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Time is running out for more than 16 million children in the United States. Children of the poor they need a way out of urban slums and rural poverty. Americans count on schools to give these children a chance. Critics charge that schools are failing to provide equal education for the poor. They say schools aren't doing enough. But children of the poor can't wait. While national controversy rages they are growing up now. The federal government has published a massive study challenging the widely held beliefs on educating the poor. It's called the Coleman Report. The Coleman report takes a new look at school integration. It discusses social class as well as race. The Coleman Report examines the roots of education. It questions how much schools really influence student learning. The Coleman Report doesn't make light reading its official title is ponderous equality of educational opportunity.
It's a 700 page document filled with technical tables charts and statistics. The two year study involved more than 600000 students and 60000 teachers in some 4000 schools. It was conducted by the United State's Office of Education under the direction of James Coleman a Johns Hopkins University professor. Authorized by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Coleman report was expected to document what everyone knew that poor achievement among Negroes and other minority groups was the result of inferior schools. But the report went further despite the Coleman report's controversial findings. Most people outside the world of education never heard of it. The report has had little impact since it was quietly released during the last year's July 4th weekend. Nevertheless the Coleman Report could create vast changes in public policies and public attitudes affecting schools. The Coleman data
already has been used as a basis for the United States Commission on Civil Rights report on racial isolation in public schools. Since last fall more than 50 professors have met at Harvard University for a microscopic analysis of the report. The Coleman seminars were conducted by Daniel P. Moore and a hand former assistant secretary of labor. Author of a controversial report on Negro families and now director of the Harvard MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies. And Thomas Pettigrew Harvard associate professor of social psychology and chief consultant to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. During this program we're going to take a hard look at the Coleman Report and its implications for American education. Well gentlemen I'm sure you'd agree that one of the most important issues raised by the Coleman Report is the issue of quality of education versus integration. Many people feel that good teachers modern school facilities and relevant courses will do more for a deprived child than integration. Before we get into this
issue let's see what two community leaders said when asked the question which is more important in education quality or integration has been my. Quality is more important than integration. I can't see any hard evidence. To prove a. Real. Deprivation because of a person of color. I think that every school system. Has. The charge to first discover the term of the term. And then develop it to its maximum potential. It has always been my feeling. That regardless of your race or color. The individual differences of a child. Are the things. That we should direct our attention to. It was always been my opinion that if the schools can provide. The best possible education. That they are then discharging their primary objective.
It is my opinion. That they are not separable really. But if you ask me if I have a choice. Whether I would have talked about it as I can't separate them of this somehow or another. I would say you'd have to start with integration in order to bring about quality. Because we know in America that anything that becomes only good. It's considered a theory of other by the total population. We see that time and time again. If we don't stay on top of an issue such a school will see that the fact that the negro child less is being spent on when he goes out of the whites in a per capita basis and little by little we slip into this area of neglect. So in order to have true quality education for the negro you're going to have to have integration and I know there are a lot of people who argue that you can train Negro children just as well in only grocery chicken or white setting. This may be true but I don't think it will ever be possible.
Maybe it may be true theoretically that the girls can learn as well and all because but I don't think the possibility of this occurring. It's ever going to be a fact because as I said this whole idea of the fact that Negroes are in fact inferior to whites among most white minds and I'm not saying this is a massive attitude of bigotry on the part of every white citizen. What I'm saying is we have been brought up in a culture that allows for the breaking down of the value structure on the basis of ethnic ethnic origin. Well gentleman whose opinion do you agree with. I would agree with Mr. Parks when he says he really doesn't want to separate the terms integration and quality. I think in fact that really makes the question misleading. Equality means integration not just for Negro American children but for white American children too. One thing I think we have learned from the Coleman report and hopefully from the studies which will be inspired by the Coleman
report and that is that the usual way of thinking of quality is teacher pupil ratio as fine as say physics labs et cetera books libraries. It's not just the only way of thinking of calling but that in point of fact we have to think of the children that make up a school. We have to think in terms of integration. Now Mr. Warren Berger says he knows of no hard evidence that you need integration for quality. I'm not sure there is any hard evidence about major questions in education but to the extent that we have hard evidence I think that we analysis of the Coleman data provide that evidence and I wished Mr. Warren Berger would look a little harder for it. Well have the schools really been providing equal educational opportunity up to now either quality education without integration or with it. What do you mean by equal educational opportunity. This is a. Very first point and one we haven't gotten very close to thinking about. Do you mean
