In the news
Boston Public schools cites gains with new assignment policy, Bay State Banner, April 2, 2014
“The real question is, what kind of choices do families have and what are the quality of choices? There needs to be analysis that examines equitable access to quality,” Janey said. “For example, under the new system, do families have greater access or less access to quality? How does this compare by neighborhood? If we look at Roxbury compared to West Roxbury — two neighborhoods that had the same list of schools to choose from under the old plan — what would we see? An earlier analysis of the new system showed that West Roxbury families have more high-quality schools to choose from than families in Roxbury. What is BPS doing to address that inequity? What is the plan for quality improvement?”
Boston Public Schools ramps up search for new superintendent, Bay State Banner, March 12, 2014
Kim Janey, senior project director at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, emphasized the importance of experience with race disparities in a new superintendent. “We need a leader who has had experience in eliminating racial and programmatic achievement gaps and in increasing equitable access to opportunities that lead to high academic achievement,” Janey said.
BPS questioned on how to achieve strategic goals, Jamaica Plain Gazette, February 28, 2014
“We spend a lot of time on the what, but not enough on the how,” said Kim Janey of the Massachusetts Advocates for Children. She said she wants a lot of thought to go into structuring of the “how.”
Boston parents select schools under new assign plan, Bay State Banner, January 8, 2014
“We have to make sure we’re not locking families into under-performing schools,” says Kim Janey, a senior project director at Mass Advocates for Children. “School reform has to be about more than assignment, because school assignment doesn’t approach equity. It just determines who has access. We have to make sure we’re not locking families into under-performing schools,” says Kim Janey, a senior project director at Mass Advocates for Children. “School reform has to be about more than assignment, because school assignment doesn’t approach equity. It just determines who has access.”
No timeline for having Boston school chief in place, Boston Globe, December 2, 2013
Kim Janey, senior project director for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit organization, said she supported the decision to delay the search until a new mayor was elected. “What I worried about [was] if you rushed things through you might be left with a process that the new mayor didn’t have confidence in,” Janey said. “I think it’s very important to have the new mayor’s input in the process.”
Boston schools debut new assignment plan, Bay State Banner, November 20, 2013
“It’s not the easiest system to understand,” said Kim Janey, senior project director for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit that closely monitors the School Department’s student assignment system. “My sense is there are still so many families who don’t realize this change is coming. It is an awful lot of information to digest, especially for families that are hearing this for the first time,” Janey said.“When the assignments are made and if you don’t get into that first round it is going to be very difficult to get that school of your choice,” Janey said.
Publicity push for new Boston schools plan, Boston Globe, November 4, 2013
“It’s not the easiest system to understand,” said Kim Janey, senior project director for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit that closely monitors the School Department’s student assignment system. “My sense is there are still so many families who don’t realize this change is coming.”
Boston schools address student shifts, Boston Globe, October 16, 2013
“I think it could be a hard sell,” said Kim Janey, a regular attendee of School Committee meetings and senior project director for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit. “The School Committee needs to make sure there is a good process to hear the voices of families and the broader community on these issues.”
Bus drivers’ union leader polarizing, popular, Boston Globe, October 11, 2013
“He styles himself as being professional, being on the right side of social justice issues, and I think this strike was inconsistent with that,” said Kim Janey, senior project director of Massachusetts Advocates for Children. “This is not good for kids, and we have to do what’s in the best interest of children.”
City denies request for teacher ratings, Boston Globe, July 14, 2013
“Students and parents are very interested in knowing how teachers and principals are performing,” said Kim Janey, senior project director for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit that has closely monitored Boston’s change in student assignment. “If teachers are performing well, isn’t this something we would want to share?” Janey said she supports releasing evaluation data only for overall performance of teachers at a school or administrators across the district, and keeping ratings for individuals private.
