As we're keeping an eye on what's going on with Boston's new mayor and education we should note: Mayor Marty Walsh took questions about education on Facebook on Tuesday.
Let's first of all break to thank him for doing so!
Chris Faraone over at DigBoston has a reasonable ('though incomparably Faraone-esque) rundown of what happened: Walsh got a lot of questions on lifting the charter cap. He came solidly down on an UNCONDITIONAL lifting of the charter cap--aka, no limits.
...which is just insane for any mayor in Massachusetts. Particularly an urban mayor. Particularly an urban mayor who is cutting services to his public schools.
I'd thus say that this blog has it about right: Walsh doesn't get it on public education.
I was particularly disheartened that he had such facile answers to budgetary questions from parents (yes, budgetary ignorance is basically a cardinal sin for me). He had to expect budget questions; every parent in the city is being told that their schools are going to lose something. He doesn't understand his own school budget well enough to understand what charters actually do to it, but he also just doesn't seem to know his own school budget. And that matters more than it would in other places, because he appoints the School Committee.
I know very well that there is big money behind charter schools. I also understand that Walsh was, if education was the main issue on which you were voting, the least bad choice.
I really hope that he starts hearing loud and clear from parents (and maybe from his own BPS finance office) just what the heck he is supporting when he says he wants an unconditional cap lift.
That's supporting poisoning the Boston Public Schools.