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Race And Opportunity In Boston Public Schools24:59

This article is more than 8 years old.

Last week, we covered the long-awaited, tentative agreement between the Boston Teachers Union and the School Department, which — if approved — will enact sweeping changes to the way teachers are hired, evaluated and promoted.

The reaction to the agreement has been largely positive, with many calling it a win for the city's children. But not everyone feels it represents the kind of change that's needed or the right conversation about our public schools.

Jamaica Plain author Susan Naimark moved to Boston in 1975 just as court-ordered desegregation and the busing were tearing much of the city apart.

Racial tension, class division and inequality defined the struggle that Susan joined more than 20 years ago when she first signed on to a parent committee of her eldest son's school in Dorchester. She became a school activist and eventually served eight years on the Boston School Committee.

Now, the mother of two now-adult sons has written a memoir, “The Education of a White Parent: Wrestling with Race and Opportunity in the Boston Public Schools.”

In the book, Naimark writes that she's "convinced that we will never unravel the obstacles to our public schools working well for all children without addressing the legacy of racism.”


  • Susan Naimark, author, former member of the Boston School Committee
  • Glorya Fernandez, former family and community outreach coordinator, Boston Public Schools

This segment aired on September 17, 2012.

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