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Scope and Content Note

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Collection Overview
Creator: Citywide Educational Coalition.
Title:Citywide Educational Coalition records
Dates:1972-2001
Call Number:M130
Location: 59/4, 58/1-2, FF6/D9
Volume:26 cubic ft.
Scope and Content Abstract:This collection documents the Citywide Educational Coalition, a grassroots educational reform organization, located in Boston, Massachusetts. The records illuminate its formation by Mary Ellen Smith, Hubert Jones, Francis Parkman, and Clyde Miller to choose a superintendent of the Boston Public Schools; its role in the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools; and its efforts to disseminate the policies and practices of the Boston School Committee and the Boston Public Schools in language that parents could understand. Also documented is the response of the anti-busing organization, Restore Our Alienated Rights (ROAR), to Judge W. Arthur Garrity's orders and the Coalition's collaboration with three court appointed councils. Meetings of the Boston School Committee and its standing committees, as well as programs offered in the Boston Public Schools and interviews conducted by the Coalition with parents, teachers, principals, and headmasters are documented. School reform; parent participation in education; school assignment and student choice; vocational, special, and early childhood education; community and parent organizing; and parent training projects are also documented. Records include meeting minutes and summaries, correspondence, questionnaires and surveys, statistics, newsletters, fact sheets, reports, proposals, grants and contracts, VHS and audio cassettes, and photographs.
Historical Abstract:In 1972, Mary Ellen Smith, Hubert Jones, Francis Parkman, Clyde Miller and other citizens, parents, and community activists met to find a way to participate in the process of choosing a superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. The Coalition sought input from large numbers of neighborhood residents and organizations to help develop "Community Agenda for the Boston Public Schools," an outline of questions and issues to use during the interview process. Although unsuccessful in choosing a candidate that met all of their requirements, the Coalition was successful in building a consensus on many areas of school reform and in establishing a broad-base of community supporters. The Coalition incorporated in 1973 with the mission to provide Boston's citizens with clear and accurate information and organizing skills to participate in the making of educational policy. From 1974-1978, Coalition staff actively participated in desegregating Boston's public schools by disseminating accurate information to parents through both the Rumor Control Center and its newsletter, reports, and parent guides; cooperating with local and federal authorities on safety procedures in the schools and bus routes; and working with students, parents, teachers and school administrators to find ways in which to improve educational opportunities. From the 1980s until the Coalition disbanded in 2000, it advocated for school reform by providing parents with the skills necessary to participate in forming education policy, and by publishing newsletters, fact sheets, and reports on issues, such as the Boston Public School's budget, teacher contracts, principal and headmaster promotional ratings, and programs offered in the schools.
Arrangement:Organized into four series: 1. Governance; 2. Executive Staff; 3. Projects Staff; and 4. Research and Publications.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Mary Ellen Smith
  • Judge Arthur W. Garrity, Jr.
  • Ellen Guiney
  • Paula Georges
  • Loretta Roach

  • Boston Public Schools
  • Boston School Department
  • Restore Our Alienable Rights
  • Citywide Parents Council
  • Citywide Parents' Advisory Council
  • Citywide Coordinators Council
  • Racial / Ethnic Parents Council
  • Massachusetts Advocacy Center
  • Critical Friends

  • Busing for school integration -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- History
  • United States. District Court (Massachusetts)
  • Boston (Mass.) -- Race relations
  • School integration -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- History
  • School choice -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- History
  • School management and change -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- History
  • Educational equalization -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- History -- 20th century
  • Education -- Parent participation -- United States
  • Magnet schools -- Massachusetts
  • African Americans -- Education -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Educational change -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Education, Urban -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Boston (Mass.). School Committee
  • School improvement programs -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Public schools -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Discrimination in public schools -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Vocational education -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Special education -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- History -- 20th century
  • Special education -- Parent participation
  • Students -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Civil rights -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Boston (Mass.). -- Race relations
  • Community organizing -- United States
  • Parent-teacher relationships -- United States

Restrictions:Records containing notes from Boston Public Schools Superintendents' interviews are restricted until 2066. Please contact the University Archivist for more information.
Related Materials:

City of Boston. Boston Public Schools Desegregation-era Records Collection: 1952-1976-1985, City of Boston Archives.Citywide Coordinating Council Records, 1975-1978, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.Judge W. Arthur Garrity, Jr., Papers on the Boston Schools. Desegregation Case, 1972-1997, University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Kimberly Reynolds with the assistance of Gena Pliakas and Tamara Gaydos. This collection was processed with funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission., May 31, 2007