On May 30, the National Coalition for History (NCH) received a response from Boston Public Schools (BPS) Interim Superintendent John McDonough to the coalition’s letter seeking clarification of rumors that BPS was eliminating its History and Social Studies Department as part of an overall reorganization. In confirming the department was not being eliminated, Mr. McDonough stated, “Our students will continue to have History and Social Studies courses in school just as they do today, taught by highly-qualified History and Social Studies educators, just as today.”
McDonough clarified that the History and Social Studies Department was being placed under a new “Humanities umbrella,” along with the English Language Arts and World Language Departments to allow for greater collaboration and better coordination of instructional materials throughout the subject areas. He stressed that, “It is important to note that these departments are not combining. They will remain separate. Moving forward these three departments will be collaborating in more formalized ways than in the past.”
Over the past 10 days rumors surfaced on the Internet that the Boston Public School (BPS) system was either eliminating its History and Social Studies department or it was being folded into English Language Arts. A petition in opposition was posted online that went viral throughout the historical community. On May 23, BPS issued a statement to the effect that an upcoming reorganization had been misinterpreted stating that the history department was indeed not being eliminated nor was it being folded into English Language Arts Department. On May 28, 2014, the National Coalition for History sent a letter to the Superintendent of BPS seeking assurances that this was indeed the case.