Boston Public Schools is a school district serving the city of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The district is led by a Superintendent, hired by the Boston School Committee, the School Committee sets policy for the district and approves the districts annual operating budget. This governing body replaced a 13-member elected committee after a referendum vote in 1991. The superintendent serves as a member of the mayors cabinet, from October 1995 through June 2006, Dr. Thomas W. Payzant served as superintendent. A former undersecretary in the US Department of Education, Payzant was the first superintendent selected by the appointed School Committee. Upon Dr. Payzants retirement, Chief Operating Officer Michael G. Contompasis, former headmaster of Boston Latin School, became Interim Superintendent, and was appointed superintendent in October 2006. In June 2007, the Boston School Committee voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Carol R. Johnson as the next superintendent, Dr. Johnson had served as superintendent of the Memphis City Schools since 2003. Dr. Johnsons tenure ended in summer 2013, and John McDonough served as superintendent until July 1,2015. Currently the superintendent is Dr. Tommy Chang and it is also the home of the nations first public school, Boston Latin School, founded in 1635. The Mather School opened in 1639 as the nations first public school, and English High School. In the mid-1970s, conflict raged in Bostons schools over forced busing of students, the state had enacted the Racial Imbalance Law in 1965, requiring school districts to design and implement plans to effect racial balancing in schools that were more than 50% non-white. After years of consistent failure by the Boston School Committee to comply with the law, an exodus of the citys white residents to the suburbs or private schools followed. In 2012, 13% of Boston public school students were white, in September 2006 the district won the Broad Prize for Urban Education. The national prize, sponsored by philanthropist Eli Broad, includes $500,000 in college scholarships to graduates from the winning district, in most years since the prize program began in 2002, Boston has been a finalist, earning $125,000 in scholarships each year. The district came under fire when it accepted the award and forgot to invite any teachers to the celebration, the forgotten teachers picketed the event with retirees numbering 1000. The orange Broad banner became a sign of disrespect to the teachers who put a bounty on every stolen sign. The money gathered was donated to charity, Mr. Broad was not amused and offered to replace 200 banners, but the city told him to keep his banners. The city never heard back from Mr Broad who took his money and reputation to LA, the banners now reside in Mr. Broads mansion next to his collection of right-wing paraphernalia and wild boars
Image: Boston Public Schools logo
Dr. Carol R. Johnson (back row, far left), former Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, meets students and their teacher Mrs. McClain and principal at the Bates Elementary School in Roslindale.