Tommy Chang, Boston’s new school superintendent, made his first public appearance last week at the EdVestors Showcase. His brief remarks sketched some basic observations and principles that we will undoubtedly hear more of in the coming months.
He led off by complimenting the passion, talent and determination for equity he has found among the people he’s met in Boston. He cautioned that improving schools is hard work, and there are no silver bullets or one-solution approaches. He noted that innovation is not a solo act, but depends on collaboration and teamwork, also very difficult to practice. In addition, innovation is fraught with political landmines. Stressing his concern for our most vulnerable students, he said he looks at innovation through an equity lens. If there was a dominant theme in his remarks, it was equity. Close behind was the theme of teamwork.
Getting down to serious matters, he marveled that Boston traffic and parking are worse than LA. He didn’t mention the Red Sox. Or the Olympics.