Monday, March 7, 2016

Hearing on the ballot questions and other issues

Posting from the Joint Committee on Education hearing on ballot questions
taking elected officials out of order; then in order

Mayor Walsh: supporting "research based summer learning programs"
testifying in opposition to charter school ballot
"would wreck havoc on municipal finance"
urge to take up a more comprehensive reform package
celebrate diversity
will not move us towards goal of high quality education
support raising the cap, would not help grow sustainably
"would be, in effect, remove the cap altogether"
with no extraordinary transition cost
cities and towns are required pay full charter school costs, regardless of other challenges
asks that cap be raised to 23% of NSS by annual increments of 1/2% (?)
reform charter finance
transitional funding to charter schools over (100,25,25) directly to charters (?)
I don't understand this 
supports Baker's "step in the right direction" in his proposal on charter school reimbursement
"I contend the ballot is not the answer, because this is not a yes or no question"
"thoughtful and nuanced solution" to the problems facing education today
"comprehensive education reform bill"
Jehlen: would like help thinking of a new word rather than "low performing" (to applause) for districts that move kids forward but have kids with substantial challenges

Commissioner Chester: testifying on Common Core
"has served the Commonwealth well"
will require substantial additional spending by the state and by local districts
adopted new standards after review process (including local educators) in July 2010
feedback from employers, feedback from higher ed, feedback from K-12 educators
"more focus and aligned to the input of these important stakeholders"
would disrupt work of local districts
"educators report have a positive on local learning"
"sharply disrupting this process is not in the best interest of students"
sections of bill on review "is redundent under state law"
multi year review of science standards was just completed
review process establishes multiple working groups that are discussing implementation of current standards, to review public comment, and suggest changes to Board
additional expenditures at state and local level
acquisition of curriculum and instructional materials and PD for teachers
"unnecessarily costly to our schools"
would require release of test questions every year, and as a result, test cost would rise
DESE current release 50% of 3-8 test items, and 100% of test items in grade 10
any high quality test requires some items be used to norm the test (and have to be kept confidential to have valid scoring)
also there are some questions that are used to pilot questions
ballot is contrary to Commonwealth's interests and weakens ability to withstand legal challenge

Rep. Flanagan on mental health bill
filed on behalf of students who suggested it
asking that students can start to understand illnesses colleagues are facing, understanding coping mechanisms
has students who will be testifying on behalf of the bill later

Paul Reville, former Secretary of Education
summer learning time critical to fulfilling promise of education
haven't changed to fundamental understanding of time
"time is the constant and learning varies, instead of learning being the constant and time varying"
ask schools to get all students to proficiency within limited time, and this had the impact of narrowing the curriculum
"look squarely at our work and look at where we got it right and where we got it wrong"
"all means all" is the goal and the right one
"have to look at the delivery's a one-size-fits-all factory model"
wide differential out of school learning opportunity
wealthy families spend ten times more than others on out of school learning
feeds the achievement gap
believe "we must guarantee every child access to summer learning"
a mixed provider model
"must continue to accelerate progress towards our vital goal of all means all"

Rep Tom Stanley: opposed to putting charter school on the ballot
historically have been opposed to charter schools due to funding and local control
fighting to provide everyone a proper education
lifting the cap would hurt that effort as well

Rep. Miceli he's back! on his own bill on a line item on Wilmington

Councilor Tito Jackson, chair of Education committee on Boston City Council
asks that they oppose lifting of charter school cap
will do damage to "those who choose BPS"
$119M of state money going to charters in Boston but only $93M going to public schools
and that was before they added more seats, leading to an additional $21M loss
school that will receive the largest cut is the Boston Latin School
"and in fact, they will be losing a Latin School at Boston Latin"
Losing a leadership teacher at Boston Leadership academy, a technology teacher at the science and tech school
neither charter reimbursements nor the outdated ch 70 funding formula will fix that
persistence rate is higher in BPS than in charters
"please don't dim that hope for the other 57,000 students in the Boston Public Schools"
"I just plead with you: when we mean choice, it doesn't only mean opting out of the Boston Public Schools"
Rep Gregoire: asks for clarification on numbers
Sen. L'Italien: "majority of students are choosing to attend their public schools, and we have so lost sight of that"
miss the overhead to run the public schools system
Jackson: "Boston Public Schools isn't sitting on the bundle of dough in the back room"
and then we're called back to the table to compete
L'Italien: large numbers of students walking out of school today "and we're talking about further decimating their funding source"
Jackson: absolutely proud of those who will stand up today
Jackson: teaching pool: teachers should either be in the classroom or not
creation of this human capital movement "is actually a creation of the Boston public schools"

