Yes on charter school ballot question

Date Published: 
October 30, 2016
Author: 
Michelle Lynch, Letter to the Editor, The Martha Vineyard Times
News Type: 

Is there a need in the community for charter schools? The crazy thing about the Massachusetts ballot Question 2 in the upcoming election is that the fates of families in underperforming districts to have access to excellent schools, is up to votes in all communities in Massachusetts. And what’s it going to be? There are so many 30-second ads on both sides, I imagine the average voter may have a hard time wading through the information. I’m writing to explain why I believe it is very important to vote yes on 2.

Being a public school student on Martha’s Vineyard is awesome. And parents know that when they send their children to school they are going to get a good education. I feel so lucky to have received my K-12 education on Martha’s Vineyard.

Currently I live in Boston and have children. Many schools in Boston have an entry point at pre-K. This past academic year I went through the long process of applying to schools in hopes that my son would get a spot at a school that is not “underperforming.” In the end I ranked five Boston Public Schools and put my son’s name in six charter school lotteries. Out of all that, when the school assignment season was over, I had one option.

My last Boston public school choice out of the five: classified a “level 4” underperforming school because the students score among the lowest in the state on the MCAS and PARCC. This school uses it’s gym as the cafeteria and art room, so the kids have to go outside for gym and recess all winter long.

Luckily, I got a call last June. My son had made it off the wait list for a charter school. My son has been attending Conservatory Lab Charter for over two months, and it’s a school where I know he can reach his full potential.

The 2010 charter law lays out that new charter schools are prioritized in districts that are in the bottom 10 percent of all districts in the state. Vote yes on 2 because it will give more families, who live in the lowest performing school districts in the state, a chance to be “lucky” and send their children to excellent schools. There is a way to give high quality education to students who desperately need it now. I hope, as MA residents, we make it happen this November.

Michelle Lynch
Boston
(formerly of Oak Bluffs)