And all of those blue t-shirts? Who paid for those, and who paid all the black and brown parents to show up for the meeting? From the Boston Globe:
A sea of blue rolled into a State House auditorium yesterday afternoon, as charter school students, teachers, and parents donned light blue T-shirts to trumpet a quote from President Obama: “We must eliminate all charter caps.’’
Among those looking for more charter schools in the state’s worst-performing districts was 18-year-old Eddie McGuire, a senior at Boston Collegiate Charter School in Dorchester, who believes more students should have the same kinds of opportunities he has had.
“Kids deserve a successful education,’’ McGuire said in an interview as he left the hearing, which lasted several hours. “Our school has proven itself more than once over the years.’’
Hundreds of business leaders, politicians, parents, students, educators, and advocates turned out for the first legislative hearing on Governor Deval Patrick’s proposal to expand the number of charter school seats in school districts with the lowest MCAS scores as well as another proposal that would allow for a state takeover of failing schools.
While supporters were apparent with their blue shirts, plenty of dissenters, including high ranking teachers union officials, filled the seats, too. Unions see the proposals as an attack on the performance of teachers in traditional schools as well as a threat to their workplace rights because the proposals could reduce union contract provisions.
Speaking before members of the Joint Committee on Education, Richard Stutman, president of the Boston Teachers Union, said, “The solution to better schools lies with working with us and not against us.’’
Concerned about lagging achievement among some disadvantaged student groups, Patrick pitched the proposals this summer to launch what he calls the second phase of the state’s more than decade-long overhaul of public education. The charter school proposal was a sharp turnaround for the governor, who had previously resisted calls for an immediate lifting of the charter school cap. . . .