Boston Schools Superintendent Announces Possible Shake-Up

BOSTON — Boston Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson is launching a review of her leadership team that will likely bring about a shake-up among those who report to her.

Johnson has been under fire for not disciplining a headmaster who assaulted his wife. Johnson’s spokesman, Matt Wilder, said that situation, along with two at the Kilmer K-8 School, have led Johnson to reevaluate those who advise her, including deputy and assistant superintendents.

The district is moving to terminate a Kilmer teacher accused of inappropriate contact with students and has also removed but not yet reassigned that school’s principal, for unrelated reasons, according to Wilder. He wouldn’t specify the inappropriate contact the teacher allegedly had with students or the reasons for the principal’s removal, but said the principal did promptly report the allegations against the teacher to the state Department of Children and Families last month.

Some in the district, including City Councilor John Connolly and some parents, have called for Johnson’s ouster in the wake of her decision to not terminate or discipline the headmaster of the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, Rodney Peterson.

Peterson was charged and then later admitted to sufficient facts in the punching and choking attack on his wife last year. Johnson first defended her lack of action, saying district policies didn’t explicitly cover how to discipline an employee accused of such an assault outside of work. She later apologized, saying her failure to discipline Peterson was a mistake. Peterson resigned last month.

Wilder said Johnson is the first to acknowledge that “the buck stops with her.” He added that the executive team Johnson is now reevaluating is made up of “the people who directly advise on the superintendent’s decisions,” so she wants to make sure staff around her are best placed to help move the district’s academic goals forward. He said the review process will likely result in some reassignments, terminations and the hiring of new talent.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dsmelansky Dmitry Smelansky

    A group of Boston public school parents launched a petition drive to oust Superintendent ­Carol R. Johnson, arguing that she has lost the public’s trust after disclosure that she took no disciplinary action against a headmaster who admitted beating his wife and that she had sent a supportive letter to a judge presiding over the case.

    The petition calls on Johnson to resign immediately. If she does not, the signers ­demand that the School Committee fire her, saying Johnson “has shown a clear pattern of unwise, politically motivated, and uninformed choices that have put the children of Boston public schools at risk.”

    Please sign this on -line petition if you believe that the fish is rotting from the head down:

  • X-Ray

    Johnson mishandles the Petersen affair and, in response, reviews the
    actions her “leadership staff”? What’s up with that, a case of PYA?

  • jonshore

    WOW! This is the fastest I have ever seen Boston Public Schools move on anything.  Seriously, I am impressed!  There is a new principal at the Joyce Kilmer School! Jerome Doherty has been removed from the BPS Kilmer School webpage and from the Kilmer School’s Website! Is he ascending to Court Street’s “Inner Circle” because he actually demonstrated some “leadership” (common sense) and, bypassing the middleman and lack of protocol, reported correctly? Or is he being sent into the abyss because there wasn’t a policy in place?

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