Education: Almost Free in Boston

A federal judge will step away from the schools

After 13 years of battling over desegregation, Boston's school system still chafes under federal-court jurisdiction. That acrimonious situation headed toward a solution this month, when U.S. District Court Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr., 65, made known that he would return control of the public schools to the city's 13-member school committee. At the news, a former Massachusetts judge commented, "He couldn't be leaving soon enough."

Garrity has been resented ever since he took over Boston's notoriously racist system in 1974 to ensure compliance with his own edicts for desegregation. When the judge ordered thousands of students bused across neighborhood lines and...

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