run a school into the ground to such a degree that the parents take over. A new principal is hired and works her tail off for ten years to turn the school around. Enrollment soars, the place becomes a true success story for the families. And now Casellius resents the school because it’s not a BPS success story.

Casellius is enacting revenge on children. Think about that.

up
Voting closed 38

I'm getting a fresh pack of Trojans.

up
Voting closed 10

To deduct 10 points from MCAS scores from students at these higher performing schools just for shits and giggles?

up
Voting closed 26

There is no plan in place to deduct any points from higher performing schools.

up
Voting closed 14

Don't forget the Manning and the Alighieri. Whether you get 10 bonus points is determined by which school you go to the year prior to applying for exam school (5th or 7th).

Thank the self-righteous, privileged SJWs for supporting this mess - those who are ALL applying to exam school right now (you know who you are). Also thank the biased Exam School Task Force who created this mess, several more outspoken and influential than others (you know who you are).

Tanisha Sullivan, President, NAACP Boston Branch and former BPS Chief Equity Officer
Rosann Tung, Independent (Critical Race Theory) Researcher
Matt Cregor, Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee, Supreme Judicial Court
Simon Chernow, student, Boston Latin Academy
Zena Lum, parent, Boston Latin Academy
Michael Contompasis, former Boston Latin School Head of School and former BPS Superintendent
Pastor Samuel Acevedo, Co-Chair, Opportunity and Achievement Gaps Task Force
Acacia Aguirre, parent, John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science
Tanya Freeman-Wisdom, Head of School, John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science
Rachel Skerritt, Head of School, Boston Latin School
Katherine Grassa, Principal, Curley K-8 School
Zoe Nagasawa, student, Boston Latin School
Tamara Waite, parent, Philbrick Elementary School

up
Voting closed 27

There's no link to the Patriot-Bridge article. It looks like a line or two was dropped from this UHub item.

up
Voting closed 15

How is this news? And it's confusing. Is this about the CTown Innovation proposal or exam schools. If exam schools, this has been going on since July since SJW supporters (all applying to exam schools right now. You know who you are) endorsed a small group of CRT experts to create this mess and let's face it, racially balance BLS. And you forgot the Alighieri and Manning - not getting bonus points.

-Manning
-Alighieri
-Lyndon
-Kilmer
-BTU
-Elliott

Rich kids go to bonus point schools and poor kids go to non-bonus point schools. Don't forget the 8 socioeconomic tiers. Rich kids live in poor socioeconomic tiers and poor kids like in rich socioeconmic tiers. Advantages given to rich kids and disadvantages given to poor kids arbitrarilty and capriciously.

https://www.change.org/p/mayor-wu-no-10-point-penalty-for-students-at-bo...

up
Voting closed 18

Will be watching parents crunch the numbers and figure out how to work the system to get their kids the most bonus points. There will likely be open 5th grade seats in the poorest schools.

up
Voting closed 8

What’s wrong with that? (There are two bonuses, correct? School stats and living in DPH, then there’s the tier system — look for tier 6 or 7 neighborhoods instead of tier 8.) Where’s the problem?

up
Voting closed 6

Any guesses as to the socioeconomic profile of the parents who figure out how to manipulate the system and max their points?

The more complicated the system, the more it will favor those able and likely to understand complicated systems.

up
Voting closed 10

I agree, never bet against privileged people using their political and economic power to tip the scales in their favor.

But:

1. …the old system wasn’t thoroughly prejudiced in favor of those socioeconomically advantaged people?

2. I said this elsewhere, but I’m encouraged by at least one aspect of what’s happening at Charlestown High.* Before 2020 lots of those socioeconomically advantaged people said “exam school admissions aren’t the problem, don’t fix what’s not broke — fix the other schools.” Did they give a shit about those other schools? Of course not. Now that their exam advantage is gone, lo and behold North End parents give a shit about improving other schools. I really hope that parents finally giving a shit about schools that aren’t the three exam schools becomes a trend.

*I don’t pretend to fully understand the Charlestown proposal or every party’s perspective. My opinion is limited to the aspect that I discuss.

up
Voting closed 14

How is this news? And it's confusing. Is this about the CTown Innovation proposal or exam schools. If exam schools, this has been going on since July since SJW supporters (all applying to exam schools right now. You know who you are) endorsed a small group of CRT experts to create this mess and let's face it, racially balance BLS. And you forgot the Alighieri and Manning - not getting bonus points.

-Manning
-Alighieri
-Lyndon
-Kilmer
-BTU
-Elliott

Rich kids go to bonus point schools and poor kids go to non-bonus point schools. Don't forget the 8 socioeconomic tiers. Rich kids live in poor socioeconomic tiers and poor kids like in rich socioeconmic tiers. Advantages given to rich kids and disadvantages given to poor kids arbitrarilty and capriciously.

https://www.change.org/p/mayor-wu-no-10-point-penalty-for-students-at-bo...

up
Voting closed 11

It is frustrating how unappealing the school system can make the city. I grew up in Boston, did not got to public school, and only left in my late 20s for cheaper pastures, slightly south.

