Superintendent Johnson last night gave the keynote address at the Boston Bar Association's Law Day Dinner. Below is an excerpt from her remarks:
Tonight, I am reminded that throughout our nation’s history, the work that you do and the work we carry out on a day-to-day basis has often intersected. So tonight, I’d like to say a little bit about how we got to this place, tell you how we are changing to create the kinds of schools that most of you attended and that each of you would choose for your own child - and then finally, I hope to end with a few thoughts about how together we can be the change we want to see for all of our community’s children. Our collective work in Boston is all the more significant because Boston’s history begins our nation’s history and our nation’s pursuit of educational opportunity for all of its children began with the first school - Boston Latin School, founded in 1635, and who this year celebrates it 375th anniversary. BLS was followed in 1647 by a decree that every town in the Commonwealth of 50 families or more should have an elementary school and every town of 100 families should establish a “Latin School.” The Mather elementary school opened in 1639, the English high school in 1821; and yet the universal free public education system that is a ubiquitous part of the fabric of our American democracy and the one we know today is one that has been sacrificed for and fought for.
Read the entire speech here.