Roxbury’s Madison Park High School Students Protest Lack of Class Schedules

About 100 Madison Park students gathered outside the school this morning to demand proper schedules from administrators.
About 100 Madison Park students gathered outside the school this morning to demand proper schedules from administrators. – Trisha Thadani/The Boston Globe

Most students wouldn’t mind starting the school year without any classes. But not the students of Roxbury’s Madison Park Technical Vocational School, who are protesting their fourth day of classes without a class schedule.

Only a few days ago, WBUR wrote hopefully about the issues facing the troubled school and its efforts to turn things around in the new school year. The only vocational technical school in the city underwent an “intervention’’ last spring after years of poor standardized test scores and low graduation rates. In June, an internal memo recommended the school be shut down in three years, The Boston Globe reported. A few weeks before the school year began, over 60 staff positions remained unfilled.

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But by the first day of school, WBUR reported, all but two of those positions had been filled. Interim Superintendent of Boston Public Schools John McDonough was on hand to welcome the freshman class to Madison Park. Things were looking up.

There’s just one problem: Madison Park didn’t get the class schedules done in time. Not on the first day of school, nor the second. On the third day of school, Monday, students were told their schedules would finally be ready. They weren’t.

By Tuesday, some schedules were done, if not perfectly. According to The Globe, many of those schedules were “riddled with errors,’’ making them basically useless.

Instead getting an education, students told reporters they’ve just been sitting in classrooms all day with “nothing to do.’’ Like one long, terrible homeroom.

They may not be getting the vocational education they were promised, but the students’ time hasn’t been wasted. Many are getting a lesson — albeit self-taught — in creating social change, circulating petitions demanding proper schedules (one has about 300 signatures from students and teachers, The Globe reported. The school has an enrollment of 986) and organizing protests. On Tuesday, dozens of students organized outside the school:

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A spokesperson for Boston Public Schools told WBUR that Madison Parks “hopes’’ to have the schedules done by the end of the day. We’ll see.

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