Description: Meg Vaillancourt interviews Robert Peterkin (Superintendent, Cambridge Public Schools) about school desegregation in Boston. Peterkin reviews desegregation in Boston, both the positive and negative outcomes. He talks about the challenges that lie ahead for desegregation. Peterkin discusses his belief in the potential for educational innovation and quality in a minority school system, stating that quality education will desegregate schools more effectively than a court order. He discusses the difficulties in moving from a "numerical desegregation" plan to a "freedom of choice" plan and notes that the Cambridge Public School System desegregated its schools through a "freedom of choice" plan. Peterkin says that busing was necessary to desegregate the Boston school system; notes that the city had been given opportunities to explore other desegregation models; that the resistance to busing was very strong. Peterkin discusses the magnet school concept and the need to institute valuable educational programs at every school. Peterkin talks about the problems with the court-ordered desegregation plan in Boston, but says that the positive result of equal access to the schools far outweighs the negative results. Peterkin discusses the prospect of more students returning to Boston schools in the future. Peterkin says that Arthur Garrity (federal judge) should end his supervision of Boston's schools; that the Boston School Department is able to assume the responsibility of continued desegregation of the schools, but that safeguards are required to prevent a return to discriminatory practices. Peterkin discusses his perceptions of what Martin Luther King would have thought about school desegregation in Boston.
1:00:02: Visual: Meg Vaillancourt interviews Robert Peterkin (Superintendent, Cambridge Public Schools) about school desegregation in Boston. Vaillancourt asks Peterkin to review desegregation in Boston. Peterkin says that school desegregation has given minority students access to better school programs; that school desegregation opened up the Boston Public School System. Peterkin talks about partnerships between the school system and businesses and universities in the community. Peterkin mentions the cooperation between the school system and human services agencies. Peterkin says that school desegregation exposed the educational shortcomings of the system. Peterkin says that school desegregation is still a difficult issue in Boston; that white and middle-class students have abandoned the school system; that the population of the Boston schools is overwhelmingly minority. Peterkin says that the desegregation effort needs to focus on educational programs; that Robert Spillane (Superintendent, Boston Public Schools) is focusing more on educational reform; that parents support the renewed focus on educational programs. Vaillancourt asks Peterkin if improvements in education are possible with a minority student population and an overwhelmingly white city government. Peterkin says that he resents the implication that educational innovation and quality are not possible in a minority school system. Peterkin notes that the school system must spend their resources wisely; that the quality of education will determine whether or not students will attend; that quality education will desegregate schools more effectively than a court order. 1:05:00: V: Vaillancourt asks Peterkin's opinion on the "freedom of choice" proposal. Peterkin says that the "freedom of choice" plan will not work until the quality of education improves in all schools across the city; that there is varying quality among the schools in Boston; that each neighborhood school needs to offer strong educational programs. Peterkin says that it will be difficult to switch from a "numerical desegregation" plan to a "freedom of choice" plan; that the "freedom of choice" plan will require an enormous leap of faith for the minority community and the court. Peterkin mentions that the Cambridge Public School System desegregated its schools through a "freedom of choice" plan. Vaillancourt asks Peterkin if busing was necessary for desegregation in Boston. Peterkin says that busing was necessary at the time; that the city had been given opportunities to explore other desegregation models; that the resistance to busing was very strong. Peterkin says that Arthur Garrity (federal judge) made efforts to improve the schools through magnet programs and partnerships with businesses; that parents are more willing to bus their children to a school with strong educational programs. Vaillancourt asks Peterkin if all schools should be follow the magnet school model. Peterkin says that there must be an effort to institute valuable educational programs in every school; that parents will send there children to schools with sound educational programs; that it is not necessary to make every school a magnet school. Vaillancourt asks about the problems with the court-ordered desegregation plan in Boston. Peterkin says that the schools were ignored recently by city officials and the community in the late 1970s and early 1980s; that many residents and city officials did not pay attention to the schools because of a fiscal crisis and low attendance; that a declining school system can adversely affect the whole city. Peterkin says that a reduced student population was a negative result of school desegregation; that the positive result of equal access to the schools far outweighs the negative result. 