Testimony on mental health bill:
father of two girls in Western MA
worry as much about their emotional health as I do about their physical health
"another bill to promote the health of whole child"
Prof at Tufts and family doctor: improves classroom and whole school performance
teenagers more prone to depression and endangering behavior
while covering nutrition and fitness, covering body image and eating disorders
students may not have resources for mental health care beyond school
allow peers to support and help students get the help they need
junior at Leominster High health only deals with physical health
"won't be as stigmatized" if talked about all the time as part of curriculum
another : 1 in 5 people will deal with mental health issues during their lives
"more likely that teenagers will come into contact with someone with mental health issues than not"
"undeniable connection with physical health"
peer training
recent graduate of Leominster High: mental health, body image
practicing through activities already put into the curriculum
Paul Richard, SHINE initiative
direct conversations with 10,000 students in central Mass
"to fund and provide first aid training in mental health"
glad to serve as an advisor
half of lifetime cases of mental illness by age 14
60 million of US will experience mental health issues at some point
hope that some students will pursue mental health as a career
health teacher at Leominster High: only getting one to two weeks of mental health in our curriculum
every day I have kids coming to me with certain problems and certain issues
need to have families know signs and symptoms
need to make it understood so kids can share
"not just a plague that we don't want to talk about"
Leomister City Councilor (and former health teacher): kids back in 80's "worked in the trenches" to get AIDS education through
"no better time that a program like this has the blessing of this committee"
"it's a cookbook"
"never thought that we...would bury our children due to the opioid epidemic"
depending on who delivers content, there is lack of continuity
end of 2114

Summer learning bill up next
written testimony submitted by Mayors Petty (Worcester) and Driscoll (Salem)
children in poverty spend 6000 fewer hours in enriching outside of school opportunities
"fortunately this is an issue that we know a lot about"
comprehensive solution at a citywide level
focused on academic achievement; rigorous enough to earn school credit
engaging enough to attract children and their families
suggest cost sharing between state and local districts: $10/student per hour
New Bedford superintendent: intensive turnaround effort
only designated receiver that is a superintendent
making great gains in turnaround students
surpassed the state average in ELA growth scores
graduation rate at highest level in more than 10 years
face many challenges in New Bedford: "more than an achievement gap, they face an opportunity gap"
gaps between learning opportunity gaps
We know how meaningful summer programs can benefit our children
cites summer slide of students
"but the good news is that...the progress for summer learning is huge"
with just two weeks, the summer slide is much less pronounced
L'Italien cites summer learning academies in Lawrence
dropped out for another round of summer learning testimony
Jehlen: you're convincing, and summer learning is not enough
need movement on foundation budget and it has to be enough to cover these programs
"put it in the foundation budget"
echoed by Sen. Chang-Diaz

On ballot initiative on Common Core:
teacher at Dorchester Collegiate Charter: "Common Core teacher not teaching common children"
"designed to challenge all learners"
"hold all children to the same rigorous standards"
"form a clear mathematical foundation for my students"
"help our students come college and career ready"
teacher at Cambridge-Rindge and Latin: students are amazing
literary critics, media critics, investigators, poets, essayists, bloggers, filmmakers and more
"to inform our teaching"
believe changing standards "would be a terrible move backwards"
"will help our students succeed in college or in life"
"not tied to any single standardized exam"
do no take away our creativity
hope education can move forwards "without being in a state instructional limbo"
"we have good standards right now"
money better spent in implementing those standards
another teacher whose beginning I missed 
"hope we can tune out the hype about federal takeover in the classroom"

supporter of the ballot petition: Mark K. McQuillanpast deputy Commissioner of Education in CT
past superintendent in Lincoln and Andover
federal education actively involved; had to adopt Common Core not eligible for RTTT
only kinda true
to compete for funding to help these (urban) districts
citing Pioneer Institute study
information texts over literature
"vague references to literacy in the social studies"
college writing as argumentative
"a winning strategy for improving education in all levels"
"what is needed now is a return to what we had"
calls MCAS "cost effective"

