This over-the-top, the sky-is-falling article from the Boston Globe is yet more evidence that the concept of "standards" has taken a beating in public discourse. At issue is the MATCH public charter school, one of the nation's best, according to Newsweek . It pushes its students--most of them poor--to take challenging Advanced Placement courses and provides gobs of extra support in the form of intensive tutoring. Almost all of its graduates go on to succeed in college. So what's the problem? Some students, not feeling up to the school's rigor, are "bolting" for the Boston Public Schools.
Boston officials accuse MATCH of not offering enough support for students to graduate on time, leaving Boston with the awkward task of determining the students' fate.
MATCH officials, on the other hand, say Boston presents an easy out - an automatic promotion - for their students struggling under rigorous graduation requirements. They deny encouraging students to leave, and ask that Boston make diploma determinations based on the charter school's standards.
"It breaks my heart to see students leave this late in the senior year, but it would break my heart more to change or lower our standards," said Jorge Miranda, the school's principal. "There's no compromising on the standards. They need that preparation to succeed in college, and when they get that college degree, that's their ticket out of poverty."
Read that again: "It would break my heart more to change or lower our standards." Amen, Mr. Miranda. Unfortunately, Massachusetts board of education chairman Paul Reville, doesn't seem to agree:
"We are all in favor of high standards and expectations and you have to applaud that, but at some point you have to examine reasonableness and whether the standards are working broadly for all students who walk...