Massachusetts education commissioner Mitchell Chester today endorsed 17 out 23 applications to launch new charter schools, including 10 in Boston.
"I have every expectation that these 17 charter schools, if granted a charter by the Board later this month, are well positioned to succeed academically and become high performing organizations," Chester said in a statement. "This year's group of applicants was impressive in terms of the volume of interested parties; the quality of the proposals; and the potential to provide students with a strong academic program."
If the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approves Chester’s recommendations on Feb. 28, some schools could open as soon as this fall.
Following is the list of winning schools as provided by the state:
· Alma del Mar Charter School (New Bedford)
· Bridge Boston Charter School (Boston)
· Community Day Charter Public School – Riverside (Lawrence)
· Community Day Charter Public School – South (Lawrence)
· Dorchester Preparatory Charter School (Boston)
· Edward W. Brooke Charter School 2 (Boston)
· Edward W. Brooke Charter School 3 (Regional school serving Boston and Chelsea)
· Excel Academy Charter School – Boston II (Boston)
· Excel Academy Charter School – Chelsea (Chelsea)
· Grove Hall Preparatory Charter School (Boston)
· KIPP Academy Boston Charter School (Boston)
· Lynn Preparatory Charter School (Lynn)
· MATCH Community Day Charter Public School (Boston)
· Veritas Preparatory Charter School (Springfield).
The commissioner also backed three in-district schools:
· Boston Green Academy Horace Mann Charter School (Boston)
· Salem Community Charter School (Salem)
· UP Academy Charter School of Boston (Boston).
Boston emerged as the hottest location for new charter schools under a state law, enacted last year and pushed by Governor Deval Patrick, that encourages the doubling of charter school seats in school districts with the lowest state standardized test scores.
Charter schools, created under the 1993 federal Education Reform Act, are independent public institutions that are supposed to provide innovative educational alternatives to traditional public schools.
They operate with fewer restrictions from the state and almost never have teachers' unions, enabling charter schools to run extended school days and experiment with new, promising programs.
The additional campuses should be a boon for parents who are dissatisfied with their local school systems — thousands of Bay State students are on charter school waiting lists.
But the expansion is likely to come at the expense of local school districts, which lose thousands of dollars in state aid for each student who leaves for a charter school.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more