open Vault

WGBH Media Library and Archives

School Committee is divided in support for Laval Wilson

  • Cite

Summary
Meg Vaillancourt reports that the Boston School Committee is deeply divided over whether to renew the contract of Laval Wilson (Superintendent, Boston Public Schools). Vaillancourt's report includes footage from a School Committee meeting at which members discuss Wilson's contract renewal. John O'Bryant (Boston School Committee) says that he refuses to watch Wilson be lynched by members of the Committee who do not respect his professionalism. Vaillancourt talks about Wilson's record as superintendent. She notes that some members are opposed to renewing his contract. Vaillancourt speculates on how each member of the Committee will vote and quotes John Nucci (Boston School Committee) as saying that Wilson's prospects look "gloomy." Vaillancourt reports accusations that Ray Flynn (Mayor of Boston) has been lobbying against Wilson. Vaillancourt's report includes footage of the School Committee meeting and footage of School Committee members conferring with one another about Wilson's contract.

This edition of the Ten O'Clock News also included the following item:
Marcus Jones reports on the debate over the terms "black" and "African American"
Topics
School boards, School superintendents, Civil rights, Segregation, Racism in language, Boston (Mass.). School Committee
Tags (0)
Add Tag Add Annotation

Log

1:00:18: Visual: Footage of Dr. Laval Wilson (Superintendent, Boston Public Schools) addressing members of the Boston School Committee at a meeting of the School Committee. Meg Vaillancourt reports that Wilson is fighting for his job. Vaillancourt reports that Wilson told the School Committee at last night's meeting that the debate over his contract should be postponed. Vaillancourt notes that Wilson said that he did not have proper legal counsel with him at last night's meeting. Vaillancourt adds that there are deep divisions among School Committee members over the renewal of Wilson's contract. V: Footage from Say Brother of School Committee members John O'Bryant, Juanita Wade and Rita Walsh Tomasini at a School Committee meeting. Footage of Abigail Browne (Boston School Committee) saying that the School Committee must decide whether it will negotiate a new contract with Wilson. Browne says that Wilson does not need legal counsel if the School Committee decides not to negotiate a contract. Footage of Peggy Davis-Mullen (Boston School Committee) saying that she would like the School Committee to decide if it should renew Wilson's contract. Footage of John Nucci (Boston School Committee) saying that Wilson has made a respectful request not to negotiate this evening. Nucci says that he would not blame Wilson if he got up and left the meeting. Vaillancourt reports that Wilson and his supporters were prepared to walk out of the meeting; that they did not walk out of the meeting. V: Footage of O'Bryant speaking to a few School Committee members during a break in the meeting. O'Bryant says that he refuses to watch Wilson "be lynched" by Committee members who have no respect for his professionalism. Vaillancourt reports that the meeting was postponed until next week. V: Shots of audience members at the School Committee meeting; of Wilson standing alone at the meeting as he sips a beverage. Vaillancourt reports that some School Committee members are angry about Wilson's handling of a new student assignment plan; that some members fault Wilson for stalled contract talks with the teachers' union. Vaillancourt notes that Wilson is credited with an increase in student test scores; that Wilson is blamed for the School Department's $3 milllion deficit. V: Shots of a group of School Committee members conferring, including Davis-Mullen, Daniel Burke, Robert Cappucci, and Walsh-Tomasini; of Wilson conferring with another group of School Committee members, including Nucci, O'Bryant, and John Grady. Vaillancourt reports that Wilson asked for a raise and a housing allowance; that the School Committee voted in the fall to begin negotiations with Wilson. Vaillancourt notes that some members do not want to renew his contract. V: Shots of Davis-Mullen, Wilson and Thomas O'Reilly (President, Boston School Committee) at a School Committee Meeting. Footage of Robert Cappucci saying that he will give no support to Wilson. Vaillancourt reports that Wilson needs seven votes in order to extend his contract. Vaillancourt notes that Committee members Walsh Tomasini, Cappucci, Davis-Mullen, Burke, Kitty Bowman, and Browne are opposed to renewing Wilson's contract; that Committee members O'Bryant, Jean McGuire, Wade, Gerald Anderson and Grady support Wilson; that Committee members Nucci and O'Reilly are undecided. V: On-screen text details the breakdown of the potential votes of School Committee members. Vaillancourt reports that O'Reilly has said that he is open to negotiating with Wilson; that O'Reilly has not said how he will vote. Vaillancourt reports that Nucci wants to discuss Wilson's plans to deal with the School Department deficit before casting his vote. Vaillancourt notes that Nucci has characterized Wilson's chances as "gloomy." V: Shots of O'Reilly; of Nucci. Vaillancourt reports that O'Bryant has accused Ray Flynn (Mayor of Boston) of lobbying against Wilson. Vaillancourt reports that a spokesman for Flynn said that "there is no basis for that charge. The mayor has worked cooperatively with the Superintendent and the School Committee." V: Shots of O'Bryant; of Flynn. A quote from a Flynn spokesman appears written on the screen. Vaillancourt reports that Flynn would like to have more influence over the school system; that Flynn has suggested doing away with the Boston School Committee. Vaillancourt wonders if Flynn would also like to choose a superintendent more to his liking.