Friday, July 27, 2018

Boston School Buses $talled

Finally got it started!

"Should Boston schools get rid of busing? Some say the money would be better spent in classrooms, but the answer is not clear. Here’s why" by James Vaznis Globe Staff  July 25, 2018

In a city where school buses criss-cross neighborhoods, taking some students to high-performing schools but too many others to lackluster ones, some city and school officials are now raising one of the most contentious questions since the days of court-ordered desegregation: Should Boston get rid of busing?

City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George has been the most vocal, taking to social media last week, exclaiming, “Those dollars would be better spent in the classroom, directly supporting kids!” Boston School Committee Chairman Michael Loconto raised a similar point during a School Committee meeting, noting Boston has among the highest per-student busing costs in the nation.

“There is a glaring pot of money out there, if you will, that we need to address as part of this conversation,” Loconto said about boosting school quality. “It might not be the right answer, it might not be the only answer, but I think it needs to be part of this conversation.”

The city spent $122.5 million on school transportation last school year.

Busing students across the city has been the subject of bruising debates over four decades in Boston. The discussion intensified last week in the wake of a new report by Northeastern University that revealed a four-year-old computerized system used to assign students to schools is exacerbating segregation and leaving many black and Latino students in low-performing schools, even though tens of thousands of students get bused every day.

Not only that, it made the buses arrive even later

It's the $ame old route, i$n't it?

The findings have created immense frustration for city and school officials who had hoped the assignment system, which affects kindergarten through grade eight, would allow more students to attend quality schools close to home, in an effort to simplify the assignment process and save on busing costs, but the unfortunate reality is that Boston has too few good schools to go around.

And yet the state is #1 in the country when it comes to education, or so we have been told.

For that reason, many parents, elected officials, and school leaders remain adamantly opposed to eliminating busing.

For many families, the yellow buses represent opportunity for a better education in another neighborhood, but many other students wind up at schools no better than the ones they pass by.

Where has all the money gone

What do you (broke the law, huh?) think, we are stupid?

The latter fact irks some politicians, educators, and parents, who contend the school system’s transportation budget is too high and complain about inefficiencies, such as late-arriving school buses. A frustrated City Council for the past few years has pressured the school system to reduce costs, but spending has nevertheless increased. That’s because most of the transportation budget covers expenses mandated by the federal and state governments, and even if the city moved to neighborhood schools, it would still need to shuttle students across neighborhoods because some areas do not have enough schools for all students who live there while other parts have too many schools and not enough kids. 

I'm kind of tired of excu$es, how about you?

How much would actually be saved remains anyone’s guess.

The talk about reallocating transportation dollars to school improvement harkens back to former mayor Thomas M. Menino a decade ago....

They keep getting stuck in traffic.

That's one of the problems with my sporadic blogging. I'm writing the same things about the same things I did 10 years ago, and only the $tatu$ quo agenda has been advanced in all that time.


Be careful crossing the street:

"Wellesley woman, Needham man indicted in crash that killed two Needham High students" by John R. Ellement and Travis Andersen Globe Staff  July 24, 2018

Norfolk County prosecutors on Tuesday said felony indictments had been handed up against two drivers involved in a devastating February crash in Needham that claimed the lives of two high school athletes, who were fatally struck while walking across the street.

The defendants, Robert Berry, 65, of Needham, and Dania Antoine-Guiteau, 52, of Wellesley, were driving separate vehicles during the Feb. 10 crash that killed Needham High School juniors Talia Newfield, 16, and Adrienne Garrido, 17, who were hit as they crossed Webster Street near their school, according to District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s office.

Newfield’s family responded to the news with a strongly worded statement.

“Talia and Adrienne were heading to dinner shortly after 6:00 pm on a Saturday night, walking in a crosswalk on Webster Street behind Needham High School — the second crosswalk that Mr. Berry and Ms. Antoine-Guiteau sped through on their way to wherever they were going — when our daughters were run down in criminal acts,” the Newfield family said.....

They said there was sand in the road (turned out to be salt?).



Tragedy in South Boston as a van jumps curb and strikes stroller, killing 3-year-old boy

Chain-reaction crash that killed toddler in South Boston leaves residents reeling

Be careful on the bike, too:

"School offers grief counseling as police probe Cambridge teen’s fatal assault" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  July 24, 2018

CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Rindge and Latin School offered grief counseling for students Tuesday, a day after one of its students died from injuries sustained in an apparent assault, as investigators asked for the public’s help in identifying someone seen in the area on a bicycle at the time.

The 15-year-old girl was reportedly thrown to the ground on Cambridge Street around 6:30 Sunday evening, causing her to hit her head. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died Monday afternoon.

Residents and business owners said the bustling area where the girl was attacked is normally safe and said they were unnerved by her death.

A bartender at Portugalia Restaurant, located steps from the site of the attack, said police came by and asked for customer receipts in an effort to track down potential witnesses.

“It’s a shock,” he said, identifying himself only as John. “To know [the attack happened] at that time of day, on the weekend, that’s still full-on daylight. It’s hard to believe nobody saw anything.”

Soun Chheou, owner of Souper Roll Up Cafe across the street, said his restaurant was closed at the time of the attack.

“Sad,” he said. “Somebody got killed for no reason.”

Natalie Heffelfinger, 77, a resident of a nearby apartment complex for the elderly and disabled, said the girl’s death was deeply sad.

“I felt bad for her,” she said.

Another tenant lamented the violence that he said seems to be everywhere nowadays.

“There’s a lot of trouble in the world,” said the 87-year-old man. “This whole world needs to be changed.”