Mayor Menino, BPS and Charter Schools Present Boston’s First District-Charter Compact
- Read the Boston Globe editorial on the proposed Compact. (May 5, 2011)
- Read the draft compact language (updated September, 2011)
Mayor Thomas M. Menino met this afternoon with Boston Public School officials and the Boston Alliance of Charter Schools to endorse a District-Charter Compact that would formally commit both parties to collaborating in ways that improve outcomes for all students. The District-Charter Compact was developed in collaboration with city and charter leaders and will now await ratification by the Boston School Committee and the individual charter school boards.
“Our public education system should welcome innovation of many types with one standard: accept all kids, deliver outstanding results,” Mayor Menino said. “This historic agreement creates a framework for BPS and the charters to work together toward that shared goal.”
“This is an historic agreement that paves the way for a new era of cooperation and collaboration between charter public and district public schools for the benefit of all Boston schoolchildren,” said Kevin Andrews, Headmaster of Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester, and a member of the Boston Alliance. “We look forward to working closely with Mayor Menino, Superintendent Johnson and the teachers, staff, and parents in the Boston Public Schools to make this effort a model not only for other cities in the Commonwealth, but cities across the country.
“Together we can improve teaching and learning, expand student supports, and make choices simpler for students and their parents; the compact would be our roadmap for doing so,” said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol R. Johnson.
The District-Charter Compact outlines how the parties would work together in four priority areas: Teaching and Learning, School Portfolio, Student Supports, and Systems and Accountability. These collaborations would lead to new initiatives that include:
· Joint teacher recruitment and training
· Joint analysis of student demographic and performance data
· Expansion of student supports
· The development of a common school accountability instrument
In addition to their joint work, the parties would make several specific pledges.
Some of the Boston Alliance of Charter Schools commitments would include:
· Serving all students, emphasizing outreach and services for underserved populations
· Supporting the location of new charter schools in neighborhoods with greatest need
· Minimizing transportation costs to BPS by focusing recruitment geographically and where possible coordinating start and end times
Some of the Boston Public School commitments would include:
· Protecting the autonomies of public charter schools in the city
· Engaging with charter schools around changes to grade configurations or school types
· Exploring the leasing of vacant or underutilized buildings to charters schools that are in compliance with the compact, possibly in exchange for assistance with transportation costs
· Exploring the opportunities for charter schools to access BPS bulk purchasing and other economies of scale
“I am encouraged to see the charter schools step up their commitment to serve all kids, including English Language Learners and students will all special needs; this has been a challenge in the past, and we are turning a new page in Boston,” Mayor Menino added. “And I believe BPS can work differently with charters to help achieve that goal and to scale innovation. Everyone has a role to play.”
The broad parameters of the compact took shape after a meeting Mayor Menino organized in December 2010 between BPS and charter school leaders. Several joint working groups were formed to refine the provisions, the language was crafted, and the parties are expected today to review the finishing touches and endorse the compact. It would be the first in New England and one of only a handful across the country.