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letters | MASS. LIFTS CHARTER SCHOOL CAP

Traditional schools hit hard in this broken system

RE “Charter school cap lifted by state” (Page A1, May 8): A parent hoping to win a quality education for a child through a charter school lottery clearly represents a broken system. Unfortunately, many still believe that the quick fix is opening new charter schools, which instead continues to betray parents, deprive children, and undermine hard-working teachers. The comment by Mitchell Chester, state commissioner of elementary and secondary education, that he is not “interested in charter schools versus traditional schools” is offensive.

A 2004 report of the US Department of Education concluded that, in Massachusetts, “a higher proportion of traditional public schools than charter schools met the state performance standard.” The decision to accept more charter applications and increase charter funding flies in the face of findings such as this.

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As a public school student, I have witnessed the detriment of diverting public school funding to opening and operating charter schools. The loss of funds has impeded investment in initiatives that are proven to advance student achievement, such as music and art programs, school libraries, and professional development.

If Chester wants “high-quality schools,” then he must stop weakening our public schools, start supporting teachers, and make decisions based on statistical achievement, not demand.

Grant Conway

Franklin

The writer is a senior at Franklin High School.

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