Latin School leadership lessons

When the city moved to mayoral control of the Boston Public Schools more than two decades ago, it brought clarity to one central issue that has bedeviled struggling urban districts for decades: Who, ultimately, is in charge? Ever since that change, unlike the days of endless finger-pointing and infighting among elected school committee members and various other power factions, on any big issue across the sprawling system of more than 125 schools, the buck has stopped in City Hall in the office of the mayor.

Mayor Marty Walsh, in perhaps the biggest test of that authority since he took office, seems to be doing more bobbing and weaving than leading.That’s the harsh assessment of a tough  Boston Globe editorial today, which accuses the mayor of being “politically expedient” and allowing the leader at Boston Latin School to “twist in the wind” rather than stepping up and taking a clear stand on the controversy engulfing the school.

The crisis that has roiled Boston Latin, the crown jewel of the city’s entrance exam academies and the nation’s oldest public school, came to a head this week as the school’s headmaster, Lynne Mooney Teta, threw in the towel and resigned after months of tension and accusations of administrative neglect toward race issues at the school. Veteran assistant headmaster Malcolm Flynn followed suit, penning a lengthy letter to Superintendent Tommy Chang that is sharply critical of Chang’s leadership on the issue and that disputes many of the charges that have been leveled at the school.

Walsh insists he did not pressure Teta to quit. “I did not ask her to step down. I did not put pressure on her,” he told the Globe earlier this week. “Obviously she had a very difficult year. That had a lot to do with it,” he said of her resignation, which obviously was due not just a lot, but entirely, to the difficult year. “Lynne Mooney Teta did a nice job in Latin School,” he added.

But the question for Walsh was not whether Teta did a nice job at Latin, but whether she was doing the job that needed to be done, especially the job of dealing with legitimate issues that have been raised this year. If he thought she was, Walsh needed to make that clear — and make clear that he was standing behind her. If, in his view, she wasn’t up to the job, he needed to make that clear and say change in the school’s leadership was needed. Instead, he “seemed to want to have it both ways,” says the Globe.

The Herald’s Peter Gelzinis says Walsh and Chang were being “back-doored” by “the pelt-hungry” US attorney, Carmen Ortiz, who has launched a federal civil rights probe of the school. The same US attorney has trained her pelt hunt on the mayor’s administration, an expedition that has already yielded one fur — in the indictment of Walsh’s tourism director  — and clearly isn’t over.

Teachers at Boston Latin were in open revolt against Walsh and Chang yesterday, upstaging their attempt to deliver remarks outside the school after a heated meeting with the school’s faculty. Parents have mounted a petition drive calling on the city not to accept Teta and Flynn’s resignations. A rally on behalf of the two school leaders is planned for this morning outside the school. Meanwhile, leaders in the black community who had called for Teta’s ouster are standing their ground and say her departure is the right thing.

By this afternoon, school will be out for the summer. For Walsh and Chang, the homework assignment of putting the school on track and fixing a mess they allowed to fester is just starting.




Uber and Lyft are praising — and taxi representatives are panning — a Senate version of ride-hailing legislation. (Boston Herald)

MassDevelopment is turning to crowdfunding for some of its local projects. (Masslive)


Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll wants to move the City Hall annex to a new building to spur development in the area. (Salem News)

Herald columnist Joe Battenfeld suggests plans floated this week by the University of Massachusetts Boston for a soccer stadium for Robert Kraft’s New England Revolution at the site of the Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester are failing fast, “with local pols saying the state school should focus more on cutting tuition than cutting deals with rich sports owners.”

A New Bedford official has pulled the guns from the city’s shellfish wardens, saying they are not sufficiently trained to use them. But some city councilors want the weapons restored so the wardens can protect themselves. (Standard-Times)

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia warned there could be a government shutdown unless the City Council approves his budget. (Herald News)

A group of Fall River taxpayers has filed suit against Correia seeking to stop the contract between the city and a private trash hauler, claiming Correia illegally entered into the contract without City Council approval. (Herald News)

The Weymouth Town Council and Mayor Robert Hedlund are at odds over the source of water for the ongoing Southfield development. (Patriot Ledger)

Dizzy the monkey comes back to his enclosure at Springfield’s Forest Park zoo on his own to be with his mate Mitzy. (Masslive)


A judge throws out a MGM lawsuit challenging a Connecticut law that would allow the two Indian tribes to build another casino near the Massachusetts border. (Masslive)


Britain votes to leave the European Union; Prime Minister David Cameron says he will step down. (New York Times) Markets across the globe are tumbling in response. (Wall Street Journal)

