Judge To Limit Role in Boston Case

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Boston--U.S. District Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr. has announced that he will end his supervision of four of 12 compliance areas in the 10-year-old desegregation suit involving the Boston Public Schools.

In making his announcement in a memorandum issued last week, Judge Garrity explained that "the main purpose of this memorandum is to expedite the court's total disengagement," either by a consent decree acceptable to the court and all parties involved or by implementation of the court's desegregation order.

He added that at least four of the parties to the suit must agree to his proposal before a final order is issued.

Rating System

Judge Garrity pointed out, however, that the schools have yet to comply with all of his orders, citing one issued Feb. 24, 1976, requiring school officials to establish a "promotional rating system" involving parents, teachers, and minorities in the screening process to decide permanent appointments. (See Education Week, Sept. 19, 1984.)

Ian Forman, a spokesman for the school system, said a streamlined3version of the court-ordered screening process for administrators is now being used, and only about 10 of the 125 headmasters and principals are serving in temporary positions.

According to court documents, Judge Garrity plans to close the case with respect to orders on special education, institutional pairings, student discipline, and safety and security. The court would retain its jurisdiction over some of the more controversial areas, such as student assignments, staff desegregation, bilingual education, special desegregation measures, and vocational and occupational education.

In a separate memorandum dated Sept. 18, Judge Garrity also ordered Boston school officials to file by Oct. 1 several status reports detailing the school system's progress toward compliance with some 400 orders issued over the last 10 years and the formulation of a long-range plan for reorganizing the school system. The judge has said that plan must be in place before any full disengagement by the court.

A hearing on the proposed partial disengagement is scheduled for Oct. 12, according to the court document.--Susan G Foster

Vol. 04, Issue 04

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