Harvard Education School
Tom Keane, Boston Herald and Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member
City of Boston Public Schools
Valerie Edwards, Director, Office of Strategic Planning
Description of Fellowship
Shannon Hodge wrote a case study for the Strategic Planning Team of the Boston Public Schools analyzing the district’s current efforts to engage the public in policy decision-making related to student assignment. Ms. Hodge attended a community forum; researched the history and present of student assignment in Boston; and interviewed key players in the review process — including the superintendent, a representative from the mayor’s office, school department personnel, education advocates, and community task force members. The interviews provided a variety of views on a number of challenges related to engaging the public, especially negotiating public mistrust of the school system, the intricacies of education and transportation policy, and the difficulty of the work of connecting the public to the decision-making process. By documenting this experience, she provided a resource for future-public engagement efforts by the Boston Public Schools.