Mass Business Alliance for Education: opposes bill
"urge you to vote against it"
"would turn back the clock on the changes the majority of educators support"
standards reflect what students need to know to be prepared for success
if we don't "will be left on the sidelines"
"Massachusetts had a profound impact" on standards
very concerned about what this would cost, as a member of FBRC
"we need to go forward, not backwards"

Sandra Stosky, former senior associate commissioner
was in charge of standards
"was responsible for carrying out the real intentions of the education reform act"
"there was a philosophy behind those standards...that made them work"
and you should know what those philosophies were
"we wanted to raise all children's academic achievement"
"we weren't asked to close gaps, we were asked to have everybody to rise"
in '08, heard from less than 30 teachers in the state, not one teacher, asserts that this means that they had no complaints
rise in student achievement is because we had standards in all academic areas
"have an alienation growing in our country very bad"

former Board of Ed member, voted to support change, has, since retirement, taught math
"I'm a professional practitioner of mathematics, so I recognize how this can transform math"
important to recognize what Common Core is and is not: it's a learning standard
"none of those subjects of current political battles"
mathematical fluency, literary fluency
former professor: students lacked mathematical fluency
MCAS was an eighth grade level test given in the tenth grade
"this is not college readiness, and that's why we need Common Core"
"much opposition comes from those who never really understood math well"
house goes up quickly without a foundation, but it doesn't stand well
former teacher: really focusing and clarifying what needs to be taught well
"because of that kind of clarity, I really strongly recommend that we oppose" the bill
going back will really distract teachers from these core standards
students need to read complex texts to learn to read complex texts
if you go back to previous standards, over 100 pages
teachers have to focus on knowledge for reading
"what they really need to practice and what they really need to get better at"
review team member for ELA: were in process of revising standards already when Common Core came in
those revisions already contained many of the things Common Core is being blamed for
focused on skills, not on texts
students and parents surprised and dismayed at how often students are not prepared for college work
CC designed to work on that

pro-ballot initiative panel now up
Citizens for Limited Taxation: to me, it's a race to educational mediocrity
Ed reform additional funding on education
education because of that has improved markedly
"would argue that we have one of the top four or five educational systems in the country, if not the best"
"don't want to see my taxpayer dollars squandered, and they would be if you brought in Common Core"
"unelected bureaucrats" making decisions
"love the fact that this is going to happen"
Colorio: "let's listen to the facts now"
MA has slipped backwards
compared to 2010...drops in points of less than 3 points in NAEP
"Educational death spiral"
citing poll of teachers and parents for Common Core
McGee, Peabody SC member
"divest itself of Common Core"
unholy alliance of federal government and business
all current statistics tell us that the opposite is true
sorry, there was a bridge to nowhere reference there that I didn't really follow; I think the "nowhere" thing was the point
"we set the bar for standards and we should never stop"
"rightful place among those courageous giants that went before you"
another SC member: before the ink was even dry on the new standards, "our kids are the guinea pigs"
copyrighted by two companies (not true)
"I think marathons should be rigorous not education"
"wasting time, wasting money, wasting young minds"
should have a common-wealth of education"
Chang-Diaz: what is the difference in the process of approval between this and previous standards?
Peabody: ed reform process was very inclusive
"evil at its conception"
"please leave to local control"
Chang-Diaz: how is this different?
Colorio: unfunded mandate...interrupted by Chang-Diaz who says that isn't her Q
Chang-Diaz clarifies that it was a vote of the Board of Ed that adopted CC (as is their job under MGL)

Executive director of Teach Plus: standards that teachers want to be teaching
bad for teachers and students
standards have necessarily evolved "since the pre-flip phone era"
teachers need to focus on high quality teaching
changes in curriculum twice in just a few years

"observer not an educator"
NY state citing that PARCC caused harm to educators
cites that Stosky said that testing would not be necessary if we had better teachers in the classroom
successful go to school where there's no CC and no PARCC test
and he just cited Trump's statistic on US education

parent from Roxbury: daughter a BPS first grader
"believe high standards are more likely to keep her on track"
"we need to keep our current standards"
"need to continue to put all children in the best possible position"
another parent of children: protect MA curriculum frameworks
"why would we go back to a standard" that doesn't get kids ready for the real world?
"please don't let anyone play politics with my children's education"
parent of two young children: cost, college and career readiness, disruption to teachers

2010 standards worked: if you reversed, would stay with what they are doing
don't need new science standards either
would also vote to reject model curriculum units
and the speaker appears to have some sort of cross-referenced material that he's handed out
will continue to trust my teacher in the classroom

