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Keller @ Large: Boston Mayoral Candidate Annissa Essaibi George On Education, More Police Officers

BOSTON (CBS) -- Boston mayoral candidate and at-large member of the Boston City Council Annissa Essaibi George made it clear that she is against the city's temporary plan to drop admissions exams for Boston's three exam schools. "I'm disappointed that we are breaking something that works," she told WBZ-TV's Jon Keller.

A lawsuit has been filed by a group of white and Asian parents claiming the plan puts them at a racial disadvantage because the new admissions formula includes a residential zip code. Supporters say it's a long-overdue effort to insert racial fairness into the select schools.

"I think it was an important opportunity for us to think very creatively about how to uphold our commitment to our families and our kids across the district. I think it was also a missed opportunity to take a well-intentioned intellectual smart group of people to look at some of the real problems that exist within our school system," said George.

"The bigger problem is when a family does not gain admission to one of our three exam schools they feel left out, they feel left behind and we have so much work to do when we think about all of our high schools across the district...We have to create opportunities across the board."

George said the solution is not more charter schools, either.

"When we fix what's broken, and for me what's broken is poor access to literacy education in those early grades, when we think about what's broken around grade configuration, when we think about this challenge of navigating the school system across the board for families and for kids, those are the pieces we need to fix," she said.

Watch Part 2 of Keller's interview here:

George criticized Acting Mayor Kim Janey's effort to add 30 police officers to the city's department. She said the city needs to hire several hundred more police officers to make the city safer and help the overtime budget.

"As an at-large councilor, I hire from residents every day that they are looking for a better response from police, that they want to make sure that we are focused on public safety. We can do two things at once reign in some of those budget costs and make sure that our police officers, our police force right-sized. That's really important for me."

She added that it's important for new police officers to reflect the community they serve.

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