Charting next course
(By Boston Herald Editorial Staff)
Charter school advocates helped score a victory for education with the passage of the 2010 reform law, which lifted the cap on charter schools in struggling school districts.
But the leaders of the charter school movement weren’t finished there, nor should they be.
For starters, the forces aligned against them, hell-bent on waging old wars, are still trying to undermine charter schools legislatively. A bill that would require a local referendum before a new charter can be awarded is pending on Beacon Hill, for example, along with the usual efforts to mess around with charter school funding.
And of course the 2010 law was a compromise, which lifted the cap only in those school districts with the lowest MCAS scores.
So the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association has announced an initiative to lift the cap altogether — which is the logical next step — as well as to push for better educational opportunities for more kids in the commonwealth’s 24 so-called “gateway cities.” They’ve hired John Schneider, who through his work at the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth has focused like a laser on addressing the needs of cities like Lowell, New Bedford and Pittsfield, to lead the new effort. (Read the rest of the editorial in the Boston Herald)