There should not be such a stark difference in opportunities
Yet another story about one organization or another going to court to decide who can go to Boston Latin School appeared in last week’s Globe (“Coalition can argue in school lawsuit,” Metro, March 4).
Two issues are highlighted by this ongoing struggle for equity in access, the first being there that is no better example of how privilege gets baked into the system. Here is a public school supported by all Boston taxpayers, yet we put the most advantaged students — those most likely to become doctors, lawyers, and CEOs — into the same school and then allow them to give back to just the BLS endowment, which in turn allows BLS to offer more advantages, and on and on.
The second is how many more opportunities are available to BLS students. I went to the websites for BLS and the Boston Public Schools and counted six languages offered at BLS, 14 music sections, two theater sections, four visual arts sections, and 21 Advanced Placement opportunities. Counting both boys and girls sports, there are 35 different choices, five of which are not available at any other high school in Boston.
In the interest of equity, we should be exploring ways to make sure those same opportunities are available to all Boston Public Schools students. Remote learning could go a long way to expanding academic offerings in arts and athletics, and could be consolidated and offered to all students citywide.
It is understandable why parents are fighting so hard to get their children into BLS, but it shouldn’t be because our other high schools are so lacking in opportunities to learn.
The writer is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher.
Most seats should be reserved for students coming from city’s public schools
Re “At Boston’s public exam schools, it’s equity vs. privilege” by Marcela García (Opinion, March 6): Since 1996, when a white parent and lawyer filed suit against the Boston School Committee over the racial quota system at Boston Latin School, I have felt there is an obvious solution that is equitable.
The three exam schools are, after all, Boston public schools. It makes perfect sense to me that a majority of the seats should be set aside for students coming from the public schools in the city. Why should students whose parents have opted out of the public schools for private schooling have the same chances at admission to the “jewels” of the public schools?
In a society where high school academic achievement can be a major determinant of higher-education options and future income, success can depend greatly on whether a student gets admitted to one of the exam schools. I dare say most of the families in the Boston Public Schools do not have the financial resources to send their children to private high school if they don’t get admitted to an exam school.
I am a white parent of three BPS alumni, all admitted to BLS, one of whom found success there.
More Boston schools should hold allure of the big three
Once again, I find myself reading about people fighting for access to three of Boston’s high schools. And once again I find myself wondering: Why doesn’t Boston make more of its schools worth fighting to get into?