Description: Cuts from a Boston School Committee meeting with the Health, Education, and Welfare board. Those in attendance include Superintendent Marion Fahey, and Committee members Elvira "Pixie" Palladino and Kathleen Sullivan. Sound.
Collection: WCVB Collection
Date Created: 05/28/1976
Description: Pam Bullard interviews Kathleen Sullivan (Boston School Committee) about the quality of education in Boston. Sullivan says that she is frustrated because Boston schools have not improved since court-ordered desegregation began in 1974. Sullivan calls Arthur Garrity (federal judge) a "crazy judge." Sullivan says that the desegregation plans since 1974 have been disruptive. She says that neither African American nor white students have benefitted from school desegregation; that students should not be assigned to different schools each year. Sullivan and her assistant discuss Judge Garrity's latest order concerning the Boston schools. Bullard explains to Sullivan that she is putting together a piece which contrasts Sullivan's views on schools and court-ordered desegregation with the views of African American leader Melnea Cass
0:59:44: V: Pam Bullard interviews Kathleen Sullivan in her office. Bullard comments that Sullivan was elected to the School Committee because voters were impressed with her commitment to quality education and better schools. Bullard asks Sullivan how she would have fared if voters were less concerned with the state of the schools and more concerned with politics as usual. Sullivan says that she could have been re-elected. Sullivan says that parents are concerned about education; that a difficult economy coupled with the costs of school desegregation has made school improvement difficult. Sullivan says that the quality of education has not improved in the city since she was elected to the School Committee; that she feels frustrated in her efforts to improve the schools. 1:03:48: V: Bullard asks if it would damage Sullivan politically to admit that desegregation has improved Boston schools. Sullivan says that voters in Boston are beginning to accept desegregation as a fact; that the anti-busing movement has lost steam because people are tired; that voters would be happy to hear that schools have improved, even if the improvement was a direct result of desegregation and a "crazy judge on the scene." Sullivan says that there has been little improvement except in a few schools. Sullivan mentions that Roxbury High School, the Lewenberg School and the Curley School have seen improvement. Bullard asks why Sullivan never mentions the positive impact that desegregation has had on African American students, who now have access to an equal education. Sullivan says that she has been preoccupied with the budget this year; that she visited last year with African American students who had been assigned to three different schools in three years, and had not benefitted from the experience. Sullivan says that the school situation has begun to stabilize this year; that one can begin to talk about better education for African American students this year; that police presence in schools and community hostility to busing prevented a healthy school situation for African American students in 1974 and 1975; that she understands why African American parents might disagree with her because they wanted access to better schools for their children. Sullivan says that she hopes schools can be improved for all students; that she is worried because only 51,000 children attended Boston Public Schools last year, out of a school-age population of 117,000. Sullivan says that she taught African American students in Dorchester; that she thinks desegregation has been disruptive for those students; that the desegregation of Boston schools could have been beneficial for African American students and white students in 1974 and 1975 if it had been implemented differently. 1:10:34: V: An administrative assistant enters Sullivan's office to go over some papers with her. The assistant points out that Judge Garrity has ordered the School Committee to appoint a new Transitional Director of Program Development at South Boston High School. Sullivan and the assistant discuss Garrity's instructions. Sullivan and her assistant tell Bullard that Judge Garrity has approved 160 transfers out of 1,782 requests. Sullivan alludes to Garrity's heavy involvement in managing the Boston schools. 1:12:57: V: Bullard explains to Sullivan how she will edit the final piece. Shots of Sullivan's office. Bullard explains that she has also interviewed Melnea Cass (African American community leader) and wants the final piece to reflect the positions of the two women. Bullard says that both women are leaders, but that their positions on school desegregation reflect their ethnic heritage; that their positions are as far apart as the communities they represent. Sullivan points out that she has done a lot of work with African American students. Bullard says that Sullivan and Cass have a good working relationship because neither harbors strong racial prejudices; that both have friends of other races and backgrounds.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 09/28/1976
Description: School committee meeting. Chairman John McDonough, Elvira Pixie Palladino, Paul Tierney, David Finnegan, Kathleen Sullivan. McDonough accuses Superintendent Marion Fahey of political expediency. She responds. Committee member Elvira Pixie Palladino comments on the situation and states her position on anti-bussing.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 02/02/1976
Description: Boston School Committee meeting proceedings. Chair John McDonough, David Finnegan, and Kathleen Sullivan criticize Superintendent Marion Fahey for negative remarks she made about the school committee in a newspaper interview. Paul Tierney supports Fahey, and Pixie Palladino comes down in the middle of the issue. Fahey defends her right to speak out on the Hyde Park High incident.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 02/02/1976
Description: Evening Compass special features updates and information on the court-ordered busing for integration of Boston schools. Opens with footage of Racial Harmony Now Committee in WGBH studio. Ed Baumeister introduces news topics and gives a brief history of civil rights in Boston and segregation facts. Racial Harmony Now Committee holds an in-studio meeting to discuss community involvement in busing, school integration and education. Roy Covell (Boston Police Department) reports on police efforts to ensure the safety of students. John Kerrigan discusses his opposition to busing in Boston. John Kerrigan (Chairman, Boston School Committee) and Kathleen Sullivan (Boston School Committee) discuss the court order by Judge Garrity and the implementation of the state plan to integrate Boston schools in September. Greg Pilkington reports on the on-going hearings to determine a long-term remedy for integrating Boston schools. Eric Van Loon (lawyer for the plaintiffs, Morgan v. Hennigan) comments on the court ruling and the on-going hearings. Judy Stoia reports on MBTA proposals to cover busing needs. Members of the Citywide Education Coalition are in the studio to answer calls from parents and give information on neighborhood groups working with schools on the transition to the state racial balance plan.
