Oped: School Choice

By Jim Stergios August 2, 2019 This spring, The New York Times reported that of the 4,800 students admitted to New York’s nine exam schools, a mere 190, or 4 percent, were African-American. At Manhattan’s acclaimed Stuyvesant High School, just seven black students were among the 895 admitted. Less than 1 percent of the school’s...
This op-ed appeared in The Daily Caller  on July 18, 2019. Authors: Jamie Gass and Ben DeGrow Late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a case that will answer that question. Kendra Espinoza, who suddenly became a single mom, sought a better education for her daughters. In...
By Jamie Gass and Ze'ev Wurman May 1, 2019 This op-ed appeared in multiple regional news outlets including the Springfield Republican, MetroWest Daily News, the Lowell Sun, the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, the Patriot Ledger, and more. “I seemed to have a special… aptitude for mechanics, physics, and chemistry,” wrote the brilliant early 20th-century engineer,...
“[A] whale-ship was my Yale College and my Harvard,” reads Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby-Dick, which was famously inspired by New Bedford’s whaling industry. In an acrimonious plot straight from Melville, New Bedford’s mayor is fighting the expansion of a high-performing K-8 charter public school named Alma del Mar (“Soul of the Sea”), located in the...
Alma del Mar Charter School in New Bedford, MA, is fighting for the chance to serve more students. It has applied to open two more K-8 schools that would educate an additional 1,188 students over the next five years. Alma del Mar students outperform their district peers on MCAS, and often score higher than the surrounding...
Read this full op-ed on WGBH News. In the midst of the 2016 ballot initiative campaign about whether to raise the state cap on charter schools, opponents questioned whether charters even are public schools.  It now appears that the answer to the public school question turns on whether a school’s teachers are unionized. When teachers at two City...
By Tom Birmingham  | The Boston Pilot  |  December 15, 2017 We are all shaped by our own experiences. When it comes to education, I spent nine years in Chelsea public schools, followed by high school at Austin Prep, an Augustinian Catholic school north of Boston. St. Augustine's dictum from his Confessions, "Tolle, lege," "Take...
Read this op-ed in The New Bedford Standard Times, The Lowell Sun, The Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, The Springfield Republican, The MetroWest Daily News, The Providence Journal, The Salem News. The Scituate Mariner, and the NH Union Leader. "[T]he Government of the United States ... gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,” President George Washington wrote...
This op-ed appeared in CommonWealth magazine. TOM BIRMINGHAM Jun 2, 2017 LONG BEFORE MORE than $40 million was spent last year making the cases for and against charter public school expansion, I was skeptical about using a statewide ballot initiative to decide the question. I believe ballot initiatives are best reserved for instances where the...
By Cheryl Brown Henderson and Jim Stergios The Boston Globe | MARCH 08, 2017 THE 50TH anniversary of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (Metco), which allows about 3,300 Boston and Springfield students to attend school in surrounding districts, provides a good opportunity to take stock of the program and, in doing so, compare it...