Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



This Article provides a summary view of the desegregation of the Boston public schools. Some aspects of teaching and learning in the Boston schools clearly have improved as a direct consequence of Boston's desegregation, while others seem little affected. Teaching and learning are mentioned at the outset because later discussion will establish that black Bostonians seek desegregation as part of their larger and more general quest for improved schooling for their children.' The success or failure of desegregation therefore may fairly be judged partly on the basis of its effect upon the quality of schooling made available to black children. What follows is a discussion of a mixed set of educational outcomes, judged from the point of view of black plaintiffs. This much is certain: the current educational developments in Boston can best be understood when viewed as a continuation of an enduring black struggle for educational equity, a struggle that began in Boston in the eighteenth century.