1:11:24: V: Vaillancourt asks Peterkin if students will return to the schools. Peterkin says that there has been a renewed commitment to the schools in the past few years; that improvements in the educational programs will prompt younger parents to consider sending their children to the Boston Public Schools. Peterkin notes that the decline in attendance has leveled off. Vaillancourt asks Peterkin if Garrity should end his supervision of the schools. Peterkin says that Garrity should end his supervision; that the Boston School Department is able to assume the responsibility of continued desegregation of the schools. Peterkin says that there need to be some safeguards in the system to prevent a return to discriminatory practices. Peterkin says that flexible guidelines must be established to guarantee the percentages of children in neighborhood schools; that educational standards must be guaranteed. Vaillancourt asks Peterkin what Martin Luther King would have thought about school desegregation in Boston. Peterkin says that King would have been disheartened by the violence and turmoil resulting from school desegregation; that King would have been encouraged by the positive changes in the system and in the city. The crew takes cutaway shots of Vaillancourt and Peterkin. Peterkin and Vaillancourt speak informally about the state of schools in Boston.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 03/17/1983
Description: A Ten O'Clock News special features an interview with Jesse Jackson (Democratic candidate for US President). Christopher Lydon (WGBH), Dennis Farney (Wall Street Journal), and Ken Bode (NBC News) interview Jackson. Lydon notes that the goal of the interview is to discover how Jackson's character would shape his presidency. Jackson jokes about the psychoanalytic nature of the interview. Jackson talks about growing up in a segregated society and participating in the civil rights movement. He answers questions about his childhood. He talks about his campaign and the support he has received so far. Jackson talks about the challenges faced by young African Americans, and says that young African Americans must work twice as hard as whites in order to succeed. Jackson says that some conservative African Americans may not support his candidacy; he adds that people of all races are finding common ground in his candidacy. Jackson reviews the accomplishments of his political organization and talks about his experiences in shaping political policy during the 1960s and the 1970s. He names the politicians whom he admires. He talks about his relationship to the Democratic Party leadership and about his efforts to open up the Democratic Party to minority voters. Jackson says that he would like to establish better relations between the African American community and the Jewish community. He names the people to whom he turns for advice. Jackson says that he regrets the splintering of the civil rights movement in the 1970s. He talks about the Rainbow Coalition as a means to reunite those groups. Tape 1 of 2.
1:00:37: Visual: WGBH logo. Christopher Lydon introduces an "extended conversation" with Jesse Jackson (candidate for US President). Lydon notes that the half hour show was planned in cooperation with the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Lydon adds that the goal of the interview is to discover how Jackson's character would shape his presidency. Lydon introduces in-studio guests Dennis Farney (Wall Street Journal) and Ken Bode (NBC News). Lydon reviews biographical facts about Jackson including date of birth, education, and his career in the civil rights movement. Lydon asks Jackson which actor he would choose to portray Jesse Jackson in a movie about his life, and what Jackson would tell the actor about his character. Jackson jokes about the psychoanalytic nature of this interview. Jackson talks about growing up in a segregated society. Jackson says that he is sensitive to the needs of the poor and the disenfranchised; that he participated in the civil rights movement and has seen great changes. Jackson says that he has not grown bitter about US society because he has seen such great changes. 