everybody turns out to be just as smart as anyone else just as well educated or along kind of a distribution that the. God gave us in the way of brains that kind of thinking. What do you mean or to mean that each group turns out with the same distribution of ability with it. These are ideas that are much less examined than you might think. It seems to me that Coleman found three things and probably we should begin with what he thought he found. First that there is a very great difference between the educational achievement. Of different ethnic racial groups in America. And that of the white majority so-called. It does very much better in the end as do negroes Puerto Rican Mexican Americans Indian Americans any other group
excepting Oriental Americans who do very well for themselves. That's point one. The second thing he found was that the quality of schools in terms that they are normally measured namely how much money do you spend on this how many Master's degrees do you have your teachers or what. Within different regions did not vary as much as we thought it did. Barry's an indoor. The poorest kids get the worst sort. But not anything like the measure we imagined. The third thing he found was that. The it's thing called quality of the school. Didn't have as much influence on the achievement of the children as we thought it had but it's small and. Felt and it's there in the first grade as well in the 12th. Grade. And it's not anything like as simple as we thought. What he did find was
that the biggest thing that goes into us cool building are the children not the teachers and not the physics. So I thought the library the children. And that when children go in and who are doing well are going around them does well children teach each other they turn out to be the great teachers something like that. And. After that we have to ask ourselves What would we say. Equality of educational opportunity. It means something more than how much money you spend. I mean children going to them by and large have a chance to mix with those children who buy a large set of educational standards. Tom it's not about right or wrong. I would say that that was perhaps the most important single finding of the Coleman report as far as educational policies concerned. What can schools give to disadvantaged kids. I think Tacoma reporters you're saying Pat.
Is that they can provide them contact with advantaged children and that that contact with advantaged children is perhaps the most. Well it appears from the Coleman data rather clearly the most important thing schools can provide. Well now there are some people like Floyd McKissic who is national director of core another Black Power self-help advocates the Negro community who contest that you can have quality education without having an integrated school. Is this true. Well you would never want to say that it would never be true under any circumstances in many ways. Mr. Parks I think has already said it for us that is in the best of all worlds. Of course it only grows. The American School could be as good as an all white American school. But this isn't the best of all worlds. This is America of 1967 a summer of the black part people I must say I'm sympathetic with their feeling their feelings involve dignity. You're trying to tell them Well the GRO children will not achieve in the soun school with white children and there is a there
is some indignity involved in that kind of claim. But I'm if I'm sympathetic with their feelings I'm not sympathetic with their inconsistency because it is Mr McKissock himself and others of black power of persuasion who say this is a racist society. America is many things it isn't part of racist society it's also an idealistic society it's many things. But granted it is racist society it seems to me to some extent it seems to me the coalman data show that it is perhaps just said the enormous differences between ethnic achievement. In our schools it's clear indication the racist and the consequences of racism. Now on the one hand the black pearl people say it's a racist society on the other hand they damn the Coleman Report for showing the consequences of the fact that they're right. Well if the Coleman report shows that the deprived child the negro child will benefit from integrated education what effect is integration. Integrated Education have on the white child in terms of the current one.
One point for sure. And Tom's a southerner so he's always thinking about Southern problems. I'm a New Yorker. I think about some New Yorker problems and I think one thing Coleman did. And after all these years in the united us and some understandings which is that. We think of problems of class easily in terms of race walk Hallman came along and showed us very clearly is that race is just one word class status of a certain number of people but that the negroes are not the only poor people in this country. They're not the only working class people in this country there are many white as we say or Puerto Rican or Mexican-American or whatever. And for these persons. The
segregation into neighborhoods which don't look segregated but are just been termed a class are just as gated has just as harmful effect on those children. It told them back just as much as it hold back and a poor negro child. And the great thing Coleman has to say to us is that it's not rice that defines educational achievement for the greatest part of its class and that the white community in this country has got into the habit of thinking that there is no such thing for eggs and there's no difference for example between Somerville and Newton. Well I think Coleman has news for them there's a big difference. And so much the worse for the kids and some of them. Well is there. Is there any great benefit to whites integration. Or is the benefit always to tell me how to grow. Has carried out what you might call the second generation analysis of the data and
found a very clear finding and it's part of the rightful isolation of the public schools report. Tom you make me feel old so I can say the fact is yes there are things that white children very much benefit from in predominately white schools with Negroes as opposed to all white schools. And that is they learn to live with Americans who are not white. Their attitudes toward negroes are can really be remarkably different and much more tolerant and accepting tolerant as if we were much more accepting on a very natural friendship basis if they have in fact been educated with me. What do you feel that we're going to really have an integrated education in our era. Do you think that we can really integrate by class as well as by race. I just want to well if we do it's going to be saying that we're going to do something we haven't done because we've got our schools our class segregated. And that includes right.
