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Boston parents frustrated with Wilson and School Committee

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Summary
Marcus Jones reports that teachers and parents are frustrated over new starting times for the Boston Public Schools for the coming school year. Jones notes that the Boston School Committee voted in favor of the new starting times in May as part of an effort to cut costs. Jones reports that parents have not yet received notification of the new starting times. He adds that many parents blame the Dr. Laval Wilson (Superintendent, Boston Public Schools). Jones report includes footage from a Boston School Committee meeting. Parents and teachers address their complaints about the new starting times to the Committee members. Jones interviews Dede Calhoun (Dorchester parent) about her dissatisfaction with the new starting times. Calhoun talks about the difficulty of finding after school care on short notice because school hours have been altered. Jones reports that support for Wilson among School Committee members may be slipping. He notes that discussions on the renewal of Wilson's contract will begin soon. Jones interviews Peggy Davis-Mullen (Boston School Committee). Davis-Mullen says that Wilson is not able to deliver the school-based management policies that are necessary to improve the schools. Jones reports that Wilson will begin his third year on the job under intense scrutiny by School Committee members.

This edition of the Ten O'Clock News also included the following items:
Meg Vaillancourt interviews Elma Lewis (Roxbury community leader) about the Roxbury neighborhood


Charles Laquidara organizes a boycott against Shell Oil Company
Topics
School boards, School management and organization, School superintendents, Boston Home and School Association
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Log

1:00:15: Visual: Footage from a Boston School Committee meeting from August 23, 1988. A white man addresses the committee members. Shots of the members as they listen, including Jean McGuire (Boston School Committee). Marcus Jones reports that every meeting of the Boston School Committee opens with a period of public comment. Jones reports that questioners at tonight's meeting focused on the same problems as in previous sessions. Jones notes that these questions never seem to get solved. V: Footage of a woman addressing the Boston School Committee. The woman says that she has been waiting for four years for an answer to a specific problem. The woman asks what the committee does. Calhoun asks for answers. Jones reports that many questioners focused on the altered starting times for schools next year. Jones reports that teachers and parents told School Committee members that staggered starting times for schools are difficult for them. V: Shots of the School Committee members seated at the front of the School Committee chambers; of a woman addressing the School Committee members. Shot of Peggy Davis-Mullen (Boston School Committee), Dr. Laval Wilson (Superintendent, Boston Public Schools), and John Nucci (President, Boston School Committee). Shot of audience members. Footage of a female teacher addressing the members of the School Committee. The teacher says that her school was set up as a school to facilitate mainstreaming. The teacher says that she has one group of students starting at 7:30am and another group of students starting at 9:30am. The teacher says that she cannot wait until 10:00 to begin mainstreaming. Jones reports that the School Committee members voted in favor of the new starting times in May; that the new starting times are part of an effort to cut costs. Jones reports that parents have not yet received official notification of the new start times; that many parents blame the superintendent. V: Shots of Wilson; of Davis-Mullen. Footage of Dede Calhoun (Dorchester parent) being interviewed outside of the meeting. Calhoun says that her kids are lucky enough to be in an after-school program; that they may not be eligible for an after-school program now. Calhoun says that it will be difficult to find an after-school program because the start of school is two weeks away. Calhoun says that waiting lists for specific time slots are very long. Calhoun says that many students are "latch-key kids"; that the new school times put these kids out on the street for an extra hour in the afternoon. Footage of Wilson speaking at the School Committee Meeting. Wilson says that there are four options. Jones notes that Wilson's contract finishes at the end of the upcoming school year; that the Committee members must discuss Wilson's contract in the coming weeks. Jones reports that Wilson's support may be slipping; that there is growing frustration with his leadership. V: Shots of audience members at the meeting; of Nucci speaking at the meeting; of Wilson. Footage of Davis-Mullen being interviewed outside of the School Committee chambers. Davis-Mullen says that the school system needs more school-based management. Davis-Mullen says that she does not think that Wilson is willing or able to deliver a policy of school-based management. Jones stands outside of the School Committee chambers. Jones reports that Wilson will start his third year on the job under intense scrutiny; that Wilson may be in for another rocky year. Jones notes that Wilson may be running out of chances to prove that he can improve the Boston Public Schools.