MASS panel: Rockland and Medford
Medford"would ask you not to do this"
"MA played a leading role in its development"
is there any logic that leaves the classroom teacher out?
CC had several panels of teachers involved in terms of what MA would do
CC balances literature and explanatory texts
will always be a need to update standards
public may well confusing CC with additional testing
"yes, we need more teaching time, but don't confuse that with the Common Core"
Rockland: ask to go backwards
"Massachusetts did not adopt the Common Core; they" adapted them
has become code for federal intervention
"was not a great fan of Race to the Top"
ESSA has returned much of that federal overreach back to the states
has also become confused with a standardized test issue
"not connected to the standards"
"no one is more thrilled than me that there will be no testing in March this year"
what about damage it's purportedly doing to our students?
has only been fully implemented for a number of years
looked at NAEP results: fourth graders have lost 2 points "I would not call precipitous"
AP participation up 7.8%
have invested tens of thousands in textbooks; morale of teachers will say why should next round of changes be done
"standards should not be decided at the ballot box"
changes should be done by public educators
"will be disruptive and disturbing to our classrooms"
remarks from former superintendent of Revere : term now loaded with divisive implications
"comprehensive, rigorous, and fiscally responsible"
have spent last 22 years in Revere; simply put, Common Core is more complex
"we have rejected the idea that our students are unable to succeed in this area of higher expectations"
ducked out for one round of testimony
"Because of Common Core, one day a teacher will tell her students that the earth is at the center of the universe, and her inadequately educated students won't know how to prove her wrong."

On to the charter school bill
Chang-Diaz taking students out of order
member of Boston student advisory member: opposition to H3928 and any proposal
"creating more schools would not improve the schools we already have"
school district must be fully funded
"more charter schools mean underfunded public schools"
lottery admission system will limit opportunity
discipline policies at charters
many charter schools are flawed and about to close
"disappointing to see our leaders experiment with our education"
"expect better opportunities to improve our lives"
"will not stand with arms crossed" while school system in closing
student at Boston Latin Academy & advisory committee
"seems unreasonable and financially irresponsible" to expand schools when current schools are not fully funded
OHO! And she's part of the countersuit on charter expansion
"by supporting {bill} you undermine our work and achievement"
"I owe everything I am to the public school system"
"my voice is not just one; it's one of hundreds that deserve to be heard"
L'Italien: why did you come back?
student: I was told to move to Latin Academy because they could give me the services I needed for dyslexia
Jehlen asks that testimony be provided in writing

Lawyers' Cmte for economic justice:
"all of us have friends who are students and teachers in public schools and charter schools"
"intervene in the lawsuit on the charter school cap"
"in Massachusetts, funding for education is a zero sum game"
moved to intervene in lawsuit over cap lift
ELL long under-enrolled in charter schools
kids are doubly harmed by lifting cap
president of the NE NAACP:
"high quality public education for all"
"created a separate and unequal dual school system"
"many charter schools don't perform any better than traditional public schools"
there are as many well-performing traditional schools as charters
"we must stop sacrificing traditional public school students for a few charter school students"
"finding and funding high-quality public schools"

Barbara Madeloni, MTA president
speak against any legislation that would lead to lifting the charter school cap
saw thousands of kids outside "and their chant was 'BPS, BPS, BPS'"
people of the Commonwealth fully support public education
sat on FBRC with you
"our schools are profoundly underfunded already, and then are losing considerable funding already"
students are not asking for a third way: we need fully funded public schools
"any cap lift fortends the end of public education in a profound way"
do we believe in doing everything we can to preserve public education in the state it was born?
let's have a real conversation about what is needed in public education
Ed Doherty: BTU vice president and member of the Board of Ed
Al Shanker's vision of charter schools
"I know that there are charter schools that serve students who are educational challenges"
"have gone astray from Shanker's vision"
"two public school systems, separate, but unequal"
"We are going in the wrong direction, and we are threatening and endangering public education as a cornerstone of our democracy"
Steve Tolman: AFL-CIO: it is clear that the proposal being heard today does not serve the best interest of those students
I want to address a larger structural problem for our educational system that only grows as charter schools expand
no longer serves every student equally
"if we just go around the state and look at what's happening at our formerly industrial Gateways...the mills are now empty"
districts are dealing with poverty and the lack of tax revenue
constantly flow of immigrants that come to their doors
becomes exponentially more difficult while bleeding millions to charter schools
"effectively exclude many students"
expansive applications, parent contracts, strict disciplines
"simply do not have the same level of access to charter schools as their peers"
"we see a dangerous, two-tier system beginning to emerge"
"expansion of charter schools is in direct contrast to this"
"we haven't seen anything come out of charter schools and that was the purpose of their expansion"