But that's just part of it. And if we. Change that is going to mean big social change in this country is going to mean setting out to do things we haven't done before and probably be a better country but whether that's going to happen right now right quick I don't know. What do you think. Well I think we have here this season the reason why they report we're so quietly issued by the federal government why it has received very little attention. The fact of the matter is the findings and their implications as Pat is pointing out are really quite politically inexpedient at this point. We've been talking about a war on poverty. But in point of fact what our War on Poverty Strategy has been is to do something for disadvantaged people which means give in give them something where they are but it has not meant bringing them together with advantaged Americans. And I believe the
Coleman Report even beyond education at least strongly suggests. That the usual techniques not certainly not all of them but the usual techniques we've employed so far in the war on poverty are very likely to have very few if any effects simply because we have avoided bringing disadvantaged Americans in contact with affluent Americans while the battle over integrated education goes on. It's becoming clearer and clearer that the schools are becoming a major target for social protest. Educators often say that they've been asked to take an unfair amount of abuse and their critics say that the educators just trying to get the schools off the hook. What about schools responsibility to overcome discrimination. Here's what two other community spokesman responded when we asked to schools have a major responsibility to eliminate the effects of discrimination. The schools have a shared responsibility not a total responsibility. In fact the primary responsibility
of public schools. Is to educate each child to his foremost potentialities. But unfortunately there are some. Who asked the schools to assume a myriad of responsibilities which really should be assumed by the church. And community. The schools have been asked to do too much. The solution rests with the entire community. Yes I do believe that all public schools have a major responsibility to overcome the effects of discrimination. I believe this sincerely because they are the very CO the which the children are most in contact with during the day. I feel that they would have the best facility in bringing about change in a subtle way. I think it could be done without attention being focused I reckon on the lesson that was being taught. I believe that even know the school system has a shared responsibility and overcoming that in
fact I don't believe there are particular system has done enough. Yet there are two kinds of thought or thinking in our particular community the one that says that there should be an integrated educational system and that says that there should be quality education within the community. I believe that the school system has a basic responsibility to attempt to channel either parent groups into the situation or condition that they prefer. But as far as I'm concerned most public school systems have not done enough to overcome the effects of racial discrimination. I just want to hear. Well I think it's useful to note that Mrs Hicks said she felt schools do not have a total responsibility. Mrs. Jackson said that they had assured responsibility two ways of saying the same thing. And.
The question I believe the Coleman study raises and the one which probably should interest us is not how to argue which word we prefer but to ask what can schools do. It was Mrs. Hicks right and have the schools been asked to do too much. I think it's what Coleman probably says to you is that there may be a limit to what schools can do both props an absolute limit and certainly a limit if you. Have various special groups of children in different schools and they don't are in general mixture representing kind of what the country itself represents. The point that Jim Colman study keeps coming back to is that what comes out of the schools is largely walk goes into them as pupils in the present state of American education. And
Tom Pettigrew's study of racial isolation in public schools says for example that many of the compensatory education programs that we've tried to work to help poor kids in poor neighborhoods haven't worked well. Not a lot of people jump on this and say you say that can't work. Other people say why did you say that. Just because you don't want to work isn't that it. Well that's not what either Pettigrew or Coleman said they simply said that that what's going on now doesn't seem to have much effect doesn't mean that a different concept entirely couldn't have been totally different in fact. It doesn't say you can't change things through schools. It doesn't say you don't. Things change things through schools it simply says that schools by and large have rather the same effect on people and. The efforts to make special effects right now don't seem to be very successful.
