Brodner advocates to always improve

Tom Díaz

January 30, 2014

Bonnie Brodner is an energetic, experienced leader who wants to go on serving Lexington. She is a listener as well as an activist, deeply committed to education, inclusive, and respectful of diverse views. She has the talent and the experience to manage our public schools at the appropriate level.

Her board governs the best public school district in Massachusetts. Already strong ten years ago, Lexington schools now have far better buildings, a far more stable financial regime, and a much-reduced achievement gap. Bonnie talks all the time about ways to improve the system, and she listens to ideas from the community; the point is that she is one of the leaders responsible for the fact that our improvements proceed from such a high level.

Bonnie has shown her skill at managing the chief executive of the schools, the Superintendent. Her suggestions for improvement are a matter of public record, but she knows to let him manage the nuts and bolts. There have always been candidates, occasional board members, and even Selectmen who thought they could do with a lesser Superintendent and personally micromanage the schools, but when they had the upper hand, things were not this good.

Currently, the School Committee is negotiating with the Superintendent over a renewal of his contract, and outsiders cannot predict the outcome. Incumbents need to keep their views about the negotiation confidential, and, besides, they represent only one side of the table. If the outcome is a search for a new Superintendent, Bonnie has the qualities needed in a search. If, instead, Dr. Ash stays on, I hope the schools will continue in the same direction, with a judicious school board.

Tom Díaz

Waltham Street

This letter originally appeared in the Lexington Minuteman in print on January 30, 2014.

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