parent (?) in favor of cap lift
77,000 students who cannot read on grade level "and the reason is there is cap on charter schools"
kids are on a waitlist
parent of two kids in BPS, graduate of Madison Park
son has been on a waitlist since the fifth grade
"the uncertainty of never knowing if they would make it off the waitlist was incredibly difficult to me"
very glad to say my children are catching up and flourishing
"two children are at KIPP Academy are on IEPs"
was told that her daughter "just can't learn"
"they wouldn't be behind if they had the opportunity to be" at school from the beginning

Mark Gallagher, Mass High Tech Council
hear all the time "we have a hard time getting the people we need"
favor charter school expansion
Jehlen: does High Tech Council support full funding of public education?
Gallagher: I can't say that we have a formal position on fully funding
"we could take a look at it"
Chang-Diaz: follow up my colleague's remarks
"while certainly we we welcome the voice of High Tech Council, it is extremely frustrating to hear that you have prioritized this, rather than looking at funding" of all public education
"it affects your creditability"

BPS student: made me extremely upset: "I'm a's not fair for Boston Public Schools to lose money"
"we work hard"
"I love education; I love science; I love computers"
"my little brother is in Boston Public Schools, and it's not fair that programs should be taken away."
"my mom thought charter schools were better than Boston Public Schools, and I'm proving her wrong"
student at Boston Latin Academy: frustration and "close to anger" that I've been put in
take an Arabic program
there will be no Arabic for any other students who wish to take it after the budget cuts
"we need to open our eyes"
as a junior, I'm able to pursue my passion in school
"severely impact my learning and the school I leave behind"
"creating an us versus them scenerio, which isn't fair"
"I shouldn't have to worry about our funding because of charter school kids; it's not their fault"
another BLA student: opens your eyes on it, shared perspective
"really important that we support this program"
Boston Public Schools are meeting the standard, but if you cut away the standards, it means you don't care about my education, so why should I care about my education?
Jehlen: "it's about time we hear from students; we very rarely get to hear from students. I appreciate your taking the initiative."

Mary Ann Stewart, Board of Ed
Peyser said that he's heard the same arguments for the past 20 years; we've heard them too
these criticisms endure because they have yet to be resolved
reporting back has never happened
"charter schools remaining marooned"
charters have become a collection of fifedoms, doing it out of the public view
until we know, perhaps no charter schools should be expanded
"we know enough now how to teach all children"
"something is going on with the waitlist, and something is going on with the attrition rates"
Lisa Guisbond, Citizens for Public Schools
CPS analysis of data is less than 15,000 and probably less than that
Auditor's findings tend to support ours
reporting system "makes it impossible to be precise"
non-Commonwealth charters on waitlist
rolled over waitlist
for most students on waitlist, their being waitlists has nothing to do with them being waitlist; "lifting the cap would not help them"
number of kids on district schools waiting lists is comparable to students on charter wait lists
roughly 17,000 kids on wait lists for preschool; why not have a ballot question on that?
Kevin Murray: director of Human Rights at Northeastern
recently heard different argument on charter schools: are we heading towards a charter school bubble?
Gregoire: all kids might not be impacted by cap lift?
Guisbond: there are communities where there is still room under the cap

senior at Boston Latin Academy: "this system in general doesn't seem to know how to provide to students that don't fit into a mold"
even when you're little, "you can tell when your school is losing money"
during the middle and high school years, it becomes even more of problem
"what I honestly want to know is why is it more important for some students to get an advantage" rather than all students have what they need
"it's like taking food away from one child to feed another"
"what if we were your child?"
sophomore: parents could not afford private schools
teachers care if you have the supplies you need or not
"I can't tell you how many times a day I hear 'I'm here for you and I'm not going to stop until you have this'"
"these kids care about their education and what they are going to do with their lives"
"by you cutting our budget, you are only telling us that we are not worth your time or your money, but just another spot to fill"
BLA junior: "losing two hours of school today will hopefully prevent losing a multitude of opportunities in the future"
ask to keep cap on charter schools and fully fund Boston public schools