It doesn't say anything at all about what the future could be or how much power to schools really have to do to affect change in the area of discrimination. All we seem to know right now is that so long as poor children are kept apart and in schools by themselves both schools don't seem to have any very great power to change them. It doesn't say anything at all about what would happen if we had a different kind of school. And it certainly. Does that when those poor children are mixed with better off children. They do very well indeed. Well Dion What do you think. Well I think the two things are relevant here I would agree with Pat's interpretation of Coleman report on this on this point. I think those same mistakes by the way believes that the whole community should be doing something about the race relations problem since she has not provided her own community with the leadership that would suggest that you believe that in the past. But the point is she's quite right it needs all the agencies of the community to do something about this deep
problem and what we've had in the past is sort of each realm pointing to the other school saying it's not our fault. Fall of housing housing they were going to get us real estate people it's really the fall of employment they don't have the money to live points of only don't come educate enough for us to hire them at the best job each pointing to the other now clearly you have to break that cycle somewhere. The schools are an obvious institution to put special emphasis on do not exclusive emphasis because they are the they form the institution which in fact makes a difference for children it is the major social intervention in the lives of children. And I might point out that many educators who refuse this role I think are denying the greatness of their own institution or time. This is remember the great contribution of American society for democratic theory in the world is a contribution of the idea of public education. And time after time we've called on our unique
institution the public schools to handle problems often problems which by no means could the schools be blamed for. For instance who would toward English in the simulated over 20 million immigrants to this country the public schools with a major institution who handles a problem of poor driving when we have a lot of accidents on the road the schools though they could hardly be. Or as some give driver training so that it's valid for parents to storm the gates and to make demands on the schools. That would solve a lot of the problems let's say of the deprived home. Time after time we have in fact asked the institution of public schools to do something about our most serious social problems and time after time the institution has in fact responded and responded well to say that it cannot should not respond this time I think is to deny its great history. What do you think Mr. WOOD. Well I think this is exactly so. But there are two things to add to what we
know and what we expect. First is if you want schools to do a lot of things. It's an easy idea to say the reason this particular school isn't doing this particular thing is that it's not a good school. Well if that isn't the case. Then you're not being very honest and not being very helpful by going around yelling it is the case. You know Tom and what I think Coleman has suggested to us is that. The schools on balance are not so different in terms of the effort goes into them. Now there are differences but they aren't as big as we've seen before. Remember Mencken said that romance is the illusion that one woman is different from another. Well we have those ideas maybe about our schools and maybe they're not thought of that. It's not that relevant. I mean one woman is different from another and yet one woman is like another. And that is I think now the second thing is this that we are finding that
when we start a public school in this country we've started them because we wanted to overcome the inequalities that come from birth and the inheritance of property and inherent social class. Back to why we started them. The people who had money had position were getting educated in this country 18 30 and 40 like they always had been. But the people the workers were and they and the working class parties and Jacksonian America in New York City for example and other places began demanding public schools. And and by and large it's been it's been our great success. Yet we are finding that when we shouldn't suggest that because we've had a success at the Iranian democracy that we've got a lot of equality in this country because we have kids who go to the best private schools still get into the best colleges and that you know everybody has their own ethnic group. Tom's a Southerner which is ob biggest estimate group came out and then raised the window
and I was right. I'm an Irish Catholic. We're not as noisy as they used to say. But one of the problems that has always troubled Irish Catholics Roman Catholics in America. It's that we have had private schools are Catholic schools as long as there have been public schools they started from the same reasons they split off in the early 19th century and the development of American Catholic students has been pretty slow not been anything like we would have hoped it might have been commingled gone very well now but it took a long time and I wonder for example if Coleman doesn't give us a clue about this. When you take very poor kids the Catholic kids of the 1830s were in this country and put them all together. And you bring those wonderful nuns in and they were like their hearts and give their lives. And the poor parents right and build decent buildings and all that. But the progress is very slow. I wonder if Coleman doesn't suggest that you bring poor kids together
with other poor kids and the Catholic schools are so segregated for a long time they. May still be in some places they are not never racially segregated out but they were segregated by the poor children with four children for a long time. Maybe that explains how slow the upward rise was economy. Doing it that way so that schools really do have a responsibility to do something about discrimination but that it's going to be a slow process and a very involving one. Well if the community gives you segregated schools which are segregated by race or class or religion and that those groups which are on the bottom of the pecking order because it's class that makes the difference. We hate that word. I think that. But it makes a different thing if the community segregates children by class. That it had a hard time asking the schools to overcome the consequences of class and those consequences are real and if you don't think that walk down any city street in America and you find
fast. Well another common report issue seems to be the question of the effect of schools on student achievement whether or not up to date schools with lower class sizes for example have really much impact on the deprived student a teacher in a suburban housewife had different answers to the question when we asked them to spending a lot of money on school facilities or lowering class size greatly improve student achievement. Well I would not say a lot of money I would say necessary money would run the money if we had to give the children Paris new facilities cafeteria and teachers would train to a great breakthrough for research in whatever the class is it has been proven that it classes that the teacher has much more.
