Sunday, January 24, 2010

Representative of Boston?

I went to my wife's annual work party last night and had a wonderful time. She is a psychologist who works for a professional psychology association, staffed by many smart, educated people, many with Ph.D's. It was held at the College Club on 44 Commonwealth Avenue, a beautiful building.

There were slightly more than 50 people, two hispanic: my wife and the husband of another associate, and one African American, the banker who has helped the company out. During the Yankee swap, (we won some glass globes to water our plants) I asked for a show of hands of how many people in the room had gone to Boston Public Schools. One man put his hand up, the insurance agent for the company who had gone to Boston Tech, a now defunct school. Anecdotally, I have met many successul people in many walks of life who went to Boston Tech, what happened?

So in a 50 percent minority city, a growing successful business has less than 5 percent of its workers and associates as minorities and no members of the Boston Public Schools. This is a super progressive firm as well, with health care, time off, owned by a lesbian couple with many openly gay employees, by all accounts a great place to work for both employees and owners.

It is hard for me to not come to the conclusion that BPS is not filling the jobs of today or teaching for the jobs of tomorrow. It is not totally the fault of any one group, the Mayor, the Superintendent, the teachers, the parents, but until we acknowledge the huge failure that it is, instead of saying 'we're getting better every year' we are not going to have substantive change.

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