metco hands


The DREAM: children of color getting a quality education.
The VISION: integrated schools.
The FUTURE: racial equality.

"Wayland Schools are committed to maintaining a school and work environment free of harassment based on race. Employees and other members of the school community (are expected) to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner" (Wayland School Department's Policy on Harassment)

Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) is a voluntary busing program that transports children of color from Boston and Springfield to suburban school systems. Its mission is:

Our MISSION is to provide students with educational opportunities designed to enrich their academic, personal and interpersonal experiences.  It is our belief that the METCO experience should provide a strong academic foundation, as well as an environment rich in cultural, educational, ethnic and racial diversity.

The History behind the DREAM

The Civil Rights movement of the '60's drew national attention to racial inequities in the United States. In Boston, a group of African American parents, reflecting on their children's inferior education, pointed to the differences between schools in black neighborhoods and the schools in white neighborhoods. When the all white Boston School Committee failed to address these inequities, the parents began their own voluntary desegregation program called Operation Exodus. Four hundred African American students were bused to the predominantly white, but under enrolled Faneuil School in Back Bay. The program's success caused adults to think of ways to include more students.

In November of 1965, a group called the Massachusetts Federation for Fair Housing and Equal Rights held a meeting with officials from12 suburban communities. They discussed the possibility of these towns voluntarily enrolling Boston students of color in their school systems. METCO was the result of that meeting. The program became state funded in 1968 with the passage of the Racial Imbalance Act.

The Facts behind the VISION

Wayland became a METCO community in 1968. There are 37 suburban communities that participate and approximately 3000 students are bused from Boston or Springfield to suburban schools. METCO is a part of the school experience for over 80,000 children and their families.

Wayland is also one of ten METCO communities that participate in EMI (Empowering Multicultural Initiatives). EMI is a non-profit educational collaborative that provides teachers with training around issues of race and racism within the educational setting.

Who believes in the VISION? The Boston parents of color show their belief in the vision by signing up on an enrollment list that is 10,000 names long. The suburban communities show their belief in the vision by fundraising to maintain important programming that is not covered by the state budget.

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