Mayor Walsh, give Brenda Cassellius a chance to lead Boston Public Schools

Joan Vennochi:

Can this superintendent be saved?

As she marks her first anniversary as head of Boston Public Schools, Brenda Cassellius is getting a lesson in the local version of “trauma-informed teaching.” This learning strategy is supposed to take trauma into account and help students get past it. But here, it means a superintendent is put through the trauma of being undermined by various interest groups, and then by a mayor who caves into them. The lesson ends with the scuttling of a feather-ruffling proposal in favor of the status quo.

For Cassellius, trauma came in the form of a scathing letter from an association that represents the city’s high school leaders, complaining bitterly about a still-in-the-works reform plan. Mayor Martin J. Walsh then used the very public platform of a radio show to tell Cassellius to meet with the complainers. A summary of unflattering findings of a survey from an association representing principals of Boston’s K-8 schools was also obtained by the Globe.