university professor, parent: in favor of ending Common Core
wants to keep cap
"charter schools should not be funded at the expense of charter schools"
"I'm one of the experienced teachers of color who were pushed out" of teaching at a charter school
"I'm a parent, so I know that you know the best education for your child, but I think that some people haven't looked at the man behind the curtain"
charter schools are not being consistently regulated
"when charter schools fail, we don't get a do-over for our children"
retired BPS principal: felt devastating loss of money to charter schools
95% of students at her school considered high need
cuts could lose surrounding services: librarians, aides, arts
some who have left to go to charter schools returned "they simply did not receive the services they needed to be successful"
Jessica Tang: social, racial and economic justice
how do we make sure students who are underserved get the services they need?
fight over inadequate resources
"keep the cap, level the playing field, and fully fund all students"
"I am mad that my students didn't have the same"
"we can't just give these resources to some and not to others"
students are in danger of losing opportunities like getting into college
"while we see cuts here and cuts there, there are still beautiful things happening in our classroom"
"you can't have a conversation about lifting the cap without address the funding and equity"
back to teacher: a lot of the teachers don't have protection,
"my problem is that it's not consistent"

BPS students:
Boston Latin Academy student: hearing about the cuts hurts me immensively
"those who know me, know my favorite phrase is 'school is life'"
ails me that the committee is attempting to reallocate money
BLA: a school where students work hard to achieve their goals
Walsh said that most important investment is our young people; now can see impact that being made
"in addition, taking money from those who have special education students from those who don't"
drain from public schools
Arabic opening young minds
Latin Academy student body president: proponent of public education
"I believe that the education we have lost today is nothing in comparison to that we will lose due to budget cuts"
"every dollar BPS loses is an opportunity to learn and grow"
"work incessantly"
"we cannot open more charter schools while our public schools lose resources"
fully fund public schools and vote against raising the cap
Jehlen: walkout in Birmingham: hope you have similar results
Chang-Diaz: want to work with you
underfunding commitment to charter reimbursment; even if it were fully funded, BPS would still be facing a budget shortfall
"still need to apply ourselves to solving"

adult: plowing streets for parade, GE funding
former assistant principal: concerned about those who know best for our children of color
"where did achievement gap come from" full history needs to be taught

mother of a five year old to ask not to lift the cap: my school isn't getting many cuts; everyone deserves an equal education
"we don't know the whole story"
"once my child gets to a charter school, they may not fit there, and it makes me a bad parent"
"I'm talking about children here, not paper, not politics"
"a lot of the information that is coming out...parents are being misinformed"
"we don't feel represented by Marty Walsh"

BPS students: junior saddened that more charter schools are being proposed when a massive budget cut is being planned for BPS
"I know money is tight, and I am not a fiscal expert...I refuse to believe that you see this as the only solution"
"gutting of the budget would just affect this a lot" (the achievement gap)
"cause more issues economically and socially for the city" by cutting extracurricular programs
junior at Boston Latin Academy: losing languages and other options
"have scholars from all over the city asking you to keep the cap on charters" to keep off budget cuts

BPS parents: precarious gamble we're making by expanding the number of charter schools
move "the Big Short": thought I was seeing the future of public education before my eyes
wasn't alone in seeing the comparison
risks that may well arise, describe steps that need to be taken to keep it off
biggest argument is the wait lists; "I don't think we can judge the intentionality of the parents" who put kids on wait lists
put son on at 3; name came up the day before school started; rejected seat; name stayed on list for seven years
school that kids attended had 150 kids on list; if they kept kids on for same number of grades, times schools across BPS: 14,000 students in Boston alone
stakes are too high, gamble too great
Mary Battenfield: pride and gratitude for students who walked out and here for first time
(her daughter was here)
"living out the same day over and over again"
Groundhog Day until he stops making the same mistakes he had been making
"I don't want to keep waking up day after day" with same issues on charter schools
programs cut that "literally save lives"
Young Achievers every year has a huge waitlist; but facing massive cuts
comparison of demographics of charter schools with BPS
"those English Language Learners need you; teachers need you; parents need you"

