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Posts by Jim Peyser

Redesigning School Districts: The Way Forward

“I think charter schools are great, but they only serve a handful of kids. If we’re ever going to really close the achievement gap at scale, we need to focus on the real work of fixing school districts.” How often have charter advocates (like me) heard this response from friends and allies, who believe charters have successfully proven that it’s possible to create high-performing public schools in high-need neighborhoods, but now they need to step aside so that their practices and systems can be taken to scale by enlightened district leaders. Read more

The Changing Boston Charter Cap Scene

The political dynamic in the city is about to change, however, as long-serving Mayor Thomas Menino moves toward retirement at the end of 2013. Menino opposes charter school growth. Boston is a Mayoral control city, where the Mayor gets to appoint the school committee, which in turn appoints and oversees the schools superintendent. Boston’s superintendent Carol Johnson stepped down this summer, so the new Mayor will be instrumental in appointing a new superintendent at the outset of his or her first term. A strongly pro-charter Mayor could also wield significant influence over the state legislature in lifting the charter cap, at least in Boston. Read more