Now married with a kid on the way and in a more secure financial situation would love to look at returning to the city, but the public school system is a major detractor. I want my kids to attend public schools, not Catholic schools as I did.

Yeah, Boston has plenty of demand for housing already, and it does not need my money. But it does have a distinct lack of professional families raising kids in the school system. In my opinion that exodus of professional families has a negative effect on the overall system, despite the resultant increase in available funding on a per student basis. Decisions like this help reinforce that negative stigma BPS has.

I still want to move back into Boston. My suburban raised wife? Not so much.

up
Voting closed 41

I currently live in Dorchester and just had a beautiful baby boy. There’s zero chance we will send him to BPS at any level. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but we both have solid jobs and do very well financially and we will make sure he gets the best education possible. Unfortunately, that’s not BPS.

up
Voting closed 52

You can do it.

https://schoolyardnews.com/bps-makes-your-kids-interesting-90bb4261212e

(The other litmus test I’d recommend is to look up pictures from Hingham schools. If you’re not bothered by how fucking pasty those pictures are, the thought of your kid growing up knowing nothing but that — then go ahead. Winchester will do too. Walpole. Norwell. Shit, there are a lot of vanilla burbs, aren’t there? Otherwise stay. It’s a ride, but be brave.)

up
Voting closed 18

But what schools did the kids referenced in this article attend…the exam schools.

up
Voting closed 8

Sorry, not going to gamble on his education with these shenanigans. I’m brave, not stupid. He will get the best education we can afford and, again, that’s absolutely not BPS.

up
Voting closed 11

The K-5 schools are fine, especially in the Parkway and Dot. Exam schools are all top notch and are nearly 25% of the BPS high school seats.

up
Voting closed 11

My kids have gone to a mix of charter and BPS school and it's been mostly fine.

up
Voting closed 17

Which schools? We’re at Mozart, glad we’re there on many levels.

up
Voting closed 9

A little known fact is that the policy uses your 5th grade school to determine whether you get the bonus points. The Mozart is not mentioned because it doesn't have any applicants to exam schools since it only goes through 5th grade but at 36.1% low-income per DESE, students who attend the Mozart in 5th grade will not get bonus points, regardless of the school they attend in 6th.

https://profiles.doe.mass.edu/general/general.aspx?topNavID=1&leftNavId=...

up
Voting closed 16

.

up
Voting closed 7

BPS spends ONE HUNDRED TWENTY EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR on transportation.

That money could go to hiring 2,500 teachers at starting pay of $50k per year.

End Busing, end the lottery. Bring back neighborhood schools. Laser focus extra staff and social services in neighborhoods schools that need it.

BPS been nonsense for 50 years.

up
Voting closed 42

(Wait, was there a link?)

Anyways, what we’re saying is that once you cut off the near-guaranteed path for (relatively) rich kids to sequester in one of the three exam schools, then all the sudden the parents get serious about investing in and improving the other schools?

(Setting aside the years of bad-faith arguments from parents of kids safely ensconced in exam schools that BPS shouldn’t “mess with success” but should fix the other schools — bad faith because in fact those parents couldn’t care less about the other schools.)

up
Voting closed 7

Very belatedly, for which I apologize, but here it is again:

https://charlestownbridge.com/2022/01/12/eliot-school-parents-circulatin...

up
Voting closed 6

.

up
Voting closed 5

My kid is learning nothing this year in an exam school. The teachers don’t show up for work, he sometimes only has one class per day.

up
Voting closed 6

When my child was in 2nd grade in 2007, the Eliot was slated to be closed. Abysmal enrollment + even more abysmal performance.

Then a new principal was hired, Traci Walker Griffith. She spent the first couple of years - and many hours - getting the school on track, and enlisting staff, parent, and community support. It was a ridiculous amount of work (that should have been done by ‘Court Street’) but we were all-in.

And then the real work began - many more hours (and years) dedicated to improving the course curriculum and learning experience.

The Eliot had very few students accepted to exam school before Mrs. Griffith arrived. There were no ‘privileged’ families when my children attended the Eliot.

My husband and I have often said BPS should replicate the work and focus Mrs. Griffith and her team have put in place.

This needs to be in place for ALL BPS students. The Eliot should not be penalized for working hard and committing to the success of its students.

up
Voting closed 10

I love how Bostonian' fight over a few hundred seats in stars if setting up thousands. No political agenda is going to set your kid up to pass LSAT or GRE. The T and Post office pay better than poetry too.

up
Voting closed 6