1:04:28: V: Farney asks Jackson about his childhood and whether he felt rejected by his father. Jackson talks about feeling a sense of rejection as a child; that he was called a "bastard." Jackson says that his athletic and academic success were his way of fighting back against those who rejected him or laughed at him. Jackson says that he has grown accustomed to adversity and to the "double standard" which exists in society. Bode asks Jackson if the US is ready for an African American president. Bode mentions that Bill Lucy (African American union leader) has said that the US is not ready. Jackson notes that he has been received warmly in New Hampshire. Jackson says that no one will know if the US is ready for an African American president until the nation is given the chance to elect one. Jackson says that an African American candidate may get support from women, Hispanics and American Indians; that many groups in society can identify with his candidacy. Jackson mentions the Rainbow Coalition. Jackson notes that he is running second or third out of eight candidates in New Hampshire. Lydon asks Jackson about his success in life and about his belief in self-reliance. Jackson says that the "triangle" of family, church, and school allowed him to grow up with a sense of confidence; that he was insulated from some of the ill effects of segregation. Jackson mentions the closeness of his family to a particular white family, despite living in a segregated society. 1:11:19: V: Lydon asks Jackson how to foster good support networks for young African Americans growing up today. Jackson says that young African Americans need to work harder than whites to succeed; that their hard work will pay off in the end; that those who work hard to succeed develop an inner strength and character. Bode notes that the Alabama Democratic Conference endorsed Walter Mondale's candidacy for US President. Bode adds that Jackson's political organization said that their endorsement of Mondale was the equivalent of "putting another bullet into the body of Martin Luther King." Jackson denies characterizing the endorsement in that manner. Jackson talks about the reluctance of the African American community to upset the status quo. Jackson says that some of the resistance to the civil rights movement came from conservative African Americans. Bode asks Jackson what percentage of the vote he expects to receive in the Alabama primary. Jackson says that he will not speculate on percentages. Jackson talks about the endorsements and support he has received. Jackson says that he has received support from white voters in the south; that whites, African Americans, and other minorities are finding common ground in his candidacy. 1:15:38: V: Farney asks why Jackson sometimes refers to himself as a "prophet" instead of a "politician." Jackson explains that his role is prophetic in that he tries to change the structure of society. Farney notes that Jackson has been criticized for a lack of administrative experience. Jackson reviews the accomplishments of his political organization. Jackson notes the limited budget under which his campaign operates. Farney asks about Jackson's political legacy. Jackson says that his candidacy has forced the Democratic Party to open up; that his candidacy has forced both political parties to understand the importance of minority voters. Lydon asks about Jackson's spiritual life. Jackson says that he tries to seek common ground between people of different religions; that certain values are held in common by all religions. Jackson says that he is committed to the poor, the elderly and the young. Lydon asks Jackson why Ralph Abernathy (African American leader) said that Jackson could be his president but not his pastor. Jackson says that he does not know why Abernathy said that. Bode comments that Jackson has not held political office, but that he has had a lot of contact with politicians. Jackson notes that he was the first African American delegate to the Democratic Party in 1962. Jackson reviews his leadership experience and his role in shaping public policy in the 1960s and 1970s. 1:20:55: V: Bode asks Jackson which politicians he admires, aside from Martin Luther King. Jackson talks about Hubert Humphrey (US Senator), Ron Dellums (US Representative), and Adam Powell (US Representative). Bode notes that Jackson has criticized Tip O'Neill (Speaker, US House of Representatives) and Lane Kirkland (President, AFL-CIO). Bode asks how Jackson will deal with the Democratic leadership. Jackson says that he will conduct business with these leaders on the basis of "mutual respect." Jackson says that the Democratic Party needs a more articulate spokesman than O'Neill; that he respects O'Neill. Jackson notes that the labor movement needs to commit itself to providing equal access to jobs for African Americans, Hispanics, and women. Lydon asks Jackson about how his candidacy is viewed by American Jews. Jackson says that he would like to establish better relations between African American and Jewish leaders. Jackson says that he regrets the conflicts between African Americans and Jews in the past; that he supports the right of Israel to exist; that he also supports the rights of Palestinians. Jackson talks about his view of the Middle Eastern conflict. Farney notes that Jimmy Carter (former US President) was elected as an "outsider." Farney asks if Jackson would be more successful than Carter in operating in politics as an "outsider." Jackson says that Carter remained on the "outside" as president; that Carter did not use the power of the presidency to its full extent. Jackson says that he disagrees with the critics who call the Carter administration a "failure." Jackson criticizes the foreign policy of Ronald Reagan (US President). 