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Election roundup: Education on their minds

John Connolly today unveiled a plan under which every high school in the city would be paired with local busineses, colleges and trade unions or community organizations to better prepare students for the work world:

Each high school would work with its partners to develop a college pathway and a vocational pathway focused on a specific industry or academic field. The partners would help develop curriculum, provide internships to students, and offer resources and people to assist teachers in implementing the curriculum, and allow the use of their facilities for learning.

Partners would agree to offer admission, scholarships, employment and/or job training to those students who graduate and satisfy established criteria.  The proposal also calls for the establishment of a scholarship fund that will ensure that graduates who meet criteria receive scholarships or financial aid sufficient to fully cover tuition, fees, books, and other related costs.  Non-profits, including colleges and universities, that contribute to the scholarship fund will receive a reduction in their PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) obligations to the City of Boston.

More of his proposal is attached below.

Last month, Connolly proposed fast-tracking development projects by local non-profits that agreed to pay for capital projects within BPS facilities.

John Barros, meanwhile, today released a plan of his own, calling for a cradle-to-grave (well, first job) "citywide learning system" that would include new pre-school centers, busting up Court Street in favor of giving all BPS schools charter-like autonomy and a single application process for both BPS and local charter schools. He'd work with local colleges to create "pathways" for Boston students to graduate into.

His plan is attached below as well.

Marty Walsh wants BPS to immediately stop its work on hiring a replacement for Carol Johnson, who recently resigned as superintendent:

To start the process without the input from the mayor who will lead the city during the tenure of the next superintendent makes no sense. It is wrong to rush opportunities for community input during the summer. It also makes no sense to run the selection process at the same time as the election and lose the benefit of the public debate about the future of our schools. It is unnecessary to rush through the process when a new superintendent will not likely be available to begin a new position until the end of the school year.

Some of the strongest candidates may be among current superintendents who have the knowledge and experience to lead a major urban district. It is also likely that some of the strongest candidates will not jeopardize their current situation to work in Boston with a mayor who may or may not share their vision. It makes no sense to limit the pool of potential candidates or risk the cost of a second search that more inclusive.

In non-education news, David Bernstein chats with once and maybe future at-large Councilor Michael Flaherty.

A WGBH reporter rides around town and notices that people have put up campaign signs.

If you're in Allston/Brighton, the Ward 21 Democratic Committee is hosting a candidate's night tonight, 6-8:30 p.m. at the West End Boys and Girls Club on Allston Street. Mayoral hopefuls John Connolly, Rob Consalvo, Charlotte Golar Richie, Mike Ross and Bill Walczak and at-large council candidates Martin Keogh, Stephen Murphy, Catherine O'Neill, Gareth Saunders and Michelle Wu are scheduled to attend.

PDF icon Connolly proposal0 bytes
PDF icon Barros plan0 bytes

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It's superb they are being consistent. For example, we know Consalvo will shortly have three, count 'em, kids in BPS and he demands a balanced budget.

Unfortunately for voters, they aren't risking much in terms of gutsy policy planks. Contrast that to Deval Patrick's all-out-there platform for his first gubernatorial run.

With a dozen to differentiate, voters need some big road signs.

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As college is not for everyone. And not just traditional trades, IT and web design. It's will not only help our youth it will help boost our economy and make this state more appealing to tech companies.

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There is actually no shortage of tech workers - the only reason businesses are pushing for this is they want wages to fall (which I guess would entice high-tech firms to move their gruntwork/manufacturing to the Boston area).

The only benefit to these kids is they could enter into certain fields without the debt burden of college - but they'd be still limiting themselves (and everyone else) in overall earning potential without that degree.

Connolly should just run as a republican.

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I worked for a place that participated in the Mayor's "Summer Jobs For Teens" program, and frankly it was more trouble than it was worth. We'd end up spending the summer babysitting and hand-holding the teen workers, explaining the most simple directives repeatedly in painstaking details and making sure they didn't "disappear" taking excessive breaks and loitering around like they were skipping school.

I really, really wanted to help those kids get something out of their summer, but when you have to explain what "sweep the area" means three times while your own work piles up, the returns diminish rapidly.

"OK, so when I said sweep the entire area I meant sweep the parts where people walk, sweep under the chairs and benches, sweep the edges and floor groves, and pick up and throw out any pieces of garbage you see. Got it?"

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Dan Conley should appoint his cousin John to the Boston School Committee upon his election to Mayor. He is gonna need a job.

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Despite all the pro-charter school money coming in to Connolly he didn't mention them once in his speech or answers at the Ward 21 forum. Did he know Consalvo was about to make it an issue?

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