Digital Commonwealth

Voluntary desegregation in Lowell

Item Information

Title:
Voluntary desegregation in Lowell
Description:
Christy George reports that the city of Lowell has chosen a central enrollment plan to accomplish school desegregation in its public schools. George notes that central enrollment plans are implemented through magnet schools; she adds that students choose schools according to the programs they offer instead of by location. George interviews Robert Kennedy (Mayor of Lowell). Kennedy says that the Lowell School Committee opted for a central enrollment plan in order to avoid court-ordered desegregation of the schools. George reports that the city of Cambridge uses a central enrollment plan and has become a national model for school desegregation. George interviews Peter Colleary (Director of Student Assignments, Cambridge Public Schools) about central enrollment in Cambridge Public Schools. George's report includes footage of a meeting between Colleary and school officials from Rochester, NY. The officials from Rochester ask questions about central enrollment in Cambridge. George notes that opponents to school desegregation in Lowell believe that central enrollment is a form of mandatory desegregation. George interviews George Kouloheras (Lowell School Committee) about his opposition to the central enrollment plan. George notes that Cambridge had a successful school system even before the adoption of the central enrollment plan. She adds that the Cambridge model may not work in every city. George's report includes footage of buses in front of schools in Lowell, footage of a girls' soccer game in Cambridge, footage of school children in classrooms, and footage of buses arriving at South Boston High School in 1976. This edition of the Ten O'Clock News also included the following item: Marcus Jones reports on tension over school desegregation in Lynn 1:00:05: Visual: Shots from a moving vehicle of students in front of South Boston High School in 1976; of buses with police escort travelling up G Street to South Boston High School; of African American students exiting buses in front of South Boston High School. Christy George reports that the city of Lowell wants to avoid court-ordered school desegregation and forced busing. George reports that Lowell is opting for a voluntary school enrollment plan; that students choose three schools which they would like to attend; that students will be bused to one of those schools. V: Shots of elementary school students in a school cafeteria; of a bus pulling up to an elementary school. Footage of Robert Kennedy (Mayor of Lowell) saying that the Lowell School Committee acted responsibly; that the School Committee wanted to avoid court intervention in Lowell schools. Shots of a white teacher teaching in a racially integrated elementary school classroom in Lowell. Shots of students in the classroom. George reports that the central enrollment plan is implemented through magnet schools; that the magnet schools offer diverse programs; that students can choose the school which offers programs which appeal to them. George notes that racial balance can result from the magnet school system; that the system has worked well in the city of Cambridge. V: Footage of Peter Colleary (Director of Student Assignments, Cambridge Public Schools) saying that school choice has been successful for Cambridge Public Schools. George notes that Colleary matches Cambridge students with their schools; that some schools have increased minority enrollment from 9% in 1981 to 43% in 1987; that students are willing to choose schools outside of their neighborhoods. V: Shots of the Cambridge High School girls' soccer team playing a soccer game. Footage of Colleary saying that 65% of Cambridge Public School students do not attend schools in their districts. Shots of the exterior of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. George notes that the city of Cambridge owns many of its own buses; that half of the bus drivers work for the city. dShots of a school bus; of the exterior of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. George notes that the Cambridge Public School System has become a national model for desegregation. V: Shots of Colleary talking to a delegation from the public school system of Rochester, NY. Members of the delegation ask Colleary questions about the Cambridge Public School System. George notes that critics in Lowell see the Cambridge model as another form of mandatory desegregation. V: Shot of a school bus pulling away from an elementary school in Lowell. Footage of George Kouloheras (Lowell School Committee) saying that central enrollment plans "are a euphemism for forced busing." Kouloheras says that central enrollment does not improve the education in the schools. Footage of Colleary saying that 35% of Cambridge students are bused; that the students have chosen to attend schools outside of their districts. Colleary calls it "busing by choice." George stands in front of a school at dusk. George reports that Cambridge was providing good education in its schools before the implementation of the voluntary desegregation plan. George notes that the Cambridge model may not work in every city.
Date:
October 26, 1987
Format:
Film/Video
Genre:
News
Location:
WGBH
Collection (local):
Ten O'Clock News
Subjects:
School integration
Magnet schools
School choice
Classrooms
School children
Places:
MassachusettsMiddlesex (county)Lowell
MassachusettsMiddlesex (county)Cambridge
MassachusettsSuffolk (county)BostonSouth Boston
Lowell (Mass.)
Cambridge (Mass.)
South Boston (Boston, Mass.)
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Publisher:
Ten O'Clock News