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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Statement on Roxbury Charter High School
May 24, 2005

When we voted to revoke Roxbury Charter High School's charter - based on looming insolvency, governance chaos, and persistent educational deficiency - we agreed to reconsider our decision, if the school "caught lightning in a bottle."

In the intervening months, the school has established some degree of organizational stability - with the help and intervention of ESE - and it has begun to plan for the future. While this is commendable, it does not constitute lightning in a bottle.

Now, at the 11th hour, we are told that a new donor has been found who will ensure the school's fiscal solvency and a new principal has been hired who will turn around the educational program. I am grateful to them for stepping up and I applaud the school's board for reaching out to them. But, decisions about charter renewal and revocation have to be about demonstrated performance, not promises and last-minute personnel changes - all made under the threat of school closure.

A charter is a public trust that cannot be granted - or restored - lightly. And the decision must be grounded in evidence, not hope or wishful thinking. It is for this reason that I do not believe we should rescind our vote to revoke Roxbury Charter High School's charter.



Last Updated: May 26, 2005
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