As part of the National Day of Action, hundreds of Boston students, parents, teachers and advocates participated in a Town Hall on December 9 to discuss how to improve Boston Public Schools. The next day, students got a chance to present feedback from the Town Hall in a meeting with new Mayor Marty Walsh and his transition team.
A particularly big issue facing the new mayor is whether to lift the cap on the number of charter schools in the district. Education organizers are concerned that opening more charters is draining resources from public schools and putting much needed funds in the hands of private management organizations who aren't held to the same accountability standards.
Boston Student Advisory Council member Bill Zhou spoke at the meeting about the need for student voice in any decision on the charter cap. From the Boston Herald:
"Bill Zhou, a 16-year-old junior at Boston Latin School, said before the election, Walsh promised that students would be part of a new charter school task force before any attempt was made to lift the cap on charter schools.
'We are asking to help choose other task force members,' Zhou said, 'and to ensure that no movement is taken until the task force develops a comprehensive plan on charter school accountability.'
Students should also be involved in the search for a new superintendent, he said."