0:45:53: Visual: Introduction to Compass Weekly: September in July, a special broadcast on the court-ordered plan to achieve racial balance in Boston schools. Parents and concerned citizens are in the studio to talk about how parents can get involved in the schools. Ed Baumeister explains that the show will give an update on the court order, report on reaction to the order and provide information on neighborhood groups working with schools on the transition to the court-ordered plan. Volunteers from the Citywide Education Coalition are in the studio to answer phone calls from parents, and to give them information on groups in their neighborhoods. 0:48:33: Baumeister gives a brief history of civil rights in Boston. Baumeister says that Boston was a center in the movements for racial justice and public education in the nineteenth century; that Boston had a reputation as a "liberal" city with a good civil rights record in the twentieth century. V: Shots of Post Office Square; of the old Public Latin School; of a local park; of mixed race schoolchildren. Baumeister says that African Americans have played a significant role in the history of Boston and the nation; that Boston was found to have been segregating its schools in the 1960s. Baumeister reports that African Americans live in the city of Boston while the suburbs of Boston are primarily white. Baumeister notes that a federal court declared in 1974 that the city's schools were deliberately segregated. Baumeister notes that the Boston School Committee has been fighting the state's Racial Imbalance Act since 1965; that the decision by Judge Garrity was delivered 15 months after the start of the Morgan v. Hennigan trial. V: Shots of gravestones in historic cemetery; of a plaque commemorating Boston Massacre; of the Robert Gould Shaw memorial). Panoramic shots of the Boston skyline. 0:53:41: V: Judy Stoia sits in the studio with the Education Committee from Racial Harmony Now, a Dorchester group working to ease the transition into the racial balance plan. She is quiet while they hold a meeting: one member mentions the efforts of Chuck Williams (teacher at South Boston High School) to further communication between students at South Boston High School and Girls' High School; another member talks about expanding efforts to go door-to-door in Dorchester to talk about the advantages of school integration; another member talks about the need to focus on education instead of race; the group's Youth Committee has made efforts to bring African American and white students together; the second member suggests that the group sponsor a gathering of parents at the YMCA; another member makes additional suggestions to ease the transition for students who will be bused to new schools. 0:59:54: V: Stoia talks to Roy Covell (Boston Police Department) about the police department's efforts to work with community groups and to create a community task force. He says that the police department's top priority is the safe transport of students to and from the schools. A member of the Racial Harmony Now group asks Covell about traffic patterns around the schools and crosswalks for schoolchildren. 1:04:09: V: Ed Baumeister interviews Kathleen Sullivan (Boston School Committee) and John Kerrigan (Chairman, Boston School Committee). Baumeister asks Kerrigan about the Committee's efforts to appeal the federal court decision. Kerrigan talks about his visit to Senators Kennedy and Brooke in Washington D.C.; he says that the decision places an "unfair burden" on the city of Boston. Sullivan advocates a metropolitan plan to integrate schools in the city and the suburbs. Bullard asks about an alternative busing plan presented by the School Committee to the court. Sullivan and Kerrigan defend the School Committee's record on school integration. Bullard asks them about the Lee School District and feeder patterns to Boston High Schools. Kerrigan talks about the problems of "white flight" and crime at English High School. Baumeister asks if School Committee will assume a leadership role in the coming school year; Kerrigan responds that the School Committee will assume leadership on safety issues but that he will not encourage parents to allow their children to be bused under the state plan. 1:22:30: V: Members of Racial Harmony Now discuss negative media coverage of the school integration issue. One member suggests organizing gatherings of white and black families whose children will be attending school together. Another member suggests that the gatherings focus on how to improve the schools. Several members mention interracial gatherings between Roxbury and South Boston parents at Freedom House. 1:27:34: V: Baumeister encourages parents to call the studio to find out about neighborhood groups working with schools on the transition to the racial balance plan. Shots of phone operators and the members of Racial Harmony Now in the studio. 1:28:50: V: Greg Pilkington reports on latest hearings held by Judge Garrity in Federal Court to determine a long-term integration remedy for the Boston schools: Garrity admitted the Boston Teachers' Union and the Administrators' Union as parties to the suit with limited participation; the Home and School Association was refused as a party to the suit, but might appear later as a friend of the court; Judge Garrity refused the Boston School Committee's attempts to have the City of Boston named as co-defendant in the case. 1:31:38: V: Baumeister encourages parents to call the studio. Baumeister talks to Eric Van Loon (attorney for plaintiffs, Morgan v. Hennigan). Van Loon says that a metropolitan busing plan is impossible until the Supreme Court decides the Detroit school desegregation case (Milliken v. Bradley). Baumeister asks if the plaintiffs would support a metropolitan integration plan in Boston. Pilkington asks Van Loon about the court hearings for a long-term integration remedy: Van Loon advocates the recruiting of African American teachers and administrators; Van Loon says the plaintiffs would support modification of the state plan, or a new plan, if the result were a greater number of integrated schools in Boston. 1:40:26: V: Stoia reports on new bus routes for Boston schoolchildren under the state Racial Balance plan: school opening times will be staggered so that the MBTA can use buses on more than one route; MBTA general manager Joseph Kelly says that there is little time to arrange for busing by private contractors; the state pays transportation costs for students bused over 1.5 miles; the city pays for students bused under 1.5 miles; exact bus routes are not yet available. 1:42:09: V: Baumeister sits in the studio with Racial Harmony Now. He encourages parents to contact the Citywide Education Coalition. Baumeister signs off and the credits roll.
Collection: Evening Compass, The
Date Created: 07/09/1974