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What About Educational Segregation? (Conclusion): Racial Study Touches On All Schools

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What About Educational Segregation? (Conclusion)

Racial Study Touches On All Schools

(Editor's note: This is the sixth and last Installment in the report of the citizen committee to study racial distribution in Ann Arbor Public Schools.)

The situation at Mack School is a matter of serious concern, since it may be expected that if present trends continue, Negro children will in a few years constitute a substantial majority of the total children enrolled there.

It is important, therefore, that the Board of Education keep the matter of racial imbalance at Mack School under close surveillance, give attention to the possibility of enriching the program there for the special benefit of children who have not had the benefit of usual educational opportunity at home, and explore possibilities of redistricting that will reduce the racial imbalance there.

It is particularly important that the school staff maintain positive and constructive attitude in dealing with interracial and intercultural problems. New and expanded efforts to enlist and involve parents in school-related programs should be initiated at once.

All the tables contained in the “Jones School Report” will be published in The News Monday.

While major attention has been focussed on the specific problems arising out of racial imbalance at the Jones and Mack Schools, the committee herewith submits other recommendations for programs to be followed by the Board of Education in dealing generally with the problem of racial discrimination.

High School Program

The committee recommends:

1) That the administration, with help from a citizens advisory committee, develop and initiate programs that hopefully will promote greater, racial understanding and cooperation and improve academic performance, reduce dropouts and better prepare the non-college bound youth to enter the labor market.

2) That increased services be provided to secure remedial assistance for students with discipline or achievement problems.

3) That as plans develop for new high schools, the board draw attendance lines to insure fairly even racial distribution in all schools.

Junior High School Program

1) Same as No. 1 under high school program.

2) Same as No. 2 under high school program.

3) The present distribution of Negro children in the three junior high schools portends race-related problems in these schools and subsequently in the high school. The committee recommends that attendance zones be studied and redrawn, if feasible, in a manner to provide a more even spread between existing schools. Further, as new junior high schools are planned, it is recommended that racial balance be considered in both the site locations and the establishment of attendance zones. Also, the possibility of a limited open enrollment should be considered.

General Recommendations

1) General board policy—The committee recommends that the Board of Education:

(a) Publicize the educational, sociological and moral factors which motivated it to initiate actions designed to promote racial integration in the public schools.

(b) Publicize the impact of discriminatory housing and employment practices in the community on educational problems and policy.

(c) Adopt positive policy and programs to combat racial imbalance in the public school and promote racial integration

(c) With the help of a citizens’ advisory committee review progress and submit recommendations on all matters of racial bias that affect the public school system.

2) Program director — The committee recommends that an administrative position be created to engage an experienced skilled educator with proven positive interest and dedication to optimum intercultural relations, for the purpose of assisting the Administration in the implementation and operation of the program. It is visualized that this position may become part-time when general community actions insure equal opportunities in housing, employment, etc.

3) Citizens advisory committee — The Committee recommends that the Board of Education appoint a citizens advisory, committee to work with it in these matters.

4) Compensatory services and enrichment program — The committee recommends that the board:

(a) Seek qualified principals, teachers, counselors, and administrative personnel in the Negro population and give preference to those with evidence of positive experience and-or attitudes in intercultural problems.

(b) Integrate within the existing curriculum, content and activities that give proper interpretation to the contributions and achievements of minority groups.

(c) Examine and select textbooks and other teaching materials not only on the basis of their academic quality, but also of their treatment of minority groups.

(d) Encourage and subsidize increased specialized training for principals, teachers and administrators who will be most intimately involved in the resolution of problems associated with racial imbalance.

(e) Increase the number of guidance counselors and select them on the basis of professional ability, experience, and interest in intercultural relations. Begin counseling in the early elementary years.

(f) Enlarge remedial programs in the existing curriculum where needed.

(g) Sponsor and supervise remedial tutorial programs for the elementary, junior high, and senior high school programs.

(h) Expand the summer school program and intensify special remedial activities.

(i) Strengthen the non-discriminatory practices associated with the Cooperative Training and Apprentice Training Programs.

(j) Institute special programs to involve parents and improve liaison between home and school.