A deadlocked US Supreme Court leaves in place a lower court ruling blocking President Obama’s immigration plan. (Governing)

US Rep. Katherine Clark is being credited for launching the House sit-in on gun legislation. (Time)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and many of her colleagues press the Drug Enforcement Administration on whether it’s going to change the status of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA had promised a decision in the first half of this year. (Masslive)

In a shift, NOAA now says fishing fleets will be reimbursed for monitoring costs. (State House News)


The Libertarian Party is aiming to have its presidential ticket on the ballot in all 50 states but is facing a particularly high bar in New England states, including Massachusetts, where the party needs to collect 10,000 valid signatures by the end of July to have presidential hopeful Gary Johnson and his running-mate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, appear on the Bay State ballot. (Boston Globe) The Codcast chewed over the party’s prospects and the performance by Johnson and Weld in a Wednesday night town hall forum on CNN.

Scot Lehigh says Elizabeth Warren won’t get the nod as Hillary Clinton’s running-mate, and he puts his money on Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia. (Boston Globe)

Bernie Sanders moved one step further out of denial, saying he will vote for Clinton in November, though he still stopped short of a full-throated endorsement. (New York Times)

The head of the state’s campaign finance office wants to beef up fines for PACs that skirt public reporting deadlines. He cited the a super PAC heavily funded by the Mass. Teachers Association, which violated campaign regulations by not disclosing within 24 hours an expenditure it made on behalf of Joe Boncore of Winthrop who won a recent special election for state Senate. (Boston Herald) CommonWealth wrote here, here, and here about the super PAC’s disclosure shenanigans.


After 16 years operating a restaurant and a winery in Bolton, the Nashoba Valley Winery is told by state officials that it can run one but not both. (Lowell Sun)

The Springfield Technology Park enters into a partnership with Greentown Labs of Somerville. (Masslive)

Residents of Zenith Drive in Worcester complain to the City Council about a homeowner on their street renting rooms for $39 a night using Airbnb. (Masslive)

A California jury rejected the copyright claims of a trust represented by a Quincy man that Led Zeppelin’s iconic “Stairway to Heaven” was ripped off from a song by a band called Spirit, which had some minor success. (Patriot Ledger)


The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of affirmative action by allowing the University of Texas to use race as a factor for admissions. (U.S. News & World Report)

At a tense meeting with faculty and staff to discuss a “no confidence” petition being circulated against him, Cape Cod Community College president John Cox promised to implement changes to foster better communications. (Cape Cod Times)


In part 1 of a Globe Spotlight series, the paper says the state’s once vaunted mental health care system has been characterized by “threadbare policies, broken promises, short-sighted decisions, and persistent underfunding over decades.”

John McDonough says House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is an empty backpack. (CommonWealth)

Overdose deaths are overwhelming medical examiners across the country. (Associated Press) Two brothers from Pembroke died from overdoses on the same day in the same house. (Patriot Ledger)


Columbus, Ohio, wins the US Transportation Department’s Smart Cities challenge. It plans to use the $40 million it will receive (plus $100 million in private funds) to connect residents of a poor neighborhood with services using autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing services. (Governing)


A new study says the clean energy (offshore wind/hydroelectricity from Canada) the state needs to meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets will drive up the price of electricity, at least in the short term. (CommonWealth)

A Cape Cod Times editorial praises Gov. Charlie Baker for embracing renewable energy, even if it costs more.

The ongoing horseshoe crab count has more impact than people realize: Since the 1970s, the FDA has mandated all vaccines and injectable drugs be exposed to a small amount of horseshoe crab blood to ensure sterility. (Greater Boston)


The brother of slain 17-year-old Raekwon Brown says authorities told the family they are still seeking the triggerman following arrests this week of two suspects charged in connection with Brown’s killing. (Boston Globe)

Police in Lowell arrest 22 suspects in an opiate drug sweep. (The Sun)

Suffolk County prosecutors and the attorney general’s office are working together on investigations of a Roxbury real estate owner and his two sons who were the focus of a recent two-part Globe series focused on widespread allegations against them of fraud and forgery. (Boston Globe)

A corrections officer in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department is facing charges alleging an illicit relationship with an inmate the South Bay House of Correction. Marlon Juba is also facing weapons charges after four handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle were found in his Lynn home. (Boston Herald)


Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is joining CNN as a political commentator. (Politico) Keller@Large says the hiring is a “new low” in networks handing over air time to partisan operatives.