Tom Menino on Education



First mayor to gain control of big-city school system

Is there a current trend to give mayors of large cities the decision making power over school districts? It would certainly appear so. As of March, 2009, 11 of the country's largest cities had school districts being controlled by mayors and the number has probably increased since then.

[NYC Mayor Mike] Bloomberg is the most visible of the mayors in this position since he runs the largest city in the US. In 1992 Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was actually the first city mayor to gain control of his city's school system. Bloomberg followed suit when he was elected in NYC and other big city mayors have followed.

The single biggest reason that a mayor should not control a school district is that it would put too much power in the hands of the single chief executive of both the city and its schools. It is a recipe for disaster because the mayor in control will be primarily obligated to govern the city first, and that could come at the expense of the school system.

Source: Teachers Under Attack!, by Mike Spina, p.162-163 , Feb 17, 2011

In-district charter schools and raise charter cap

I am filing state legislation to create a new form of in-district charter school. They will be established solely by the school committee, so we can quicken the pace of reform. The staff can unionize, but no union sign-off will be required to create these schools. They will have more flexible work rules so that schools can attract and retain the best teachers, and the school day can be tailored to students' needs. They will provide lessons for the whole system, but will be designed specifically to turn around our lowest performing schools.

But if that does not happen, I am prepared to support another way forward--I will call for lifting the cap on charter schools. Let me be clear: charter schools are not a magical cure-all for public education. There are excellent charters, just as there are underperforming charters; and there are excellent traditional schools, just as there are underperforming traditional schools.

Source: Address to the Boston College Chief Executives' Club , Jun 9, 2009

Performance pay for teachers in Boston public schools

There are two reforms that will accelerate our progress. First, we need to empower our educators to quickly innovate and implement what works. Second, we need to strengthen the link between teachers' work and student performance.

I believe we should connect educators' work with student achievement and reward people for classroom results. Today I am proposing to introduce performance pay to the Boston Public Schools. I want to reward teams of educators who achieve significant results in the classroom of our lowest performing schools. These teams will jointly be accountable for their students' results, fostering greater collaboration. Performance pay will help accomplish what we all want: attracting more excellent educators to our school system and rewarding them for the results their students achieve. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to make this important reform a reality.

Source: Address to the Boston College Chief Executives' Club , Jun 9, 2009

Longstanding opponent of publicly funded tuition vouchers

In 2005, Mayor Menino castigated the Archdiocese of Boston for the closing of Our Lady of Presentation School in Brighton, calling the actions of the Archdiocese "unconscionable" and "reprehensible." Mayor Menino went on to hold a sham graduation ceremony for Our Lady of Presentation students at Faneuil Hall.

Mayor Menino is a longstanding opponent of tuition tax credits and publicly funded tuition vouchers for the parents of Catholic school students.

Source: Memo to Archbishop from Catholic Action League of Mass. , Dec 9, 2005

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Other big-city mayors on Education: Tom Menino on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Mar 26, 2021