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Ten O'Clock News; Robert Peterkin


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.

License Clip

View online at the Boston TV News Digital Library

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Ten O'Clock News

Robert Peterkin

Series Description

NIGHTLY NEWS WITH CHRISTOPHER LYDON AND CARMEN FIELDS Began January 1976. Replaced evening news show EVENING COMPASS. Original host: Steve Nevas. Other anchors, Christopher Lydon (1977-91) and Gail Harris (1983). In 1980 - hour long. Ended in 1991.

(PREDECESSORS: Louis Lyons began news operations at WGBH in 1952. The News at 10 began in 1966. The Reporters premiered in 1970. The Evening Compass started in 1974.) Series release date: 1/1976



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Busing for school integration
School superintendents
School choice
Magnet schools
School management and organization
News Report
Vaillancourt, Meg (Reporter)
Chicago: “Ten O'Clock News; Robert Peterkin,” 03/17/1983, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed November 22, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9B8166C984C54474BA0C06BE5682283E.
MLA: “Ten O'Clock News; Robert Peterkin.” 03/17/1983. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. November 22, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9B8166C984C54474BA0C06BE5682283E>.
APA: Ten O'Clock News; Robert Peterkin. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9B8166C984C54474BA0C06BE5682283E
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