Boston School Committee To Begin Search For New Superintendent, WBUR, July 9, 2013
“I can’t imagine that a superintendent would come to Boston until he or she knew who the next mayor was going to be,” said Kim Janey, the senior project director of Massachusetts Advocates for Children. “I would think that the next mayor who will be elected in November would want to really weigh in on this process, and that includes hiring a search firm, selecting members for a search committee and defining a community engagement process,” she said. “Because this is probably one of the most important, if not the most important posts or appointment that the mayor will have to make.”
For The ‘New Boston,’ Concern That Opportunity To Reshape City Council Might Slip Away, WBUR, May 15, 2013
“I would love to see a council that is more diverse and more representative of the city that we live in,” said Kim Janey, a politically connected children’s advocate and founder of the Historic Moreland Street Neighborhood Association in Roxbury. But “a lot of those names — I’m not sure will get there.” Janey says she is particularly concerned that, with Arroyo’s departure to run for mayor, the council may be left with no Latino representation after the November election.
Menino pushed to be the ‘education mayor’, Boston Globe, March 29, 2013
“There is more work that needs to be done, but he has provided a strong foundation from which to build,” said Kim Janey, senior project director at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit that works on behalf of disadvantaged children, and that has pushed aggressively for more quality schools. “He has established a legacy in which he can be proud.”
BPS assignment plan sparks debate on quality choices, Bay State Banner, March 20, 2013
For members of the Black Educators Alliance of Massachusetts (BEAM) and Kim Janey, the senior project director for the non-profit MA Advocates for Children, the new assignment plan limits choice for students living in neighborhoods with low-performing schools, and thus “limits access to quality education.” Janey said she did an analysis of the plan and compared two streets, Walnut Avenue in Roxbury and Maple Street in West Roxbury. On Maple Street, Janey said, K-8th grade students will have a choice of seven schools on their list. Of the seven, six are high-quality, while only one is considered low-quality. But on Walnut Avenue, Janey said, students have a choice of 13 schools, but only three are considered the highest quality, while nine are underperforming.
School choice plan is selected for Boston, Boston Globe, February 26, 2013
Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit, expressed disappointment in the proposals. “Under the current model and the proposed models, the disparities between those neighborhoods that have access to quality schools and those that in many cases only have access to underperforming schools are large and significant, especially when accounting for race and socio-economic status,” the group said.
Committee to vote on school assignment plan, Boston Globe, February 25, 2013
“The advisory committee is pushing the school district to come up with some quality and academic interventions, but right now what I see [being proposed] is very vague,” said Kim Janey of Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit.
Neighborhood Network News, February 7, 2013
Boston Officials Release Student-Assignment Proposals, WBUR, January 22, 2013
“The concern continues to be that there just isn’t enough of quality schools to go around,” said Kim Janey, senior project director of Massachusetts Advocates for Children. “And so it’s really important to have a plan that ensures equitable access to quality.”
Boston Extends Timeline For Analysis of School Assignment Plans, WBUR, November 30, 2012
“I commend the committee for taking more time to get it right,’’ said Kim Janey of the Massachusetts Advocates for Children.
Boston school-choice recommendations delayed, Boston Globe, November 29, 2012
Boston schools asking parents for a leap of faith, Boston Globe, November 18, 2012
“We can play around with drawing lines on a map, but at the end of the day, there aren’t enough quality schools to go around,” says Kim Janey, senior project director at Massachusetts Advocates for Children. “There is a perception out there that this is being done to attract middle class families back,” Janey says. “The worry is that it will come at the expense of poorer families who . . . don’t have other options.”
A bid for equity in school choice plan, Boston Globe, October 27, 2012
“I commend the external advisory committee for looking at ways that would ensure equitable access to quality schools, but at the end of the day there just isn’t enough quality to go around,” said Kim Janey, senior project director for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit. “There really has to be a focus on improving quality throughout the district.”
