Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO)
METCO is a non-profit, government funded program that places students in better schools outside their districts. This school was founded as a result of the passing of the Racial Imbalance Act in 1965. As the second-longest running program of its kind, METCO is a model for efforts to end modern day school segregation.
Backstory and Context
Studies on the students who are apart of the METCO program show that they perform better in school than kids who are not all across Boston. Not only does this program address the issue of racially isolated schools, but it addresses the issue of under-resourced schooling by giving kids from poor neighborhoods access to better resources and better opportunities after school. Children in this program also graduate high school at higher rates than the students in Boston public schools who are not. Even though children in the program have to wake up earlier and travel further to school than they would have to in other programs, it is shown to benefit them in the long run.
This program is very popular with parents there are over a thousand students on the wait list to be placed in a district through this program. Parents even sign up their children as young as 1 years old to give them a better shot at being placed. Educators who are well aware of the benefits of integrated schools love the program and today, 37 school districts in Boston are participants.
Despite all the positive outcomes of METCO, they still have to deal with budget cuts. As a result, they have had to cut back on their tutoring services, as well as others. This program is the second-longest running program of its kind and affords over 3000 Black and Latino students the opportunity to a better education every year.
"Our History." First Parish Dorchester. Accessed October 04, 2018. https://firstparishdorchester.org/connection/our-stories/history/.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary. "Frequently Asked Questions." Massachusetts State Seal. Accessed October 04, 2018. http://www.doe.mass.edu/metco/faq.html?section=a.
Eaton, Susan, and Gina Chirichigno. METCO Merits More The History and Status of METCO. Report no. 74. The Houston Institution for Race and Justice, HArvard LAw School. Boston, Massachusstetts: Pioneer Institute, 2007. 1-40.