John Deering, Boston School Committee, Brenick Azaleas discussed on Radio Boston

Radio Boston


This is radio boston. I'm john deering for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century. Boston has changed the way it admits students to its prestigious exam. Schools happened in a unanimous vote last night from the boston school committee after a last minute. Move by superintendent brenick azaleas and the historic vote. Who is not without controversy here with the latest u. our education reporter. Max larkin max. Welcome back okay max. Let's start with the basics. Did the committee approve. Yeah so as you mentioned this. Yana for the first time in almost twenty five years applicants backgrounds. Who they are where they come from is going to count again in admissions to these schools. I it's a really big deal. It's going to play out kind of onto different levels if your parent or a student not that much will change. Maybe about the experience of applying will try to get good grades. You'll eventually take an entrance exam. Starting not this fall but the next and then. If you're at a qualifying average you'll be eligible to apply and think the real changes on the district side. And i'm kind of oversimplifying here. The district will start to compare applicants from similar backgrounds. Similar neighborhoods Census tracts to be specific. So they're creating these eight tiers. Based on the tracks rate of poverty reeb english speaking households single parent households et cetera. And then a top students from the most underserved neighborhoods will get first pick. Okay and it's the census tracts and sort of the mix of what they consider that are. what's different. is that right. Yeah so since you. The judge throughout the prior system of racial quotas back in one thousand nine hundred eighty seven that competition to get into these schools. Pared-down or streamlined. We've just fifty percent grades fifty percent test. You go live to the top scorers citywide and they can pick a seat and then once. Those seats are filled. Everyone else is kind of out of luck. Now this has a bit more nuance or subtlety grades. Accounting for seventy percent test thirty percent you can take the test twice a homeless students or those a high poverty schools. Get a little point increment and then you have that system of tears that i described okay. So what's the case for change and why are some upset about the change. Well you know. These fools always said a little uneasily and the big urban school district. they're public but they're also exclusive rate and like boston. Latin school in particular thought of as the springboard to harvard or another prestigious university and then a career in politics or medicine or law. But it's just not for everyone At this point in time you know. For instance. Latino students make up forty percent of the district overall but just around thirteen percent at the low income students even starker. They're like two thirds of the district overall but less than twenty percent at be l. s. It doesn't mean that everyone is white or wealthy. He goes to these fools especially to boston. Latin but we heard from resident judas knee last night. Who said she's in favor of doing some leveling here but she'd made this middle-class defense of the status quo before the vote last night. Let's let's hear that. Do you really think depriving firefighters and civil servants. Kids is the way to do this. What does it get you other than deprive. Everyone of perhaps the one real advantage step up in world by weakening the rigor of latte. So you you hear to interesting things there dc on. I the idea that there's only one real step up in the world on offer of students in the boston public schools and then use the word. latin meaning. boston latin school. I think so much of this. Debate is confused by the fact that while this policy would affect three schools. It does seem to be the boston latin school. That's the third rail here okay. Maximum minute we're going to add another voice but before we do that. There was a last minute surprise from superintendent. Brenda casella last night. Tell us about that was fascinating to watch So just to go back a bit. This policy was crafted by a pretty heavy duty task force. I we're gonna hear from the co chair in a moment that worked for like six months on the policy and so at their last meeting. They agreed on the plan that passed last night. Then they meet again the next day and say never mind their forces in the city political kind of influence that wants there to be twenty percent to work under the status quo. Straight academic ranks citywide members. As you might imagine. Were quite upset about this. Here's attorney matt. Krieger shortly after the change was added in the city asked a heck of a lot to do all of this in full compliance with the open meeting laws and to the extent that there are local elected officials who are weighing in here by doing it in quiet. Shame on them. That disgusts me. In some ways yeah noko had in some ways. These young i just wanted to say may seem like a moot point Since we went back to the original policy before the vote. But i think many in the city are wondering you know are there forces that are still working to kind of block change i. I asked Acting mayor ken genie's office whether she called to request a change and why she didn't deny it but she didn't explain and at the same time she seemed to be in favor of reform here so it suggests that other players might affords her hand all right and last piece of context here. When does the change actually happen now. That the votes done pretty much away. So an outreach campaign begins as the district says immediately after the vote you know. Parents being told the ins and outs of the new system. So those socioeconomic tears are set to be published and kind of explained in the fall and then in the winter that next application cycle begins. All right max larkin. Wb u. our education reporter. Thanks stay with us. I'll come back to you in a minute but right now i'm going to bring in another voice returning to nisha sullivan. She is the president of the boston branch of the endless ep. She also served as the co chair of the exam. School working group tunisia. Welcome back to radio boston. Thank you too.

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