New Coalition: We Need Quality Schools in Every Boston Neighborhood, National Opportunity to Learn Campaign, October 16, 2012
Where the bus stops: Boston looking to limit school busing, The Melissa Harris Perry Show on MSNBC, October 13, 2012
4 Decades After Clashes, Boston Again Debates School Busing, New York Times, October 4, 2012
“We want quality schools, whether they are across the street or across town,” said Kim M. Janey, senior project director for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, who, as a child in Boston, was bused into a white neighborhood. “A plan that limits choice and that is strictly neighborhood-based gets us to a system that is more segregated than it is now,” she said.
Testimony at Boston School Committee, October 3, 2012
5 new plans to assign Boston students, Boston Globe, September 24, 2012
“This could affect many generations to come, and we have to make sure we do it right,” said Kim Janey, senior project director for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit. “We have to ensure there is equal access to high-quality schools.”
Boston Teachers, City Reach Tentative Labor Deal, WBUR, September 12, 2012
“I think this is great news; it’s been a long time coming,” said Kim Janey, of Massachusetts Advocates for Children. “We are excited to see the reforms that will benefit the children in the classroom.”
Education Advocates Demand Improved Teacher Evaluation System in Boston Public Schools, West Roxbury Patch, August 27. 2012
“That evaluation system represents a vast improvement over the current system and meets the demands of Boston United for Students for a timely and effective teacher evaluation process that supports our teachers while also incorporating accountability for student learning,” said Kim Janey, Senior Project Director of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and a member of the Boston United for Students Coalition.
Boston Superintendent Announces Plan To Extend School Day, 90.9, WBUR, July 26, 2012
In the meantime, we’re sampling reaction outside of the negotiating room. Kim Janey, the senior project director for the Boston School Reform Initiative at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, joined WBUR’s Morning Edition to talk about the the plans proposed by both sides.
Boston careful in school-assignment overhaul, Boston Globe, December 31, 2011
“I certainly think there can be some improvements to student assignment and some [transportation] savings, but what we can’t do is adopt a plan that increases inequity,’’ said Kim Janey, senior project director for the Boston School Reform Initiative at Massachusetts Advocates for Children. “We cannot be left with a system of haves and have-nots.’’ In Boston, Janey said, the public schools will need patience to develop a new system.
Any plan that ignores inequity is unacceptable, Boston Globe, December 23, 2011
A FRONT-PAGE article on Dec. 12 pointed out the “quilt of inequity’’ among Boston schools, but your editorials about the school assignment system ignore these inequities, suggesting that the most pressing problem is busing ( “School-assignment plan — a relic in need of a full overhaul,’’ Dec. 13; “Let students stay near homes — but offer choice as needed,’’ Dec. 14). The real issues, however, are ensuring equitable access to high-quality schools and eliminating persistent racial and programmatic achievement gaps.
The editorials assume that, instead of the current three-zone system, there can be equal access to quality schools in a 12-zone system. No plan has done this. Roxbury gems such as the Mason and Orchard Gardens are highlighted, but they are few and far between. Even if all Roxbury schools were high-performing, there are still more Roxbury school-aged children than actual seats. Fact, not myth.
The editorials fail to address the importance of community engagement in developing plans. It’s not a matter of holding a series of meetings. Multiple options must be presented early. Parents want to understand how the plans affect access to quality schools for their children.
People are not stuck on the segregation issue; they are stuck on quality. Should student assignment be improved? Absolutely. Can there be savings? Most likely. But the issue here is equal access to high-quality schools. Any plan that increases inequities is unacceptable.
Kim M. Janey
Inequities among Boston’s schools; gaps in facilities, test scores, safety complicate the process, Boston Globe, December 12, 2011
“The reality is there are not enough good schools,’’ said Kim Janey, senior project director for the Boston School Reform Initiative at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston nonprofit. “People put all their hopes and dreams in their children’s education. That’s why not getting one of their [school] choices is so hard, because the alternative is not something you can live with,’’ said Janey, who believes the superintendent is working hard to remedy academic and achievement disparities.
