Election Day is just two weeks away. When Massachusetts voters take to the polls on November 8, they will have a say in whether the cap on the number of charter schools allowed in the state should be lifted. Boston.com explains the significance of ballot Question 2:
This contentious question to raise the state cap on public charter schools has split Democrats and spilled over into legislative races. Currently, Massachusetts imposes a ceiling of 120 charter schools in the state. A “yes” vote on Question 2 would allow the state to approve 12 additional charter schools each year, while a “no” vote would keep the cap at 120.
Families for Excellent Schools, a nonprofit organization, is leading the campaign to lift the cap. The Boston Teachers Association staunchly opposes allowing more charters, saying they’ll drain money from traditional public schools. Families for Excellent Schools has found an unlikely and well-funded ally in Democrats for Education Reform. From The Boston Globe:
Advocacy group Democrats for Education Reform launched a campaign Monday aimed at shoring up lagging Democratic support for charter schools, just two weeks before voters decide a ballot measure that would allow for more of them.
The $500,000 effort, which includes phone calls, mailings, and radio advertising, comes as polls show Democrats turning sharply against the referendum and threatening its prospects for passage.
We’ll just have to wait, along with the 33,000 students on charter school waiting lists, to find out whether Massachusetts voters choose choice.
SOURCE: The Boston Globe, Boston.com
IN THIS ISSUE:
- WASHINGTON, DC: Enrollment in DC’s charter schools is up 7 percent from last year. Charters now enroll 46 percent of the city’s public school student body.
- WISCONSIN: Participation in the state’s school choice programs is up about 5 percent since last year. Spending on private school voucher programs is expected to increase by $15 million as a result.
- VERMONT: A student-run school reform advocacy group will continue to fight during the 2017 legislative session for the repeal of Act 46, which eliminated school choice for many students when it was passed in 2015.
Common Core and Curriculum Watch
- STEM: Florida students will soon have a college readiness program designed to improve their performance in math and science.
- LEGACY: The Washington Post declares President Barack Obama’s education legacy as “Common Core, testing, and charter schools.” They left out massive increase in federal intrusion.
- DATA MINING: The American Principles Project’s Emmett McGroarty testified before Congress that those fighting to protect student data are not as powerful as those seeking to collect it.
- LIBERAL ARTS: Hillsdale College Provost David Whalen argues in favor of liberal learning and against excessive emphasis on workforce development and STEM.
- DENVER: The superintendent of the Mile High City’s public school system has outlined his plan for giving individual schools more autonomy and flexibility.
- DESEGREGATION: Negotiations have stalled between the NAACP and a Florida school district in a 16-year-old case involving desegregation of a school. Plaintiffs say the district isn’t holding up its end of the deal to close the racial achievement gap, among other things.
- RAISING TAXES FOR RAISES: An Oklahoma ballot measure proposes raising the state sales tax by a full percentage point to pay for teachers’ raises.
- GRAD RATES: Are today’s record-high high school graduation rates really as good as they sound?
- SOMETHING FISHY: A Philadelphia school profited last year by selling students sushi, but it’s now asking the district to hike property taxes.
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