Amid bold aspirations, Boston turns a blind eye to underused Madison Park High School
Re “Developers must answer the call for diversity and inclusion” by Martin J. Walsh and Brian Golden (Opinion, Feb. 14): It is perplexing that during this time of our city’s super growth, Boston’s public institution founded to prepare youth and adults for a booming labor market remains so underutilized. While vocational-technical schools throughout the state are filled to capacity, with hundreds of students wait-listed, the city’s Madison Park Vocational Technical High School continues to have hundreds of empty seats in its labs and classrooms. While Mayor Walsh and Boston Planning & Development Agency director Golden call for “new partnerships being formed and new outreach happening that simply had not taken place before,” Madison Park continues to decline.
Will that “first-of-its-kind agreement with Millennium Partners” create summer jobs, apprenticeships, and mentoring opportunities for students at Madison Park? Do Boston youth and adults really have a fair shot at mastering in-demand vocational-technical skills? Has the city opened doors at Madison Park for youth and adults of “every race, gender, and ZIP code”? If it has, then why is Madison Park still underutilized? Why isn’t this Roxbury school also one of the city’s “transformational projects”?
Madison Park should be the city’s engine for developing a more inclusive workforce and generating more opportunities for Boston students and adults to build long-term economic prosperity. Continuing to do so little to support and upgrade the school is a losing strategy for the city, many employers, and, above all, thousands of Boston’s neighborhood residents.
Joseph J. Smith
The writers were Boston Public School administrators who worked on designing, opening, and then administering the Humphrey Occupational Resource Center, which merged with Madison Park High School in the late 1980s.