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Fenway High students to be offered year of free college classes

The Dorchester Reporter takes a look at Mayor Wu's plans for a "Year 13" pilot, in which students at Fenway High School could graduate into a free, year-long program at UMass Boston. The school already lets students take classes at UMass and Wentworth, but that program ends once they graduate.



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Fantastic! What a great idea and incentive for young people.

I went to Fenway when it was in its infancy on the 10th floor of the old English high. It was such a great school for me.

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I was thinking "Fenway" was a bit of a stretch :-)

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Takes some pressure off high school instruction.

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This strikes me as just like the free bus pilot. It only applies to some people and is a temporary thing so that she can claim accomplishing a campaign promise even though she didn't. Too bad, a free year of UMass Boston for all BPS graduates would be good.

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You might want to look it up.

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The definition of "inclusive".

Also the OP is right, most of these pilots remain that and politicians take victory laps.

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Why is the city concerned with (=spending city money on) the college futures of anyone, especially a very, very small slice of BPS students?

Related: Why is UMass Boston concerned with (=spending state money on) a very, very small slice of Mass. residents?

I realize that everyone has their own opinion on how money should be spent on, but this has a whiff of a stunt about it. Well-intentioned, yes, and will benefit some people, certainly. But so does the lottery and sports betting.

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The City/BPS is concerned with two things. First, and more altruistically, they are concerned with students being able to succeed after high school, and offering students a chance to begin taking college courses while within the confines of high school. Second, making Fenway High School a college prep, complete with college credit, is a move to boost enrollment at the school. I don't know how much of an issue enrollment at this particular school is, but I do know that BPS enrollment is an issue for the city.

As for UMass/Boston, it's the whole town and gown thing. All of the colleges do "something" to look like they care about Bostonians, so this is a small step that they can take.

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and the 13th year of public education is an issue for you?

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Fenway has been relegated to second-class facilities and has not been given the opportunity it deserves to grow despite being a proven model of building student success and sending more underserved students into college than any other non-selective/lottery school in the system.

Pilot schools (e.g charter schools with union teachers) were an amazing opportunity to test various pedagogy and institutional approaches that could guide the BPS in the future. Yet more than 20 years on, the BPS has not only failed to reward successful models like Fenway, they’ve failed to adapt any of the lessons learned to any other schools.

We are lucky as a city to have this school but we need to really see what is working and have the courage to implement change system wide.

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Fenway is great and I'm glad there's a school serving this important and deserving population.

The problem with taking the "lessons learned" from a lot of these admission-public-schools is you... can't. Fenway is a lottery to get in but once they get the crop of kids, they can hold those kids to standards that result in kids who are truly checked out, disruptive, involved in violence, etc, getting weeded out. Most of these really successful charter schools are partially successful because they just do not waste time and energy on kids that don't want to be there and negatively affect their classmates.

In a way that's positive - poor and minority kids who really work hard and want to succeed have been hamstrung by being stuck in "poor schools" where two of their classmates interrupt english class to have a fistfight, and obviously that's negatively impacting everyone else.

But it does mean the population relegated to the non-choosey BPS schools is really like, the last of the last. Fenway has requirements for dress code, no cell phones, community service, senior internship, etc. Meanwhile there's other public schools where teachers have to choose between watching their students fuck around on tiktok or risk a fifteen minute verbal altercation in getting them to put the phone away, impacting the whole rest of the class.

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because they are humanitarians. They are doing this because they have to. Colleges and universities need to do these “feel good” things because they do not pay real estate taxes. And you all thought this was the Communist way.

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