State report: Boston Public Schools falls short of ‘acceptable minimum standard’

A scathing report from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said Boston Public Schools continues to fall short of an “acceptable minimum standard” in several areas.

The review, which began in 2019, found that special education services are in “systemic disarray,” English language learners are reportedly not getting appropriate instruction and bus transportation is unreliable.

“BPS has shown little to no progress in addressing the needs of its students with disabilities, English learners, and students at the district’s lowest-performing schools, resulting in continued poor outcomes for tens of thousands of students,” the report said.

However, the report also noted that since the review began 3 years ago, the district has adopted the state’s recommended high school curriculum, have increased staff diversity, and invested in school buildings and the hiring of social workers. A BPS spokesperson said that Boston Mayor Michelle Wu also recently pledged $2 billion to overhaul school facilities, and the district allocated $10 million to two special education projects. The district has also reached a tentative agreement with bus drivers which could address transportation issues.

The state is considering putting BPS in receivership, allowing for increased oversight and control of the district, though city officials oppose that plan.

The state education’s board meeting will be held Tuesday morning, and Mayor Wu is expected to testify.