The Summary Report On Desegregation Progress In Education In The Middle-South Region , 1959 - 1960 '' clearly shows two pieces of information .
The Summary Report , which was prepared for this Conference , indicates , first , that actual or pending school desegregation is increasing ; ;
second , that both actual and pending desegregation is , with few exceptions , the product or result of court order .
The Report together with other information suggests that desegregation in the schools is slow .
The Middle-South Region , as defined by the National Association of Intergroup Relations Officials ( NAIRO ) , consists of the states of Kentucky , Maryland , Tennessee , West Virginia , Delaware , Virginia and the District of Columbia .
The states and the Nation's Capital all have some desegregation , in fact some dating back to 1954 ; ;
but the region also embraces some of the staunchest opposition .
Desegregation has been opposed by massive resistance , interposition , pupil assignment ( with no assignments of Negro children ) , and hate bombings .
Desegregation and court order
Now let's look at the evidence that shows the increase in desegregation and such increase as a result of court order .
First Kentucky .
Elementary school desegregation came to Owen and Union Counties , which already had high school desegregation .
The action was a result of a court order , the citation for which ( and for other court action mentioned in this paper ) is taken from the Summary Report for this Conference .
In Maryland the Harford County Board of Education had prepared a desegregation plan which the Court approved but which a plaintiff had challenged ; ;
thus , county school board and Federal court joined hands here to promote school desegregation .
Additional school desegregation in Tennessee resulted from a court order opening a school serving children of military personnel .
Similarly , further desegregation may come from suits pending in three Tennessee cities , Chattanooga , Knoxville , and Memphis .
In West Virginia the number of white and Negro children attending the same school has increased almost twofold .
There are no court decisions here .
As in Maryland , a District court has approved an official plan of school desegregation in Delaware .
As a result of the State Board of Education plan , Negro children entered heretofore white elementary schools in five districts .
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals is reviewing an appeal from the plan .
In Virginia court orders led to desegregation in Charlottesville and Floyd Counties .
Desegregation in Pulaski County is pending because of court order , although date of admission is not yet determined .
Negro parents have filed application for admission of additional children to schools in Alexandria , Arlington , Fairfax , and Warren Counties .
Desegregation can also result from additional suits brought by Negro plaintiffs against school boards in Newport News , Fairfax County , Arlington County , and Norfolk .
As a school district , the District of Columbia has had desegregated schools since 1954 , shortly after the Supreme Court decision .
This recapitulation makes it clear that school desegregation continues , including the Old Dominion State , in spite of its stern resistance .
The record is clear that increase in school desegregation last year came largely as a result of a court order ; ;
that on the immediate horizon , if further large-scale ( relatively speaking ) desegregation comes , it will result from court orders on suits filed in several Middle-South states .
Knowledge that thousands of school districts are involved and observation that school desegregation has occurred in only a handful in 1959-1960 leads to a conclusion that desegregation-from-court-order is slow .
Before turning to my views as to the problems and issues before us at this Regional Conference , I wish to note a small item in the Summary Report as it refers to the District of Columbia .
That reference in the Report is `` continuation of the trend toward an all-Negro school system '' , a remark apparently occasioned by the increase of Negro school population from 74.1 per cent to 76.7 per cent .
I see no real prospects for an all-Negro school population .
West of Rock Creek Park is still monolithically white and is in fact increasingly white as a result of Georgetown's conversion-by-renovation housing program .
Nearby Foggy Bottom is ousting Negroes .
The large acreage in the Southwest Redevelopment area beckons white people -- what with high-priced town houses and elevator apartments .
The Capitol Hill rehabilitation , like Foggy Bottom , replaces Negroes with whites ( but also replaces some whites with other whites ) .
The sharpest break with tradition , the past and present of `` White Ring Around a Black Core '' , may come with the opening of nearby Montgomery County suburbs to Negro residents and , presumably , the consequent conclusion of some whites that they cannot escape the Negro by fleeing to the suburbs .
In fact , short of fleeing to Warrenton , Virginia , or Rockville , Maryland , white people may have to live with Negroes .
All of this must be taken into account before the image of an `` all-Negro '' D.C. public school system is conjured up .
Problems to solve
From the Summary Report before us at this Conference , a number of problems are apparent .
They vex us and perplex us but generally do not divide us like the issues which follow the problems .
First , how can we step up the desegregation movement ? ?
It is slow .
I believe we all want more schools where white and Negro together can and do attend .
I believe we all want no child denied admission to a school on account of his color .
In general , members of NAIRO would certainly want a child admitted to a school nearest his residence or within his residence zone .
How to achieve this objective is a problem , but we are not divided on what we want .
Second , as we increase the number of desegregated school districts and schools themselves , how can we achieve this action through school board action ? ?
It may be county school board or state school board action , as well as that of municipal school boards .
Correlatively , can we reduce the role of the district courts , so that the action is that of the people of the community or other school district and not that of the law court ? ?
