Boston Public Schools
|Boston Public Schools|
|2300 Washington Street,
Roxbury, Boston, MA 02119
|Superintendent||Dr. Tommy Chang|
$17,598 per pupil
|Students and staff|
|Student-teacher ratio||12.8 to 1 (2014-2015)|
1347 total (2014-2015)
|Website||Boston Public Schools|
The district is led by a Superintendent, hired by the Boston School Committee, a seven-member school board appointed by the Mayor after approval by a nominating committee of specified stakeholders. The School Committee sets policy for the district and approves the district's annual operating budget. This governing body replaced a 13-member elected Committee after a public referendum vote in 1991. The Superintendent serves as a member of the Mayor's cabinet.
From October 1995 through June 2006, Dr. Thomas W. Payzant served as superintendent. A former undersecretary in the US Department of Education, Payzant was the first superintendent selected by the appointed School Committee. Upon Dr. Payzant's retirement, Chief Operating Officer Michael G. Contompasis, former headmaster of Boston Latin School, became Interim Superintendent, and was appointed superintendent in October 2006. Dr. Manuel J. Rivera, superintendent of the Rochester City School District, had agreed to become the next superintendent of the BPS, but instead accepted a post as deputy secretary for public education for New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. In June 2007, the Boston School Committee voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Carol R. Johnson as the next Superintendent, beginning in August 2007. Dr. Johnson had served as Superintendent of the Memphis City Schools since 2003. Dr. Johnson's tenure ended in summer 2013, and John McDonough served as interim superintendent until July 1, 2015. Currently the superintendent is Dr. Tommy Chang.
The Mayor and Boston City Council have control over the overall appropriation for the Boston Public Schools, but the School Committee has control over how funding is allocated internally, and has control over policy.
BPS is the oldest public school system in America, founded in 1647. It is also the home of the nation's first public school, Boston Latin School, founded in 1635. The Mather School opened in 1639 as the nation's first public elementary school, and English High School, the second public high school in the country, opened in 1821.
In the mid-1970s, conflict raged in Boston's schools over forced busing of students. The state had enacted the Racial Imbalance Law in 1965, requiring school districts to design and implement plans to effect racial balancing in schools that were more than 50% "non-white". After years of consistent failure by the Boston School Committee to comply with the law, the U.S District Court ruled in 1974 that the schools were unconstitutionally segregated, and implemented as a remedy the busing of many students from their neighborhood schools to other schools across the city. The busing aroused fierce criticism among some residents — from 1974 there were a great many protests at Boston schools, some of which turned violent, and in 1975 the Boston Police Department stationed uniformed officers in South Boston High School, Charlestown High and other schools. An exodus of the city's white residents to the suburbs or private schools followed. In 2012, 13% of Boston public school students were white and 22% middle class or affluent.
In September 2006 the district won the Broad Prize for Urban Education. The national prize, sponsored by philanthropist Eli Broad, includes $500,000 in college scholarships to graduates from the winning district. In most years since the prize program began in 2002, Boston has been a finalist, earning $125,000 in scholarships each year.
Student assignment policy
Boston Public Schools (BPS) operates schools throughout the city of Boston. BPS assigns students based on preferences of the applicants and priorities of students in various zones.
Since 1989, the city has broken the district into three zones for elementary- and middle-school students. High schoolers can choose any school throughout the city, since they can ride public transportation. Due to the geography of East Boston, for all grade levels each child in East Boston is guaranteed a seat at a school in East Boston.
In 2013, the Boston School Committee voted to begin a new school choice system for the 2014-15 school year and beyond. The new plan, called "Home-Based," measures schools through a combination of MCAS scores and growth, which are grouped in four tiers. Every family has at least two schools within the top tier, four in the top half of performance, and six in the top 75%. Families also are able to list any school within one mile of their home. The plan was first approved by an External Advisory Committee made up of parents, academic experts and community leaders. It was developed by an academic team from Harvard and MIT, which volunteered for the project after hearing about the community process in 2012. The District launched a website, to help the community follow the process and contribute.
- Josiah Quincy Upper School
The following schools serve students in grades 7 - 12 and admit students based on their grades and the Independent School Entrance Examination
Former Boston Public Schools
- David Farragut School, K-5, established in 1904 and closed in 2011
- Hyde Park High School
- Odyssey High School
- South Boston High School
- West Roxbury High School (Facility now used for several smaller schools)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Public schools in Boston.|
- Boston Public Schools
- Broad Prize for Urban Education
- LINC III Technology Plan
- Careers with BPS
- City of Boston
- Boston Teachers Union
- The James W. Fraser (collector) photograph collection, 1905-1976 (bulk 1974-1976) are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.
- The Citywide Educational Coalition records, 1972-2001 are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.
- "Boston Public Schools at a Glance 2009–2010" (PDF). Boston Public Schools. February 25, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010.[dead link]
- School Committee Members Nomination and Appointment Procedure, BPS Website[dead link]
- Founding Legislation: Chapter 108, BPS Website[dead link]
- http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/news/boston-school-committee-appoints-john-mcdonough-interim-superintendent[dead link]
- External Actors and the Boston Public Schools—The Courts, the Business Community, and the Mayor, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
- About Boston Public Schools United Nations Associate of the United States of America (UNA-USA)[dead link]
- Notable Events in Massachusetts
- Boston: Preparing for the Worst TIME Sep. 15, 1975 (Subscription required.)
- Dana Goldstein (10 October 2012), Bostonians Committed to School Diversity Haven't Given Up on Busing The Atlantic
- "Student Assignment Policy." Boston Public Schools. Retrieved on April 15, 2009.[dead link]
- WBUR, http://www.wbur.org/2009/06/03/school-choice