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Boston Schools Central in Vote for City's Next Mayor

Boston voters are heading to the polls today to take the first step toward choosing a successor for Mayor Thomas Menino. Those ballots will signal a lot about what voters want from a new mayor when it comes to running the city's public schools, which Mayor Menino has had authority over for two decades.

A field of 12 candidates will be narrowed to two in today's preliminary vote. The first and second-place finishers will then face off in the Nov. 5 general election.

A Boston Globe poll published last week showed that the race is wide open, with roughly a third of voters reporting that they had not made up their minds.

Boston, the grizzled veteran of mayoral control, is at a major crossroads for education in the city. Carol Johnson, the long-time superintendent, retired last month and an interim chief, John McDonough, has taken over until a new mayor names a permanent replacement. The city is also undertaking a new student-assignment plan intended to offer better neighborhood school options.

Many of the dozen candidates made public school improvement the centerpiece of their campaigns. And a sampling of election day tweets show that the city's schools are top of mind for some voters, too.


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