This is a problem , and I believe there is little difference of opinion that wherever possible a local school board should devise and effect a plan of desegregation .
Third , how can we insure a systematic and continuing group relations education in the schools ? ?
Not simply a brief program when the schools are actually desegregated but a continuing program that also promotes integration , that encourages the children and teachers not to look at each other as white or Negro , but as human beings .
Again the problem is how to get it done and in what form to offer the group relations education ; ;
not whether it should be done .
Fourth , in the segregated school system , during the period before desegregation , how can we assure equal opportunity ? ?
In fact , in the desegregated school system which may have a good many schools with all-Negro population , how can we assure equal opportunity ? ?
This is a problem , but we are not divided over its importance or by its existence .
Fifth , in the segregated school system or in the all-Negro or all-white schools , how can we encourage better group relations or an improved attitude toward people who do not belong to the group ? ?
Can we help children adjust to `` images of other children '' when the latter are not actually present .
Now , the issues
If we have five problems whose solution we seek in relatively united fashion , then there are twice as many issues which , I judge , sharply divide us , intergroup relations practitioners and lay people .
Issue no. 1 .
Pupil assignment .
Since on the one hand school desegregation has come in Virginia hand-in-glove with pupil assignment , shall we support the plan ? ?
On the basis of pupil assignment criteria , Judge Albert Bryan has assigned Negro children to formerly white schools in Arlington and Alexandria , Virginia .
Shall we support pupil assignment ? ?
On the other hand , looking at the larger picture , is it true that pupil assignment has effectively cut off , blocked , or reduced school desegregation to a `` trickle '' ? ?
Shall we therefore oppose the plan ? ?
This question is an issue because it likely divides us into two camps -- those for or against pupil assignment .
Issue no. 2 .
Teacher assignment in order to desegregate .
In large cities like Baltimore , Louisville , and Washington , D.C. , should school desegregation be extended to all-Negro and all-white schools by assigning white and Negro teachers , respectively ? ?
On the one hand do we argue the Supreme Court decision required only that a child not be denied admission to a school on account of his race ? ?
Or should we argue that if we want adjustment of children to children of different races and that that is impossible in an all-something-or-the-other school , we must at least provide him some opportunity to adjust to people of another race within the school -- namely , to a teacher of another race .
We can argue that where residence makes pupil desegregation impossible teacher assignment can create a partially desegregated situation .
Issue no. 3 .
The plaintiff in school desegregation cases .
The earlier part of my statement deals with the court orders that resulted in desegregation .
In each instance the plaintiff was a private citizen .
In thousands of school districts , indeed , in the entire State of Mississippi , no plaintiff has come forth .
And I have established that the action of municipal , county , or state school boards or boards of education is small , infinitesimally small in comparison with the number of districts .
Is the requirement that the plaintiff be a person actually denied admission to a school a sound requirement ? ?
Should Congress authorize the Attorney General to file suit to accomplish admission of a child to a school to which he is denied entrance ? ?
Even though in civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960 the provision for the Attorney General to act was eliminated , should we nevertheless support such a clause ? ?
This is an issue , for it divides people rather sharply .
Issue no. 4 .
Withholding of funds to schools that deny children on account of race .
This is the Powell Amendment , which in 1957 divided even a `` liberal '' group like the American Veterans Committee ( AVC ) .
Should we support a clause in Federal school construction or school assistance legislation that would deny Federal funds to a school district that denies admission to a child on account of his race ? ?
This is softer than earlier Powell amendments which would have denied funds to all segregated school districts .
There is nonetheless considerable argument against the clause , softened though it be , on the grounds that Federal aid is so necessary to the public schools .
The Federal funds limitation enlists the support of many , the opposition of quite a few .
Issue no. 5 .
Required public education .
Should a political subdivision , state or county or municipality , be required to furnish public education ? ?
For the school year , 1959-1960 , the Prince Edward County ( Virginia ) Board of Supervisors voted not to provide funds for public education , and the school board therefore could provide no public education -- for white or Negro children .
Is public education in this American democracy of such importance that no child should be denied public education ? ?
Or is this subject a matter of self-determination , a matter of states rights or county rights ? ?
If people don't want to provide public education , should they be forced to do so ? ?
Even if we marshal substantial agreement behind mandatory public education , we likely cannot expect that all the states will enact the legislation .
Should the requirement , which must therefore be Federal in nature , be legislated by the United States Congress ? ?
Or must it become law by amendment of the United States Constitution ? ?
We actually have two issues in this question -- goal and method .
Issue no. 6 .
Federal responsibility for education of the citizens .
If the above issue is settled by requiring public education for all citizens , Issue No. 6 may be moot .
If , on the other hand , it is not settled , or while it is being debated and resolved , does the Federal government have a responsibility in situations like that in Prince Edward County ? ?
Nearly half the children still receive no education .
Must or should the Federal government help ? ?
Should the government directly provide education for the children who want public education ? ?