What about the impact on the city itself?

What about the impact on the city itself?

Week 6 Short Responses – Question 3 Name three specific consequences of the Boston busing crisis.

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Week 6 Short Responses – Question 4

Describe one cause of the event you have chosen for your historical analysis (keeping in mind that there are many), and explain one piece of evidence from your research that you will use to support this assertion. Describe one consequence of the event, and explain one piece of evidence from your research that you will use to support this assertion.

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Click “Download Word Document” below to download your short responses to the questions posed during the week’s assigned learning blocks. After downloading, save this document locally on your computer or in a cloud drive, being sure to rename the document to reflect the assignment you are submitting (Week 6 Short Responses).

After downloading, review your responses. Make sure they completely answer the questions in the prompt. If you have not answered a question, the words “[no response]” in brackets will appear. Your short responses will be graded using the guidelines and rubric document included in your learning environment in Theme Three under 6-4 Week 6 Short Responses.

When all of your responses are completed, saved, and edited, submit your assignment in your learning environment by clicking on the assignment title within Theme Three under 6-4 Week 6 Short Responses, then Add Attachments and uploading your assignment.

Active Reading

Reading comprehensively is important in order to understand and process the information presented in text, especially in scholarly sources. Active reading is one strategy that will help you read critically in this course and others.

Active reading refers to a process of reading in which you approach the text with an intention to understand not simply what it says but also how it says it. In passive reading, we read simply for information, or sometimes we read only to be entertained or distracted for a short time. After engaging in passive reading, the content doesn’t always stick with us. And most of the time, it doesn’t matter.

But if we want to remember and learn something while we read, active reading practices will help us get a better grip on the reading, and what we have read will stick with us later on. Up until now, you have been reading excerpts of texts and finding sources for your historical analysis essay. You should apply active reading strategies as you begin to read your sources closely.

Active Reading Strategies

Click on each of the following tabs to learn more about each active reading strategy.

Pre-Reading Inquiry

Take Notes

Make Connections


Apply What You Have Learned

Critical Analysis

As you engage in active reading, you should also be critically analyzing the texts. This approach will ensure that you are not a passive reader. As you read your sources, you should consider questions like:

· What is the author’s main argument?

· Is the author’s argument supported with evidence?

· Can you find evidence from the text itself to support your argument?

· What connections can you make to this text and others you have read on this topic? What differences do you see?

· Do you agree or disagree with the author?

Keep these strategies in mind in this course and your future classes, and you will become a more active and critical reader.

Week 6 Short Response

Using the active reading strategies you were introduced to in this learning block, critically analyze one of your secondary sources for your historical analysis essay. Those active reading strategies include:

· Ask yourself pre-reading questions, such as: What will be the subject of this reading? What do I hope to learn from this reading?

· Take notes while reading

· Make connections to other texts you have read

Week 6 Short Responses – Question 1

Which source will you analyze using active reading strategies? Include the name of the article, the author, the publication, the date, and where you found it.

Read your chosen source using the active reading strategies you learned on the previous page. Then, summarize the overall meaning and content of the reading. Write your summary below. Your summary should be at least one paragraph long.

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Desegregating Boston’s Schools

In Brown v. Board of Education (1954)*, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racial segregation in the public schools is unconstitutional. What it did not provide was an answer to the practical question: How do we do that?

A year later, in a decision that became known as Brown II, the court provided an answer to that question—sort of. It delegated the task of carrying out school desegregation to federal district courts and said that schools in segregated districts should be integrated “with all deliberate speed.” The ambiguity of that phrase was seized on by many opponents as a license for delay, and for close to a decade, there was little progress in integrating many segregated districts. (Civil Rights Movement Veterans, 2016)

The passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, coupled with later Supreme Court decisions ordering school districts to speed up the pace of desegregation, lent the process more urgency. But resistance to school desegregation—not just in the South but in many cities of the North and West as well—remained a formidable obstacle to the goal of achieving racial balance in public schools.

In Massachusetts, the state legislature in 1965 passed a law requiring the integration of all segregated schools in the state, the vast majority of which were in the capital city of Boston. (Levy, 1971) But the Boston School Committee resisted, and it was not until 1974—when a federal court ordered a citywide school busing* plan to end segregation of the Boston schools—that the process of integration finally began.

That process did not go smoothly. Fierce resistance in several of the city’s predominantly white neighborhoods forced state police and National Guard troops to escort African-American students into the schools, and the ensuing “Boston busing crisis” roiled the schools, and the city, for years. (Lukas, 1985) The Boston public schools were not declared fully desegregated until 1987.

This learning block uses the events of the Boston busing crisis as a prism for looking once again at the concepts of cause and consequence, and as a way to illustrate how you can use historical evidence to make an argument that supports your thesis.

Learning Objectives

In this learning block, you will:

· Describe the causes, course, and consequences of a historical event

· Use historical evidence to support the development of an analytical thesis statement

Boston, Busing, and Backlash
The struggle for voting rights, which we looked at in Theme: Analyzing History, Learning Block 3, was a struggle against de jure segregation* that existed in just one part of the country: the states of the Old South. But the problem of de facto segregation* was one that existed throughout the country, and its effects were perhaps seen most clearly in the nation’s public schools.

A series of Supreme Court cases in the early 1960s made it clear that de facto school segregation was unconstitutional and that segregated schools would be integrated by court order if necessary. Beginning in the early 1970s, the Court began requiring school busing* plans, which would send African-American students to largely white schools and send white students to largely African-American schools, as a means of achieving greater racial balance.

