Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chamber testifies on Menino charter school proposal

On July 21, the Chamber submitted the following written testimony on HD. 4474, An Act to Reform Education in Public Schools through the Creation of In-District Charter Schools with Pay-for-Performance - the proposal put forward by Boston Mayor Tom Menino.


The Chamber strongly believes that we need to do more to strengthen public education in Boston and in districts throughout the Commonwealth. We recognize that a skilled, talented and well-educated workforce is critical to maintaining the Commonwealth’s long-term economic success. We have been consistent supporters of charter schools, and believe they are a key component to expanding the talent pipeline that will help sustain Greater Boston’s economy.

This legislation would provide additional mechanisms by which charter schools can be created, and gives local officials the ability to turnaround underperforming schools in a quick and efficient manner. Although change is never easy, it is sometimes necessary in order to save a school that is failing its students. These charter schools would also offer new educational opportunities and provide increased choices and encouragement to parents and educators seeking greater creativity and flexibility.

Consistent with our message that we need more innovation, creativity and successful new approaches to learning to strengthen our public education system, this bill would provide additional opportunities to quickly turnaround underperforming schools and create new schools that utilize increased flexibility. We support additional models that challenge the status quo in order to improve our education system across the Commonwealth.

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