Consalvo calls for new tone on public schools dialogue

Rob Consalvo, a district city councilor running for mayor, is pledging to change the tone of the debate over strengthening the city’s public schools.

The discussion over reforms in the school system has at times plunged into rancor, particularly around charter schools and the school-assignment process.

“We have to end the divisiveness, name-calling, and demonizing of teachers in the debate over school reform,” Consalvo said Monday evening in a roundtable discussion with Boston Public School teachers and parents, according to remarks provided by his campaign. “If we want to make our schools stronger, we have to start by bringing everyone to the table and listening to each other.”

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Consalvo’s campaign—which organized the event at Riverside Theater Works in Hyde Park—invited more than two dozen residents, including many Consalvo supporters and their friends. He asked participants to share concerns and ideas about moving the system forward, his campaign said.

Parents and teachers talked about school choice and raised concerns about transparency in the school system, according to two parents at the meeting. They also addressed qualities they would like to see in the superintendent who will replace Carol Johnson, including someone with a long teaching history, who understands the uniqueness of Boston, and who is willing to make bold changes.

“It was a positive meeting,’’ said Christopher Kollet, a Roslindale parent of two children ages and 4 and 7. “I think the overall tenor in the meeting was that there’s a lot of potential in the Boston Public Schools.”

Marie Herb, a Hyde Park parent of two schoolchildren ages 10 and 12, said participants at the meeting also addressed what they see as the positive aspects about the school system that often get overshadowed.

“Sometimes the information we have is just a test score, but that’s just one thing,’’ said Herb, who supports Consalvo. “There are some really great things happening in the schools, and it’s good to get that information out there.”


Check out more Globe coverage of the mayoral race, including candidate profiles and a comparison of where they stand on key issues.