Oped: School Choice

Local education officials were up in arms earlier this year when Pioneer Institute proposed giving the Commonwealth the power to appoint some school committee seats in urban districts that are mostly state-funded. It would be hard to imagine a better example of why we need to adopt that reform than the current mess in Fall River.
This op-ed originally appeared in The Worcester Telegram & Gazette and The Berkshire Eagle on October 29, 2019. By Ken Campbell and Jamie Gass “The dominant spirit... that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air...,” reads “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Washington Irving’s early-19th-century folktale, “is...
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...
Thanks to Kendra Espinoza, a determined Montana mom, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up and hopefully strike down the infamous legacy of state Know-Nothing and Blaine amendments. From Massachusetts to Michigan and across the nation, this case has the potential to overturn a century and a half of state constitutional discrimination against religious families and their quest for the most suitable and effective education for their children.
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...