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Study on race, gender misses key variable: charter schools

Boston has been a national leader in building bridges between traditional Boston Public Schools and charter public schools in the city. The three-year-old Boston Compact has brought us together to share best practices and find mutual savings on transportation costs and facilities. Mayor Walsh is the cofounder of a charter school, and the incoming superintendent, Tommy Chang, is a former charter school leader.

So, it was disappointing to see that a recent study focused on educating African-American and Latino males, conducted for the city by the Center for Collaborative Education and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, failed to include charter schools (“Boston teachers urged to discuss race, gender,” Metro, April 7).

The researchers could not find any BPS schools that were succeeding at educating African-American and Latino males to use as models to share their best practices districtwide. Had they looked past the traditional district schools, the researchers would have found willing partners in Boston charter public schools.

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Academic studies by Stanford and Harvard have shown that Boston charters are producing remarkable gains across virtually all demographics, including African-American and Latino children, closing stubborn achievement gaps that rob these children of bright futures. A study highlighting the strategies being used in successful charters could have been valuable to all public schools.

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This was a lost opportunity for expanded collaboration between the charter community and BPS, and for African-American and Latino males across the city.

Marc Kenen

Executive director

Massachusetts Charter

Public School Association

Boston