In all, this marks the first time in years that candidates have been willing to think about the schools in new ways. Now they need to think harder.
The three-way emphasis on charter schools demonstrates two things.
First, it shows how competition can spur political change. It took pressure from Flaherty and Yoon for Menino to become more welcoming to the idea of more charter schools.
Second, the fact that three of the mayoral candidates embrace the charter concept is an unspoken criticism of the politically powerful teachers union. Even more than the punishing fiscal realities of today, the union is the biggest single obstacle to making Boston Public Schools better. ^ ^
: The Editorial Page
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