In Boston, the city’s small but growing African-American community began protesting the quality of public schools in largely black neighborhoods in the early 1960s. In 1965, in response to a federal investigation of possible segregation in the Boston public schools, the Massachusetts legislature passed the Racial Imbalance Act. The new law outlawed segregation in Massachusetts schools and threatened to cut off state funding for any school district that did not comply. (Levy, 1971)

A R.O.A.R button opposing Boston’s desegregation. (Click button for citation)

Of the 55 Massachusetts schools identified as racially imbalanced, 45 were in the City of Boston. But the Boston School Committee, an all-white elected body led by Louise Day Hicks, refused to acknowledge the segregation and balked at any plan to remedy the situation. Hicks’s opposition to school desegregation boosted her popularity, particularly in the city’s working-class, heavily Irish-American neighborhoods; in 1967, she narrowly missed being elected mayor, but in 1969, she was elected to the city council, and in 1970, she was elected to Congress to represent her home neighborhood, the Irish-American enclave of South Boston. (Lukas, 1985)

The School Committee continued to stonewall demands to implement a meaningful desegregation plan. But in June 1974, federal Judge W. Arthur Garrity, deciding a lawsuit brought against the School Committee by the NAACP*, ruled that Boston’s schools were unconstitutionally segregated. He ordered that any school whose enrollment was more than 50 percent nonwhite must be balanced according to race.

To achieve that balance, Garrity ordered the schools to adopt a widespread busing plan by the first day of school in September. That announcement triggered a powerful backlash among white parents and students. Hicks formed an anti-busing group called Restore Our Alienated Rights (ROAR) that spearheaded much of the opposition to Garrity’s desegregation order.

While the plan involved the busing of thousands of students from different neighborhoods across the city, the greatest attention was focused on the high schools in South Boston—a heavily working-class and overwhelmingly Irish-American part of town—and Roxbury, an overwhelmingly African-American neighborhood. Garrity’s order effectively paired the two schools, by requiring that they essentially swap hundreds of students.

Decades after the fact, Garrity’s busing order is still hotly debated in Boston. Supporters say that his unyielding approach was the only way to overcome white resistance and achieve racial balance in Boston’s schools. Critics say Garrity focused too much on the goal of achieving mathematical balance, rather than focusing on a plan to improve school quality for both African-American and white children. (Gellerman, 2014)

Robert J. Allison, professor of History at Suffolk University in Boston and author of A Short History of Boston, describes the causes and consequences of the Boston busing crisis in this video:

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When school opened in September, resistance to the busing plan was fierce. A throng of white protesters greeted the buses rolling into South Boston High School that September with jeers and epithets; some of the protesters began throwing bricks and rocks at the buses and at the state police escorting them. The incident marked the beginning of two years of angry and often violent confrontations between white and black parents, students, police, and protesters. (Wolff, 2015)

Anti-busing protesters attack attorney Theodore Landsmark as he exits Boston City Hall, 1976. (Click button for citation)

From 1974 through 1976, the process of public education in Boston was turned into an ongoing tableau of state troopers and National Guardsmen in riot gear, escorting children into schools past jeering crowds; fights both inside and outside of schools, leading to hundreds of arrests; thousands of high-school students, both white and African-American, boycotting classes on a regular basis; and angry confrontations between protesters and public officials, such as Mayor Kevin White and Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who were deemed to be “pro-busing.” (Lukas, 1985)

All of this did not leave a lot of time for actual education. In the 1974-75 school year, school officials estimated that 12,000 of the school system’s 93,000 students were chronically or permanently absent; in the following year, that figure was estimated at 14,000. (Wolff, 2015) The average rate of absenteeism during the 1974-75 school year was approximately 50 percent. (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1975)

The Boston protests, taking place in the heart of what was presumed to be one of the most “liberal” cities in America, attracted widespread media attention. They exposed sharp racial divisions in the city, and they also highlighted divisions based on class: many of the white protesters in working-class neighborhoods such as South Boston and Charlestown felt aggrieved that their neighborhoods had been singled out for busing, while schools in Boston’s more affluent suburbs were unaffected. (Lukas, 1985)

The worst of the violence and protests was over by the end of 1976, but the city and its schools were permanently changed. By the time Boston’s schools were declared desegregated in 1987, the student population had declined by almost 40 percent and the overwhelming majority of students were nonwhite. (Hoover Institution, 1998) While historians still debate whether the Boston busing crisis was a necessary cause* of these sharp demographic shifts in the city’s public school system, the events of 1974-1976 clearly contributed to changing perceptions of the school system among parents and students.

The Consequences of Boston’s Busing Crisis

Forty years after the fact, it’s worth asking the obvious question: what were the effects of Boston’s tumultuous school desegregation effort? To put it another way: What were the consequences of this historical event?

In assessing the consequences of any event, we first need to identify the groups or institutions that might have been affected. We could, for instance, look at the effects of busing on individual students—by tape-recording interviews with former students who were actually on the buses, to see what effect the experience had on their later lives. This type of research is known as oral history*.

We could also look at the impact of busing on the public school system itself. A few relevant statistics:

· In 1971-72, three years before busing began, there were 93,000 students in the Boston public schools; 61% were white; 32% were African-American; and 7% were other racial minorities. (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1975)

· In 1990, three years after the schools were declared desegregated, there were 60,000 students in the Boston public schools; 22% were white; 48% were African-American; and 30% were other racial minorities. (Boston Studies Group, 2010)

· In 1971-72, Boston public schools had one of the highest dropout rates in the country. (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1975) In 1990, the dropout rate had dropped below the national average. (Boston Studies Group, 2010; National Center for Education Statistics, 2015)

· In 1970, 10 percent of Boston public school students went on to graduate from college; in 1990, 30 percent did so. (Boston Studies Group, 2010)
What about the impact on the city itself?