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Our Policy Recommendation

Page history last edited by Ron Regan 3 years, 4 months ago

 

 

 

 

POLICY RECOMMENDATION 

 

 Conclusion and Implications

 

After thorough analysis it is clear that, although difficult to determine the true social impact of the program and the varying degree of success of integrating schools, METCO energy has been successful in closing the academic opportunity gap for participating minority students in Boston.  METCO students experience much higher high school graduation and college-going rates than their counterparts in the Boston Public Schools.  Parents continually choose METCO based on their belief that participation in the program will offer their children access to a superior academic environment.  The evidence presented in this paper from both published research and interviews of individuals familiar with the METCO program confirms that assertion.  As such, it is clear the METCO program remains a necessary component of school choice in Boston.  As a teacher in Bloomingdale stated, “I have come to appreciate that the problem is not a simple one. It’s a 43 year old problem. If it were a simple problem, we would have solved it a long time ago. It’s complicated” (Garcia, Personal Communication, November 9, 209). The METCO program will not be the right choice for every student in the Boston Public Schools – nor should it be – but the program has seen successful returns for thousands of Boston students over the last four decades.  In order to improve the program, the following research, programmatic and policy changes are recommended. 

 

Program Recommendations

 

METCO should put a greater emphasis on college counseling and supporting students through the college and financial aid application progress.  METCO students need to be made fully aware of their post-secondary options and available supports to ensure that they are able to make informed decisions about college. 

 

Research Recommendations 

 

Two critical elements of the METCO program need more research before a determination can be made regarding policy or programmatic changes. First, METCO host districts should engage in a study of staff diversity.  Ultimately, staff diversity should represent the diversity of the student body. If the goal of METCO is to create a truly integrated experience for suburban communities, this belief should extend beyond the student population. Research, in general, should be conducted to assess the effect of staff diversity on the students’ educational experience. Secondly, it could prove useful for METCO to think about sustainability in the current political climate. Given the research indicating that socio-economic diversity is as critical as racial diversity in closing both the achievement and opportunity gaps, and given the Supreme Court decisions with Louisville and Seattle, METCO should consider incorporating socio-economic status into its application process.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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