BBDP joins with Community Coalition to engage with BPS ‘Improving School Choice’ Process

Posted: October 15, 2012 by meghandoran in Uncategorized

Since Mayor Menino announced that he wanted the Boston’s schools to adopt a plan which brought students closer to home back in January, we have been following the process very closely.  Now the Boston Busing/Desegregation project has joined with  community groups across the city in the Community Coalition for Equity, Excellence, and Engagement. This coalition is asking the BPS to slow down their process and put quality schools first. Want to know more? Read the Community Coalition Press Statement

At the coalition’s press conference our program director, Donna Bivens, had this to say:

When Bostonians look back at the crisis in education that occurred in the mid-70’s, we most often refer to it as “busing”. We do not recognize that “busing” was a school assignment process and it was a most a tactic. We do not consider the strategy of school desegregation that was meant to equalize resources and that that strategy needed to extend to race and economic segregation and inequities as well. And we do not consider the struggle for quality schools and education for all that was the ultimate goal. Today with well documented increasing racial and economic segregation in public education, we, through focusing on the tactic of school assignment rather than focusing on equitable access to excellent education for all stand poised to continue to misname of the problem

We have learned two lessons from listening to well over 2000 people reflect on Boston’s Busing/Desegregation crisis: no one has all the answers or knows the full story and everyone has something to bring to its development and conclusion—provided that is where our values lie. We have a unique opportunity to drop the “take no prisoners” politics of who has THE answer for Boston public schools and move to a “lose no passengers” collaboration and engagement that brings all our children to safety, to equal opportunity to learn, and to a school system that prepares them to be contributors and global citizens ready to face the challenging future that awaits them.

We also recently put out a statement on our involvement with the coalition and the lessons we think we can take from our past for today.

There are lots of things you can do as a part of the BBDP learning network or a concerned community member:

– Attend a community/External Advisory Committee meeting. Visit to stay up to date about community meetings. Be sure to listen, ask questins, and let the BPS and community know how you feel.

– Attend our Community Gathering on Equity, Access and Excellence, where we will link this history to what is going on in the city today, including with school assignment.

– Participate in Our What’s Your Story? Initiative. By telling your story you help us continue to broaden the narrative about Boston’s history and make concrete links between what happened then and our needs today.

– A group participating in our coalition, QUEST  (Quality Education for Every Student), has a petition circulating asking the BPS to slow down their process:

– Stay informed; here are some recent articles about the process:

  1. […] October, we blogged about joining the Community Coalition for Equity, Excellence and Engagement to ask the Boston Public […]

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