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    Dysfunction of school system is unforgivable

    The dreadful condition and utter dysfunction of academic departments in the Boston school system (“Review find Hub schools in disarray,” Page A1, May 23) reminds me of the old joke in which the exasperated waiter asks the cranky diner: Is anything all right? Alas, there is no joke here; there is nothing but an unforgivable set of conditions that destroy the lives of innocent people.

    Although populated by remarkable individuals, the educational landscape for decades has nonetheless been strewn with silos of self interest, fractured organizations, well-intentioned blue ribbon panels, broken promises, and a veritable mountain range of test results.

    And while I want so much to support teachers, I must respectfully disagree with Boston Teachers Union president Richard Stutman. The casualties here are not the teachers, but rather the children, their families, and thus their communities and, quite frankly, an entire culture.

    Thomas J. Cottle


    The writer is a professor of education at Boston University.