Parents, teachers, administrators and even Mr. Thornton's bosses on the board all complain they don't know where the system is going or how he intends to get it there. It may be that Mr. Thornton simply isn't the naturally gifted communicator that his immediate predecessor, Andrés Alonso, was during his tenure. But it could also signal that Mr. Thornton has failed to come up with long-term plans and goals designed to build on Mr. Alonso's reforms, and thus has no new ideas to express. The question is whether Mr. Thornton is merely a poor communicator or whether he doesn't have much to communicate. The former may be something the schools CEO can work on. If the latter, the school board may need to take action.