The real issue, though, is whether Mr. Thornton is pulling the right levers in his effort to improve performance. The idea of allowing principals greater autonomy to run their schools as a reward for producing results in the classroom was fundamentally sound when it was first proposed, and it remains so in our view. But it was never intended to solve all the system's problems, and it didn't. If we had a complaint about Mr. Alonso, it is that he focused too much on issues of school governance and not enough on classroom instruction. Rather than tinkering with a seven-year-old a decision that clearly has helped some city schools, we'd rather see Mr. Thornton focusing on those areas where Mr. Alonso invested less time and energy.