Essay on Failure of the Chicago Board of Education in the Civil Rights Movement

Essay on Failure of the Chicago Board of Education in the Civil Rights Movement

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In the early 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement brought many accusations and complaints towards the Chicago Board of Education. Due to this pressure, the Board allowed three major studies of the Chicago public schools which clearly denoted the segregation problems of the school system, over a decade after the Supreme Court’s decision of the famous Brown v Board of Education case. The Hauser Report and the Havighurst Report, both published in 1964, described the “gross racial imbalance” in Chicago public schools, where “Negro schools” tended to be more overcrowded and experience more drop-outs and lower average scores than predominantly white schools (Coons 85). In 1967 the recently appointed Superintendent of the Chicago schools, James Redmond, created a committee that published the other major report on the public schools of Chicago in 1967, entitled Increasing Desegregation of Faculties, Students, and Vocational Education Programs. This report focused on the teaching climate of Chicago schools, the boundaries of schools districts, vocational education programs, and public understanding of current issues, “aimed at reversing a pervasive social condition that has become deeply rooted in our society” (Chicago Board 2).

By stating some hard statistics about the schools in Chicago and even describing some possible means of addressing the problems that emphasized immediate action, these reports seemed to provide some hope for the future of Chicago’s public schools. However, despite the fact that the Chicago Board of Education even accepted most of the terms and recommendations in the reports, the ensuing years showed very little improvement. Since 1967, the Chicago Board of Education’s passive approach towar...

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... New York Times 16 May 1977: 18.

---. “School Segregation is Pressed in Chicago Area.” New York Times 23

May 1976:26.

Garrow, David J. “Looking Back at Brown: 3 Books Reflect on the 1954 Supreme Court

Decision and the Effects it has had on America.” Chicago Tribune 2 May 2004:

Books 1.

Houston, Jack. “City Public Schools Lose 9,307 More Students.” Chicago Tribune 14

Jan. 1989: News 5.

Little, Darnell and Lori Olszewski. “School Spending Disparity Revealed: But Court

Ends Desegregation Oder.” Chicago Tribune 2 Mar. 2004: News 1.

Sheppard Jr., Nathaniel. “Chicago Fails to Submit a Plan on Desegregation.” New York

Times 16 Apr. 1981: A18.

Wicker, Tom. “The Myth of Busing: Some Contradictory Evidence.” New York Times

19 Sept. 1976: 167.

“Willie Johnson is Standing Firm.” Integrated Education. September 1971: 4-11.

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