Boston public school district suspends new enrollment in gifted program because too many white and Asian students were succeeding

Citing Racial Inequities, Boston Public Schools Suspend New Advanced Learning Classes

By Meg Woolhouse

February 26, 2021

A selective program for high-performing fourth, fifth and sixth graders in Boston has suspended enrollment due to the pandemic and concerns about equity in the program, GBH News has learned.

Superintendent Brenda Cassellius recommended the one-year hiatus for the program, known as Advanced Work Classes, saying the district would not proceed with the program for new students next year.

“There’s been a lot of inequities that have been brought to the light in the pandemic that we have to address,” Cassellius told GBH News. “There’s a lot of work we have to do in the district to be antiracist and have policies where all of our students have a fair shot at an equitable and excellent education.”

New students will be admitted in the fourth grade by standards to be determined at the school level, according to a BPS spokesman.

There will be no new students admitted in the fifth or sixth grades, the spokesman said, but those already in advanced work will be allowed to continue.

A district analysis of the program found that more than 70 percent of students enrolled in the program were white and Asian, even though nearly 80 percent of all Boston public school students are Hispanic and Black.

School Committee member Lorna Rivera said at a January meeting that she was disturbed by the findings, noting that nearly 60 percent of fourth graders in the program at the Ohrenberger school in West Roxbury are white even though most third graders enrolled at the school are Black and Hispanic.

“This is just not acceptable,” Rivera said at a recent school committee meeting. “I’ve never heard these statistics before, and I’m very very disturbed by them.”

The program was open to all students in the Boston Public Schools who took a test known as Terra Nova in the third grade and received a high score. Those students were placed in a lottery conducted by the central administration office, and lottery winners received letters inviting them to apply to the program. Last fall, 453 students received invitations, 143 students applied and 116 enrolled this year, officials said.

Students in the program have the opportunity to study subjects in greater depth and are offered more schoolwork than the traditional curriculum requires.

Cassellius says interest in the program had declined over several years and only five schools currently offered the program: the James F. Condon School in South Boston, the Jackson/Mann K-8 in Allston, the Richard J. Murphy School in Dorchester, the William H. Ohrenberger school in West Roxbury, and the Josiah Quincy Elementary School in Chinatown.

Students already enrolled in the program will continue, Cassellius said, but programming decisions about how to continue will be made at the principal level.

District officials have launched a working group to determine the long-term future of the program and are expected to make a recommendation in May.

February 28, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Elizabeth Warren in hypocrisy row after it’s revealed she held $2,700 per head fundraiser at Boston winery – but berated fellow 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg for his ‘wine cave’ fundraiser

Elizabeth Warren in hypocrisy row after it’s revealed she held $2,700 per head fundraiser at Boston winery – but berated fellow 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg for his ‘wine cave’ fundraiser

* Elizabeth Warren held a fundraiser at a winery in Boston in June 2018 – a few months before she announced her candidacy for president

* During the sixth primary debate Thursday night she berated her fellow Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg for his ‘wine cave’ fundraiser

* ‘Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,’ Warren shot at Buttigieg. ‘I do not sell access to my time’

* Buttigieg held a fundraiser where tickets went for $2,800 per head at a ‘wine cave’ in Napa Valley, California last weekend

* Warren also held a winery fundraiser in Boston last year where VIP tickets went to donors who gave at least $2,700

* Buttigieg also pointed out during the debate that he is the only candidate of the seven on stage who is not a millionaire or billionaire

December 22, 2019

Elizabeth Warren held a swanky fundraiser at a winery in Boston in June 2018, new reports revealed over the weekend, raising questions over her criticism of her fellow Democratic presidential candidate’s fundraiser at a wine cave.

Just a few months before announcing her candidacy for president – and about two years before she called out South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg for his fundraiser – Warren held an event at City Winery Boston that gave the VIP experience to donors who gave $2,700.

‘Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,’ Warren shot at Buttigieg during the sixth Democratic primary debate on Thursday in a reference to his fundraiser last weekend in Napa Valley, California.

‘Think about who comes to that,’ Warren continued of the ‘wine cave’ fundraiser. ‘We made the decision many years ago that rich people in smoke-filled rooms would not pick the next president of the United States.’

‘I do not sell access to my time,’ she asserted.

The new revelations, however, show that Warren charged just $1,000 less for tickets to her winery fundraiser in 2018 than Buttigieg’s $2,800 tickets a year-and-a-half later.

Warren’s fundraiser featured a performance from singer Melissa Etheridge and offered souvenir wine bottles for $1,000 donors, Fox News reported, while bottles of wine at Buttigieg’s campaign ran as high as $900.

Buttigieg called out Warren during the debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, claiming – correctly, it now appears – that she wouldn’t be able to pass her own purity test.

‘Your presidential campaign right now as we speak is funded in part by money you transferred having raised it at those exact same big-ticket fundraisers you now denounce,’ Buttigieg shot back. ‘Did it corrupt you, Senator? Of course not,.’

‘According to Forbes magazine, I am … the only person on this stage who’s not a millionaire or a billionaire,’ Buttigieg said of the six other candidates who qualified for the December debate. ‘This is the problem issuing purity tests you yourself cannot pass.’

Before announcing her candidacy in February this year, Warren also held several private meetings with wealthy donors to gauge their level of interest in supporting her run.

Buttigieg noted during their on-stage clash that the progressive Massachusetts senator also solicited funds from wealthy donors during her campaign for her Senate seat.

Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, the only minority candidate on stage Thursday, also took a hit at Buttigieg’s Napa Valley fundraiser claiming presidential hopefuls shouldn’t have to ‘shake the money tree in the wine cave.’

If Buttigieg were to win the Democratic nomination he would become the first openly gay man to run on a major party ticket, and if he won the presidency he would be the first president to take office with student loans – which he and his husband have more than $100,000 in outstanding loans.

February 2, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Politics. Leave a comment.

Despite having killed someone less than a month ago, “Black Lives Matter” protestors continue to block ambulances

This is really despicable.

Less than a month after a man died because “Black Lives Matter” protestors blocked an ambulance in Berkeley, “Black Lives Matter” protestors just blocked an ambulance in Boston.

The Boston Globe reports:

Protesters snarl morning commute on I-93 near Boston

Protesters affiliated with the activist group Black Lives Matter carried out their most audacious and disruptive demonstration yet in the Boston area Thursday, blocking the largest highway into the city, snarling rush-hour traffic, and stopping an ambulance in its tracks.

In a pair of coordinated surprise actions that angered commuters, the protesters formed human barricades on Interstate 93 north of the city in Medford, and south, in Milton. Some put barrels filled with concrete on the highway and chained themselves to them. Twenty-nine protesters were arrested.

Blocking traffic is not going to convert anyone to their point of view.

On the contrary, it makes them look ridiculous.

And if they are trying to prove that “black lives matter,” then blocking ambulances is an especially dumb thing to do. I guess it never occurred to them that the patient in the ambulance might be black. Or perhaps it did occur to them, but they just don’t care.

I wonder how many black people were late for work because of these protestors.

I wonder how many black people missed a job interview because of these protestors.

I wonder how many black college students missed an exam because of these protestors.

To any decent human being, black lives do indeed matter. But if black lives truly mattered to these protestors, they would not be preventing black people from getting to the hospital, to work, to job interviews, or to school. Instead, they would be doing something constructive – something positive and beneficial – that actually helped black people, instead of hurting them.

January 18, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Black lives matter, Idiots blocking traffic, Politics, Racism. 5 comments.