Today's Date: December 8, 2023
Williams Mullen Earns Top Score in Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2023-2024 Corporate Equality Index   •   East Point Energy Developed Project Becomes Virginia’s Largest Operational Energy Storage Facility   •   Denmark Announces Groundbreaking US$6.5 Million Contribution to Education Cannot Wait to Scale-Up Education Response to the Clim   •   The Governments of Canada and British Columbia sign bilateral agreement to end gender-based violence   •   Stamford Hospital is Recognized by U.S. News & World Report for Maternity Care   •   Wells Fargo Names Darlene Goins Head of Philanthropy and Community Impact, President of Wells Fargo Foundation   •   Backlight Wins IABM Community Impact Award for its Support of the Howard University Film Organization   •   Tis the Season: Elmhurst 1925 Fan Favorite OatNog Returns for the Holidays, Featured in Walker Hayes' "Fancy Like Christmas" Mus   •   Scholar focusing on God's human qualities wins Grawemeyer religion prize   •   City of Hope Doctors and Scientists Present Innovative Research at Largest Gathering on Breast Cancer Research   •   DICED Culinary School Earns Coveted Accreditation from Tourism HR Canada   •   HH Global discloses environmental impact through CDP   •   New Research Uncovers Women's Sports Viewership Trends   •   Glenfarne Energy Transition’s Texas LNG and ABB Partner on Core Electrical and Automation Equipment   •   Metropolitan Issues Statement on Release of Final Environmental Impact Report for Delta Conveyance Project   •   Santa Claus Arrives via Helicopter and Rappels Down at the 34th Annual Luskin Orthopaedic Institute for Children Toys & Joy   •   Oberkotter Foundation Announces Dr. Teresa Caraway as CEO   •   A new book was released at CIIE: "Green Rural Revival Programme" makes the Rebirth of an Isolated Village and Overflowing with C   •   Hampton Roads Workforce Council Receives $14 Million from U.S. Department of Defense to Bolster Maritime Workforce   •   Scott Cooper Miami Project Announces New Scholarship Winner: Aban Khan
Bookmark and Share

Rights Groups Frustrated With Boston Schools

CAMBRIDGE, MA -  It is with great regret that our organizations announce our decision to end formal cooperation with the Boston Public Schools (“BPS”) as the district contemplates whether to design and implement a new student assignment policy. We have reached this decision based on what many perceive as BPS’s lack of meaningful engagement with the community during this process.

In September of 2009, BPS was awarded federal grant funding to engage local parents, students, educators and other constituents in a series of community dialogues to “create a student assignment plan which ensures equitable access to high quality educational services for all students in the City, within racially and ethnically diverse schools and classrooms.”1 BPS’s grant concept was distinct from other Technical Assistance for Student Assignment Plans (“TASAP”) grant proposals because it placed the diversity of voices and perspectives of Boston parents, educators and community members at the center of the student assignment design process. The grant award of $241,680 was to be used, among other things, to seek assistance and expertise from student assignment specialists, demographers, community relations experts, facility and other planners, curriculum specialists, school districts with comparable and relevant experience, academics and researchers, non-profit organizations, civil rights organizations and members of the private sector. The goal was to ensure that district educators and the surrounding community had the tools to design an acceptable student assignment plan. The proposed process appeared to be a departure from what transpired during BPS’s attempted passage of the “Five Zone Plan,” which was strongly opposed by community members earlier in 2009.
BPS’s decision to apply for this grant, the grant concept itself and the subsequent Department of Education (“DOE”) award gave our organizations much hope. As this process has evolved, however, we have developed serious concerns about the pace and vigor of implementation. We also have concerns with the lack of transparency and open communication with the public about how this funding will be used. To our knowledge, there has been little to no public explanation about the purpose of the TASAP grant (namely, that it is specifically designed to aid school districts in the development of student assignment policies that avoid racial isolation and facilitate student diversity). Community members have been largely left on their own to seek out this information. In the absence of clear and purposeful communication, some people have since formed incorrect assumptions about the purpose and use of this sizeable grant.

On March 27, 2010, our organizations hosted The Golden Opportunity Summit (“the Summit”). The idea of the Summit predated the TASAP award. Following the postponement of the School Committee’s vote on student assignment, our organizations felt that the Summit would be a constructive way to contribute. We viewed the Summit as a chance to offer information and resources to BPS, to the public at large and to other interested organizations and individuals. Overall, we were pleased with the presentations and the information presented at the Summit, but we feel BPS missed an opportunity to clearly and effectively communicate the purpose of the TASAP grant and describe the manner by which community members might get involved going forward.
To be sure, a student assignment policy will not address all of the challenges facing the Boston Public Schools and the communities of which the schools are a part. However, if well-designed and accompanied by an open, inviting process of communication and deliberation, a new student assignment policy could at least open up lines of communication and be a promising beginning toward addressing longstanding challenges. We believe that anything short of full engagement around issues of equity and diversity will not serve the community well.
As we end our formal involvement, our organizations remain hopeful about the potential of this student assignment design process. We continue to believe that Boston can be a national leader on these issues, and hope that the TASAP process will help illuminate the path. Accordingly, we offer the attached recommendations, which we believe can guide the district toward the development of a fair, equitable student assignment plan and invite longer-term exploration of challenges that require more than just the commitment of local educators, but that call for a steadfast commitment from government officials and policymakers at the local, state and federal level; parents and community leaders; philanthropists and others who have concern for the children of Boston. In addition to these recommendations, we encourage stakeholders to take advantage of the student assignment resources that are housed on the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute’s website at and
In 2005, Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. established the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice (CHHIRJ) at Harvard Law School. The Institute honors and continues the work of one of the great civil rights lawyers of the twentieth century. Litigator, scholar and teacher, Charles Hamilton Houston dedicated his life to using the law as a tool to reverse the unjust consequences of racial discrimination. CHHIRJ is committed to marshalling the resources of Harvard and beyond to continue Houston’s unfinished work.

Back to top
| Back to home page

White House Live Stream
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Sounds Make the News ®
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News