Big Brother is pinging you

By EDITORIAL  |  July 11, 2012

These include Patrick's difficult — though probably correct — decision to shut down Taunton State Hospital in favor of community-based facilities.

But there are some questionable calls among Patrick's $32 million worth of vetoes.

It would be a shame, for example, if the EBT distraction means less public pressure on the legislature to override Patrick's veto of a 15-cents-per-hour wage increase for thousands of the state's lowest-paid human-service providers, who have received no raise in four years.

Patrick also erred in rejecting an expansion of the Gateway Cities program to include seven struggling towns. And we would like to see the legislature override Patrick's veto of a relatively small $100,000 investment to re-open Gardner's Heritage Park museum.

As for the EBT reform, both sides should be able to find a compromise without resorting to name-calling.

BOSTON SCHOOL DAZE

When Boston City Councilor John Connolly called for the resignation of School Superintendant Carol Johnson this week, he raised a red flag signaling that all is not well with the appointed leadership of the city's public school system.

Connolly is no showboat. He is the council's recognized and respected education expert and a thoughtful leader of the broad-based movement to reform and improve Boston's schools.

The trigger for Connolly's action was Johnson's unfortunate handling of a personnel decision involving a headmaster involved in a case of domestic abuse.

Johnson has convincingly apologized for her action, and still enjoys the support of Mayor Thomas Menino.

But last year's boondoggle involving student transportation and the inept execution of the necessary consolidation and closing of under-utilized and under-performing schools still raises legitimate questions about Johnson's operational skills.

With classes slated to begin in less than two months, let's hope that Johnson has her act together. If not, others will be joining Connolly.

It should also be noted that the news leaking out of the mediation between the Boston Teachers Union and the School Department is not encouraging. Perhaps a miracle will occur, but the odds are growing long that the union and the city will agree to a contract that provides for meaningful school reform before classes start.

If that were to happen, union officials can expect the movement for union-free charter schools to intensify. The public's demand for better schools is real and the ability of union officials to satisfy the concern of parents appears to grow feebler with every passing week.

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