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BPS seeks comment on proposed closings

After detailing a plan that includes shuttering six schools and expanding others, Boston Public Schools is holding a series of public meetings, starting tonight.

After detailing a plan that includes shuttering six schools and expanding others, Boston Public Schools is holding a series of public meetings, starting tonight.

Opponents of the proposed closures argue that too much emphasis was placed on test scores.

“This idea that you’d close schools and get rid of teachers and somehow it magically works is just misguided,” said the executive director of Citizens for Public Schools, Marilyn Segal, adding that standardized test scores aren’t a good way to gauge performance.

“There are schools that don’t have high test scores that have populations that need extra work and will always have low test scores. They need extra resources and other ways to be judged.”
Superintendent Carol Johnson said they also looked at growth and graduation rates.

“We don’t just look at absolute test scores,” she said. “We look at growth because we want to make sure if you have a student that comes in at 20 and the passing score is 70 that even if you don’t get them to 70 but get them to 55 you should be rewarded because look at how much progress you made.

“I’d be the first to tell you no single test tells you everything that’s going on in a school. But at the end of the day, if the kids don’t get good scores they won’t be able to get a diploma. So for the kids, it’s pretty consequential.”

Redesign and reinvent

The proposal calls for the closure of three low-performing elementary schools, an early learning center and the three high schools of the Hyde Park Education Complex, which continue to struggle with high dropout rates and MCAS proficiency.

The proposal also calls for UP Academy to overhaul South Boston’s Gavin Middle School. Investments will also grow the popular Montessori program in East Boston, merge low-performing schools with high-performing schools and add options for 4-year-olds.

For meeting times, go to www.bostonpublicschools.org/redesign.

 
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