Letter: School move leaves kids behind

December 2, 2011
By

The Boston Public Schools facilities plan proposed by Superintendent Carol Johnson on Oct. 24 and approved on Nov. 15 by the Boston School Committee moves the Mission Hill elementary school to Jamaica Plain, taking a high-quality, highly-selected K-8 to another assignment zone.

It’s like musical chairs for the six pilot schools involved in the package deal. Who is left behind?

Admission to Boston’s public high schools is not location-based. Students from all neighborhoods can apply for a seat to any school. Elementary schools are different. Boston’s school choice assignment process prioritizes walk zone preference, a significant factor especially when the school is small like Mission Hill.

When Mission Hill School moves to Child Street, what happens to families from the four housing developments within a 1-mile radius of Alleghany Street: Mission Main, Alice Taylor, Mission Park and Bromley-Heath. Where is their “Access to Excellence”? The school committee vote takes away their choice—just like that. The school Deborah Meier started, now in its 15th year, brought progressive education to a diverse community, a crossroads in the city.

Alison Pultinas

Mission Hill

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