It is maddening that Boston’s public schools must reach the precipice of collapse before they can use one of the most important tools of school reform — a longer school day.
This week, the School Department announced that it wants to turn the poorly performing Marshall Elementary in Dorchester into an in-district charter run by the education-management nonprofit Unlocking Potential. This change is entirely justified. In the simple act of converting from a regular public school to a charter, the school day would increase from six hours to eight. A year ago, Unlocking Potential took over the troubled Gavin Middle School in South Boston. Test scores soared, and the renamed UP Academy’s longer day clearly helped.