Dr. Johnson’s dilemma

December 7, 2010
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Boston School Superintendent Carol Johnson is attempting to close down 13 Boston Public Schools and to combine five others in order to cut a more than $50 million deficit the Boston School Department is facing.

Dr. Johnson’s gambit – to close schools that can no longer sustain themselves – is a step in the right direction.

The Boston Public Schools are struggling to find their reason to exist and to do so within the constraints of a smaller budget. Closing 13 schools is like a knife in the heart for many parents who feel comfortable with their children attending school near to their homes in neighborhoods that have supported a school for decades.

So these proposed closings are meeting with parent anger and angst.

Once the pride of the nation, the Boston Public School system is in need of a miracle or a turnaround that causes Boston’s middle-class to believe in them, again and to then send their children there, again.

With a student body largely unable to read and write meaningfully in the English language, and with the vast majority of students coming from poverty stricken backgrounds and broken homes, Dr. Johnson has her work cut out for her.

Closing unsustainable schools is a start.

Fixing the broken and ineffectual public school education system in Boston is something else.

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