In the Globe today, there is an article about the principal of English High being replaced. There is one paragraph that completely dispels the notion that Menino puts forward about how the schools have improved:
Once one of Boston's most prestigious schools, English High was in such dire shape by 2007 that the state identified it as one of the worst schools in Massachusetts and threatened to close it unless scores improved.
So, 14 years into Menino's term he let one of the oldest schools in America become one of its worst.
A poster who identifies as a Boston Public School teacher after the article had some honest words:
You can blame the kids and the parents all you want, and you'd be justified in doing so. However, blame doesn't educate kids. As a public school teacher in Boston, I feel that it is my job to educate the child in front of me despite the failures of the system and family. Even the failures of the child must be put aside in order to find a way to get that child to learn.
There exists a cultural quagmire in the lower socioeconomic classes of Boston. People pay lip service to the concept of education yet take no responsibility for the actual task of teaching. Kids and their parents believe more in street justice than the legal system, unless they can make a financial gain through a lawsuit. Crumping is more valued than chemistry. Entitlement is the norm. All this and more is terribly unfortunate and likely to be the end of this country as we know it. That being said, when I step into my school, I know that despite the obscene lack of skills, logic, and knowledge possessed by the parents, students, and some colleagues, I still have a job to do.
I do wish that every person reading this would spend a day, afternoon, or even a couple hours in a Boston public school. You'd be surprised just how bad it is. We have to do something about the culture that is being created by the political system that panders to the "me and mine" faction. Until we do, I'll keep trying to push back the tide in my classroom, hoping to reverse in a child the consequences of our failure to act.