District 7 City Council candidates address community issues in forum, Madison Park Development Corporation, October 19, 2011
Kim Janey, Massachusetts Advocates for Children senior project director, kicked off the question and answer session by asking about education reform. “What are your plans to hold Boston Public Schools accountable for closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rate and improving the quality of education for District 7?” Janey asked
Boston Teacher Contract Forum, Boston Neighborhood News, October 2011
Boston Teacher Contract Forum, Neighborhood Network News, April 2, 2011
Charters, Public Schools Develop a New, Tenuous Relationship, WBUR, December 7, 2010
“There are parents who are more informed and will go after certain options for their children, and you can’t fault families for wanting to choose the best for their kid,” said Kim Janey, who is with the group Massachusetts Advocates for Children. “But at the same time I think the danger is that you leave the traditional public schools with children who may have different challenges.“Certainly in the past you did not see charters do everything they could to recruit and attract students with disabilities or English language learners,” Janey said.
In the News: Kim Janey, Bay State Banner, November 2, 2010
Neighborhood Network News, August 31, 2010
Wrong assignment for Boston schools, Boston Globe op-ed, June 3, 2009
Boston Schools Chief to Address Criticism of Busing Plan, WBUR, June 3, 2009
Kim Janey organizes parents for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a Boston-based nonprofit focused on young people. She says the schools in all of the neighborhoods need to be fixed, particularly neighborhoods like Roxbury, “But until we get there,” she adds, “until we have school quality, we need to keep having access until we get there. We’re just not there yet.”
Boston to Close 5 Elementary Schools, WBUR, October 2, 2008
Kim Janey from Masaschusetts Advocates for Children worries about the impact on neighborhoods that have already lost schools.JANEY: Roxbury already has more children than it has seats. So i’d be concerned about losing a building.
Johnson plans shift in school leadership roles, Dorchester Reporter, February 6, 2008
“I think the superintendent did a really good job capturing what she’s been hearing, putting together what some of the concerns were,” said Kim Janey from Massachusetts Advocates for Children. “The question comes down to how the district implements this, and of course the budget implications.”
Late assignment: Boston’s efforts to balance school choice with a neighborhood system are behind schedule and politically explosive, Boston Phoenix, July 16-22, 2004
“What you have here is a group of people with good intentions who have been brought together to do what may be an impossible task,” says Kim Janey, Massachusetts Advocates for Children’s project coordinator for Boston school reform. “Doing these community forums was a good thing, but what you heard from the community was, ‘We want quality schools for our children.’ But the task force’s charge is to come up with a new assignment plan, so they’re having a difficult time reconciling those two things. If you had quality schools in all neighborhoods, these assignment issues — busing, boundaries, all those things — would become secondary and less important to folks.”
Assignment Debate Stirs Emotions in Boston, Education Week, June 16, 2004
Kim Janey lived that history as an 11-year-old. When busing started in Boston, she was sent from her predominantly black school in the South End to a middle school in Charlestown, a white, working-class enclave. She remembers the police escorts, the rocks and racial slurs thrown at her, the angry mobs.
“The community was very angry that children from outside their neighborhood were being bused in,” she recalled, “but we didn’t want to be there either.”
While Ms. Janey doesn’t have any children in the public schools, she has attended many of the community forums seeking feedback on the assignment policy and has helped organize parents.
“People are very entrenched in their positions,” she said. “There are some communities, particularly communities of color, who believe there are a small group of parents who have the ear of elected officials and they are pushing for neighborhood schools.”
Roxbury residents contemplate taskforce’s school assign maps, Bay State Banner, May 6, 2004
“A limitation of the current [three zone] plan is 15 of the 19 schools under state review or corrective action are in the East Zone,” noted Kim Janey of Massachusetts Advocates for Children. The East Zone has the highest proportion of black and Latino students.