1:26:29: V: Bode asks Jackson about his advisors. Jackson says that he consults with his wife and his children. Jackson names a list of people with whom he consults including Dellums, Marion Barry (mayor of Washington D.C.), Walter Fauntroy (US Congressman), Edward Bennett Williams (attorney), Dr. Al Pitcher (University of Chicago), and Dr. Jack Mendelsohn (minister). Lydon asks Jackson to disclose any major failures or flaws in his character. Jackson says that he does not dwell on his failures, but that he has learned a lot from them. Jackson says that he regrets how the civil rights movement broke up in the 1970s; that he is trying to bring back together the groups involved in the civil rights movement through his coalition. Jackson says that he is concerned with the conflict between African Americans and American Jews. Jackson talks about the importance of communication in resolving conflict. Lydon thanks Jackson, Farney and Bode. End credits roll.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 02/03/1984
Description: Stevie Wonder appears at a Harvard Law School forum at Sanders Theater. Man introduces Wonder. Wonder sings "Let's Join Together As One And Have Some Fun." Wonder talks about the elements required to achieve success and the need for artists, the media, and lawyers to work together to benefit all people. Wonder encourages the law students to do pro bono work for those in need. He says, "Without people, there are no laws, and no laws, no lawyers." Tape 1 of 2.
1:00:00: Visual: Audience members file into Sanders Theatre at Harvard University before a Harvard Law School Forum featuring Stevie Wonder. 1:00:39: V: The audience applauds as Stevie Wonder (pop singer) walks on to the stage. Wonder is guided onto the stage by an African American man and an African American woman. They help Wonder get seated behind a podium, facing the audience. Shot of the audience members applauding. A white male Harvard representative thanks the audience and welcomes Wonder. 1:02:34: V: The African American man who guided Wonder onto the stage stands at the podium to introduce Wonder. He welcomes Wonder on behalf of the university. The man reviews Wonder's career and talks about Wonder's accomplishments. The man talks about Wonder's efforts for political and social change. The man mentions Wonder's efforts to create a holiday in honor of Martin Luther King's birthday. The audience applauds. 1:05:20: V: The man finishes speaking and guides Wonder to his keyboard. The keyboard is set up near the podium, facing the audience. The audience cheers. Wonder makes adjustments to his keyboard. Wonder programs his keyboard to play a drumbeat. Wonder begins to accompany the drumbeat on his keyboard. A crew member adjusts the microphone for Wonder. Wonder begins to sing "Let Us Join Together As One And Have Some Fun." The audience claps in time to the music. Wonder finishes the song and the audience cheers. 1:12:35: V: Wonder talks about the need to bring attention to oneself in order to succeed. Wonder says that students are trying to win the attention of their professors; that job applicants are trying to win the attention of job recruiters; that musicians compete for the attention of their audiences. Wonder says that many individuals are competing for attention in a democratic society; that competition is good. Wonder talks about the need to follow through on initial success. Wonder says that one needs to continue to excel after winning the attention of others. Wonder says that he will not "name names"; that everyone can think of public figures who have not lived up to their initial successes. Wonder says that artists and the media are in the "same family"; that lawyers are part of that family as well; that communication is essential to all three professions. Wonder says that successful individuals in these professions must work for the benefit of all people. Wonder talks about the importance of giving freely to help others. Wonder talks about giving tickets to his concerts to needy children and families. Wonder says that he wants to give those children the opportunity to dream. Wonder tells the Harvard Law School students that they must share their knowledge with the less fortunate; that lawyers must give their services to those in need. Wonder says, "Without people, there'd be no laws, and without laws, there'd be no lawyers." Wonder has a good rapport with the audience.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 04/19/1984