Letter: Many factors contribute to success of BART

Posted
Many factors contribute to success of BART

To the editor:

In reading the Feb. 3 letter to the editor from Edward Udel, I am very confused by his viewpoint on charter schools, the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter School in particular. ("Full story of BART needs to be told.") As a parent of a child attending this school I take offense to asserting that a school "practicing and preparing for MCAS" is a bad thing. If my child is going for his driver's license, I want him to learn the driver's education curriculum and not outboard motoring!

In his Oct. 19, 2015 opinion page article, Mr. Udel stated, "A significant percentage of students who have passed these tests require remedial courses in college". Shame on the state if it is giving a test that is not academically challenging enough to prepare them for colleges. This makes me wonder how those students that don't even perform proficiently on MCAS are performing after leaving high school?

I think his focus on charter schools is not where the issue really is. I think public schools in general should try to learn how these charter schools are thriving.

If Mr. Udel wants to know "the full story of how BART has achieved its academic distinctions,including the U.S. News and Word Report's No. 7 ranked high school in Massachusetts," (Dianne Cutillo, letter to editor," Jan. 19), I think he should call the school, call Ms. Cutillo, follow up with students — because whatever the "full story" is, it is working and should be used as a guideline for other schools.

My theory on BART's success is perhaps the accountability that it demands of students and parents. An issue is dealt with by all. This can be time-consuming for both the school and parents but may contribute to the success.

Our children's education should not be a competition. Charter and traditional public schools both have solid strengths. They should be working together and learning from each other.

G. Russell, Pittsfield


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