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The Boston Globe



New school board head should assert independence

COLLEGIALITY MARKED the Rev. Gregory Groover’s four-year tenure as chairman of the Boston School Committee. But the challenges facing the city’s school system weren’t going to be solved by Groover’s kid-glove treatment of Superintendent Carol Johnson or his habit of allowing meetings to drag on for hours. What the system needs is an independent voice that presses the administration to confront setbacks and policy misfires. New chairman Michael O’Neill should resolve to provide that.

On Monday, the seven-member panel elected O’Neill, a business executive, as its head. His business acumen will be a plus as the school department tries to manage a potential $63 million shortfall. But still more crucial is providing oversight and accountability for the system, even when that means pushing back against Superintendent Johnson and Mayor Menino.

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