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Wanted: school assignment plan without winners, losers

Boston City Councilor At-Large John Connolly objects to the current Boston Public Schools lottery because it creates “winners and losers” (“Real reform in student assignment lottery,” Op-ed, Sept. 19). The reality is, we’ll still have winners and losers in a “close to home” school assignment plan. The losers will be poor and minority families who most need access to quality schools. No aspirational, unfunded call for quality schools will ensure a better future for the mostly black and Hispanic children who attend low-performing schools in impoverished neighborhoods.

But since Connolly asked parents to step into the debate, how about this: Let’s have a school assignment plan that boldly incorporates race and socioeconomic status in school assignment priorities. Or how about one that fights entrenched school choice patterns by building desirable citywide magnet schools in the arts, sciences, and dual language immersion, and putting them in underserved neighborhoods?

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There is nothing “transformative” about a return to inequitable, racially isolated neighborhood schools. For the sake of all our children, Boston can, and must, do better.

Mary Battenfeld

Jamaica Plain

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