Michael P. Norton
BOSTON – A coalition of groups plans on Tuesday to publicly challenge the way public vocational and technical high schools classify potential students, saying the method results in fewer admissions of African-American, Latin-American and English students as well as fewer students. low-income students and working-class backgrounds.
The Vocational Education Justice Coalition said it has gathered information on students who are not admitted to popular public schools and plans to discuss the alleged selective admission policies at a meeting of the State Council for Primary Education. and secondary Tuesday morning in Malden.
They want the board to force a policy change that would grant equal access to admissions to anyone who passed grade eight, claiming the change would open access to jobs earning $ 40,000 to $ 50,000 per year for high school graduates who do not go to college. .
“Vocational schools are doing a very good job for their students,” the coalition said in a statement on Monday. âTeachers, administrators and students work hard. But it is not fair and just for them to choose their students based on the grades, attendance, discipline and recommendations of the guidance counselor. are public schools NOT private schools. “
The coalition said it was encouraged that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education had recognized “enrollment gaps for various subgroups” in six schools, but called on the board to intervene now as the Discussions on the changes had already been going on for three years.
“Despite the myriad of changes made to the state’s public schools over the past twenty-six years, the criteria for admission to vocational schools have remained essentially the same,” wrote New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and 23 other mayors in a letter of January 20 to the higher state. senior education officials and legislators.
Coalition members planning to testify on Tuesday include representatives from the Chelsea Collaborative, Black Educators Alliance of Mass., North Atlantic States Carpenters Union, United Interfaith Action of SE Mass., Center for Law and Education. and Mass. Communities Action Network.