Re “Keep the pressure on to reform Boston schools” (Editorial, Feb. 14): Why should anyone who cares about Boston’s students reject the Globe’s weighing of a state takeover of Boston’s schools? Let me count the ways.
First, takeovers do not help; they hurt. The Globe’s own analysis of the takeover of Dorchester’s Dever School uncovered a “troubling picture” that “raises questions about whether state education agencies can do a better job than local districts.” A 2015 report from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform found “destabilization, deepened segregation, and widening of achievement gaps in schools under state control.”
Second, “the kids” who supposedly would benefit from state takeover strategies like closing schools have loudly said no to such plans. Described in a December 2018 Globe article as speaking “through tears,” a student at West Roxbury High said of the decision to close her school, “They’re not choosing what’s right.” National data support what the students say. After analyzing the impact of school closures, the National Education Policy Center concluded that this is a “high-risk/low-gain strategy.”
Who will bear this risk? Students, families, and communities of color in Boston. Who is threatening us with that risk? White suburban leaders such as Governor Baker. That’s racial injustice, and reason to reject state takeover on moral grounds.