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Michael Jonas
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Howard L.: If the characterization of the Globe editorial as a "devastating assessment" seems too harsh, the only honest substitutes would seem to be things like "bleak assessment" or "troubling assessment." Notwithstanding the first half of the editorial's headline, there is simply no way to say it was anything but a very critical appraisal. I think Dan Farnkoff's comment has it about right: The editorial is saying the mayor's first 16 years of control over the schools provide little evidence to suggest that another 4 years would bring the sort of sea-change in the trajectory of reform efforts that is needed. I do think my referencing of the Education Equality Project and its signatories is relevant here. (For another barometer, one might also check out who is on board with Democrats for Education Reform.) Boston was in the forefront nationally when it moved early to mayoral control of the schools; today, however, a whole set of big-city mayors and superintendents are moving ahead much more aggressively to challenge things like seniority, weak evaluation systems and welcoming the competition from charters.