A Politician with a Passion for Education

Otto Katt is a Second Year Teaching Fellow at the Irving Middle School in Roslindale, MA.

Recently, Boston Councillor John R. Connolly gave an inspiring talk at a Citizen Schools staff meeting. Councillor Connolly is the Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Education. Councillor Connolly was himself an educator, having taught at the Nativity Mission School in New York City and the Boston Renaissance Charter School. Councillor Connolly is passionate about working to close the achievement gap and is intimately familiar with the challenges facing schools in urban areas like Boston.

Mr. Connolly spoke about his first interaction with Citizen Schools, when current Managing Director & Chief Mobilization Officer, John Werner, was recruiting students at the Boston Renaissance Charter School for Citizen Schools apprenticeships. Connolly highlighted the passion with which parents of students at the Irving Middle School in Roslindale, MA, fought for keeping Citizen Schools as a school partner during a period of great transition. He also shared his support of the funding secured for the Irving and Dever-McCormack school in Dorchester for expanded learning time (ELT).

Councillor Connolly spoke about several issues facing Boston schools and education reform in general.

  • More time: Boston schools have one of the shortest schools days. This fact, among others, is part of the reason so many of Boston’s students are not prepared for life after graduation.
  • Education Budget:  As municipalities across the country face tightening budgets, the effective use of resources will continue to be of paramount importance.
  • Contract Negotiations: the need for teacher evaluations, the need to reform and improve vocational education, and to ensure that Boston has a successful K-college pipeline that benefits all of its students.

Citizen Schools is thankful for all the work Councillor Connolly has done for the students and families of Boston, and looks forward to continuing to work together to make a difference in lives and of communities of those students and their families.

Watch a clip from Councillor Connolly’s talk:


Where else should we focus, as citizens, to ensure that Boston Public Schools students are getting the education they deserve?