METCO'S HISTORY

  • June 1963

    The NAACP presents the Boston School Committee with a list of 154 demands for public school improvement.

  • February 1964

    Twenty-thousand students of color plan and stage a school boycott. Suburban white students join their peers of color at "Freedom Schools," which were organized in Black churches and community centers to protest against racial and educational inequity in Boston public schools.

  • May 1965

    Boston Redevelopment Authority director Edward Logue proposes a school integration plan that would bus Boston students to suburban schools. The plan does not move forward.

  • August 1965

    Massachusetts passes the Racial Imbalance Act. Despite the new law, students of color in Boston remain heavily concentrated in underperforming schools.

  • September 1965

    Taking matters into their own hands, two African American parents, Ellen Jackson and Elizabeth Johnson, lead “Operation Exodus," enrolling 400 Boston students in mostly white suburban schools that volunteered to join the movement.

  • November 1965

    The Brookline School Committee seeks guidance from black community leaders in developing a school transfer program.

  • December 1965

    The “METCO Bill” is filed in the state legislature. The bill would provide funding and support for the creation of the school transfer program that parents had been advocating for.

  • August 1966

    The METCO bill is signed into law.

  • September 1966

    Two-hundred-twenty METCO students (grades K-11) take the first bus rides to classrooms in seven original suburban districts: Arlington, Braintree, Brookline, Lexington, Lincoln, Newton, and Wellesley.

  • 1973

    Jean McGuire becomes the fourth executive director of METCO. She leads the organization for the next 43 years. It becomes a Boston-area institution, helping thousands of students learn and grow up with diverse classmates and excellent educational opportunities, and go on to be civic leaders and accomplished community members. If you're one of them, join the METCO Alumni Network!

  • 1976

    Ten years after its start, a total of 37 receiving districts had signed on to host METCO students.

  • 2016

    METCO celebrates its 50th anniversary, serving over 3,300 students in over 190 public schools across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

  • 2018

    The Board of Directors appoints community activist and METCO parent Milly Arbaje-Thomas to be the first CEO of METCO.