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Staff at Madison Park Vocational Technical School vote to become an innovation school

Posted by Roy Greene  May 14, 2012 04:22 PM

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By James Vaznis, Globe Staff

Staff at Madison Park Vocational Technical School in Roxbury on Monday overwhelmingly approved a proposal to become an innovation school this fall.

About 84 percent of the 115 votes were in favor of the proposal, a key part of Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s effort to revitalize the school, which has struggled with low MCAS scores and high student absenteeism.

The innovation school status would allow Madison Park to operate with greater freedom from teacher union contract rules and central office mandates, enabling Madison Park to extend its school day by about an hour and to better integrate internships into its school day.

The proposal is now headed to the School Committee for a public hearing and a vote, the final step in the process to convert Madison Park into an innovation school. That vote, which is expected to be favorable because the mayor appoints the board, would make Madison Park the third innovation school in Boston.

The two other schools are the Roger Clap Innovation School in Dorchester, which opened last fall, and the Margarita Muniz Academy, which will open this fall.

“With today’s vote by our dedicated teachers, Madison Park is well on its way to achieving its full potential,” Menino said in a prepared statement. “Our collective vision for a new generation of vocational education for all our city’s residents was affirmed today and we look forward to a day when all of our students are working and thriving in growing fields across our city.”

Superintendent Carol R. Johnson said in a statement: “Our teachers are excited to help turn Madison Park into a 21st century learning environment that prepares students to take advantage of real-world career opportunities. We are fortunate to have teachers who embrace innovation and recognize the importance of integrating academic and vocational learning. We have lots of work to do and must make many changes.''

James Vaznis can be reached at jvaznis@globe.com

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