Peggy Wisenberg, three kids went through BPS
fear that this bill has the potential to cause irreparable civic damage
current cap to be sure that all schools have resources needed to run schools
Rapid unraveling of democratic ideal
attended Board of Ed vote to allow expansion of charters, up to just under 18% cap of Boston
"undermines opportunity for students educated" both places to share the common high school experience
attempts to create these siloed experiences
more than shifting tuitions; require tax dollars for infrastructures
"how many separate school systems can Massachusetts afford to support?"
one glaring issue the Legislature could address is the radical resegregation of students
Maine recently changed funding system to have charters directly funded by state

Springfield, Worcester teachers unions
Len Zalauskas, Worcester: "very curious to me that this issue has arisen when the state owes us $900,000"
have had to cut things, "and that's a disappointment"
Wachusett hasn't received over half a million in transportation reimbursement
"are you going to give me a loan when I can't pay my bills now? That's very similar to what you're doing."
"at this point, it makes no sense whatsoever to raise this cap"
innovation schools could be solution
nearly 200 kids absorbed by WPS when Spirit of Knowledge imploded
"This is a kids' issue, and it's about what's right."
"The Senate seems to be on the right page on this issue, but the House seems to be askew"
Tim Collins, Springfield teachers' union
think the only thing that you should do is fix the funding and require them to follow the law
reflecting demographics of school system in which they reside
"I truly believe that lifting the cap on charter schools will lead to the resegregation of school system in Gateway cities like Springfield"
"we accept and keep all students, regardless of the challenges that they face"
lift up all students: implement the findings of FBRC
"let's change the foundation formula that have not changed since 1993"
"study, learn, and support" accountability system
have to look at this insane obsession with standardized testing has done to the educational system
"underresourced school districts"
Chang-Diaz: Worcester had to absorb a large number of students from a charter school?
Chang-Diaz: do better enforcement: recommendations? How best to handle a situation?

Easthampton Spanish teacher: opposition to bill
"language learned is never just about words"
foreign languages have not been updated since 1999, as have arts and comprehensive health
"funding being drained to support charter schools as a major factor" of public school losses
languages are at a bare minimum in urbans; "not beginning from scratch in the ninth grade"
students had to choose between language and arts and drama
"answer is not about creating more schools in a two tiered system"

Brendan Walsh, Salem School Committee
want to stay the appearance of the Boston Public Schools students was in stark contrast to their depiction of them in the media
"they were incredible"
opposition to bill
following suggestions should solve issues
"at stake in this discussion is democracy itself"
is a charter school what a community wants...or what others have decided for them?
Board of Ed decides
Board specifically cannot have as members teachers or SC members
all charter decisions to be made at local level, as in bill filed by Senator Moore (S.321)
SC grants charter; funding formula applied
if that fails, go to city council or town meeting; funding formula applied
if that fails, go to full election; funding formula applied
if that fails, go to Board of Ed; however, funding comes only from Commonwealth with no impact on local aid
"if they think they know best, they may still have their own way, but on their own dime"

Steve Finnegan, MASC: the bill itself
12 schools per year; the only cap that applies over that, it can't be more than 1% of statewide student population; 9530 students per year
that's like a new Fall River every year
wait list problem
"even after wait lists were allegedly corrected, and were moved down 8%, the Auditor immediately issued a statement that the waitlists were inaccurate and were significantly over stated"
local approval an appropriate way to go
Belsen : $120 million new money in that cap "and by the way, in the first year, the Commonwealth pays 100%"
plus facilties fee
"and every year that would compound itself"
"There's a myth that has to be underscored deeply"
"people tell you you're getting 225% back; you're getting 35% back"
and it isn't fully funded "it's more like 17 or 18%"
as a result, there's a loss of services
"think you need to study that very carefully" (wait list)
"if they're lucky it's 15"thousand
Mystic Valley alone has 3600 kids on the wait list; "They don't have 3600 kids waiting!"
"I think there are better ways to use the finite budget you have"
Foundation Budget: $800 million: no one's talking about that!
early childhood: closing preparation gap
"you know technology is and emotional learning, mental it better to put $120 million into charter schools?"
MASS: I think you all know what we need to do
"a way that this would work best"
"the budget should be reflecting the hard work that you put into the Commission"

Ann O'Keefe, former teacher in the Boston Public Schools
so-called philanthropists want to eliminate organization
educators in Boston work very hard to educate students
charters not required to hire licensed teachers, not required to follow laws of kids served
deeply offended by loss of power of superintendent
overt disregard of equal access provision
Boston Compact changing assignment patterns

hearing adjourned!

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