You forget to mention that he is a master thief, who bought and sold even the most minute details of every deal. People knew he was a dolt, but they decided to pat him on the head, pay the vig and make millions. The City is permanently screwed in his wake.
Tom Menino failed his own neigborhood Hyde Parks
buisness district is a dump. The schools are still a
mess. I will give due credit to his stewardship on
the development of the waterfront area. It looks
great. Hope we hire the best superintendent for
the schools, It should NOT be a black white
Issue. (But of course it will )
"...the city of Boston, only about 625,000 people strong, is lodged in a metropolitan area of 4.6 million from which the city draws many of its most able workers. While the public schools in Boston are generally second- or third-rate, many of the suburban schools, in well-off towns such as Newton, Needham, Wellesley, Lexington, and Concord, are first-class and train excellent workers for Bostonís economy."
Another example where America's systems of fragmented municipalities lead to a "Two Americas" result in school systems.
The areas with older housing stocks end up with less and the worst of everything. Of course there's a "conservative" hoax that has all this the result of Democratic Party efforts to keep our cities afloat.
Thanks for this fine article, both thoughtful and well-written.
I'll just add that any discussion of Boston's public schools that doesn't mention the fact that it has some of the finest high schools in the commonwealth, and that standardized test scores (even for relatively good tests like Massachusetts' MCAS) are heavily correlated with family income (thus making public schools in strictly zoned, upper-income suburban towns look good by comparison to their more economically diverse neighbors) is missing an important part of the story.
Boston's schools could be better, and Mayor Menino could have done a better job improving them, but they're better (I think) than this article might lead some people to think.
Tom Menino is exactly why the Democratic party has been so successful: even a bumbler and a mumbler can succeed in politics if the age-old, tried and true methods are adhered to. Promise the moon and divide and conquer.