But it was from the police. I don't think. Spending money per se are lowering the teacher ratio is going to significantly affect the children we want to reach. A child has to be motivated to learn he has to come to school. Ready to Learn. If he's in a classroom with 50 children. And he's not actively participating or even half of leavening he's not going to learn anything. And also if he's in a classroom with 25 children and he's not listening and not participating he's not going to learn anything. Now you take people who have come from the from poor homes but have been very successful in later life. Almost invariably they've had a mom
who says. Work hard study hard learn your lessons you're going to be a doctor maybe even president. And that's what we need. Of this type of mama and that mama isn't here today. Your Meran come home mama doesn't get the kind of support. Right now you can be a momma bear you. Are a money value on almost everything we do we're not worth anything I want somebody I guess. We read our one hour. On the restart the pranayama crowd and Ruth. Well in this case or has an interesting position there. I think this whole question actually of what the Coleman Report found on schools for some of these and it's current location with achievement is perhaps the most misunderstood finding of the report. It is often
interpreted to mean that school facilities make no difference whatsoever almost as if you needed didn't even need 4 walls for the classroom or something. Many educators understandably are upset by this interpretation because they can only imagine what it will be like when they try to go for their next bonding and have conservatives tell them that we don't need it you don't need the money for school facilities they don't count anyway says the Coleman Report. Coleman poor did not find that what the Coleman port could test. Pat's already alluded to this is only would exist it could not test would does not yet exist. Therefore if take its most interesting finding that. People teacher ratio was certainly one of the most believed in dog of all educators I believe myself included did not correlate in any significant way whatsoever with achievement scores. Now this does not mean that a class of 500 is not different from teaching a class of 5. Obviously it is or we think obviously it is. But Coleman did tests that he could only test the class
sizes to do exist in fact in American schools and the range you find in American schools goes from about 20 to 40. What he shows is that between 20 and 40 more or less does not make a difference between in achievement scores. Now there's a difference presumably below 20 some place and above 40 some places which the Coleman report could not test because these such classrooms do not often exist in public schools so it's not the facilities make no difference whatsoever. It's that the relatively small range and facilities in American schools today as Pat has already mentioned do not make a difference. This means of course if we start thinking of schools. Of a type like we do not have anywhere yet today in America there is every reason to believe that such great schools could in fact have Purnell you talking about the large campus school for example talking of campus parks educational parks and so forth and let me just point out that they might have their effect even
though the facilities themselves still were not having the direct effect. That is Coleman has shown and as Pat has emphasized this evening that the important thing is the middle class mil year of the student body. Now how do you get a middle class millionaire Obviously the middle class kids. Now how do you get them. You know you've got to have things that attract middle class parents to send their children to those schools. So if you have a limpid pools and classes which teach the loot and may not correlate with achievement scores directly but it's pretty important to have I think because we have to start thinking of middle class children as a resource and we have to keep them and attract them into the public schools. Well this is Gates or raise the point of children's motivation she talked about the need to motivate children to want to learn. What is the Coleman report say about the children children's motivation. Well I think that. First I'd like to say that I'm for the gay store plan Housewives
$3 an hour. Now you're hot you're wife is a doctor my dear wife is a housewife and I think that's a good point about going to that $3 and on and on the whole question of attracting middle class children as they say you know whatever that means. Remember if you were in England for example if you want to get really. Middle class kids to come to school what you say is that our school buildings are 400 years old and they have no plumbing. Let me double your fate up to that they're waiting to get in status may be the key word. It's complicated All right. Second you asked about the issue. Interest in learning now Coleman comes through with nothing else to learn from this study and a lot to be learned it is that American shoulder and believe in the power of education.
And they've only been taught maybe to think of education as schools. But that's not their fault. But they think that if you study if you're hurt if you try it will be good for you. We don't have any problem with telling them. And dissuading people what they ought to do what we have a great problem with is enabling them to do it somehow for the poor kids. And this is kind of it's kind of a kind of a pathetic thing comes through. They think they're really doing well. They want to do well they want to be president and doctors but they want to score well you know and they're not they're not and that's not funny at all. And that's no way to raise a kid. I'd rather think you'd be better off telling them who they were at the outset of the law think they're somebody than them finding out a pretty hard way they're not the sort to squelch him. And if a person dies it breaks their heart.
How in the devil can you go through life thinking I'm not top half of my class I'm doing very well I'm probably going to go to college and then find out. At the 12th grade if you get there that you're really into ninth grade if that. Now let's get this straight. Coleman studies. Demonstrate one thing and nobody will question this educational achievement of the poor kids in this country is terrible. And to tell them they have an equal opportunity in life when they are on equally equipped if they just up bright their hardest to make them losers in a game that's already Reg against them I mean no one told them that you're not that clear to a child maybe when he gets out of school that he goes into competitions where he's going to lose and we say if fair is fair you know but then you make a kid to lose a wife I mean not gain the beginning if you're going to put him out this way and I think this is remember the median achievement.
The median half above half below. What 12th grade Negro children in mathematics in this country is right that second grade. Just think where that leaves those fellows when they come out of girls. Now it seems to me when you see what's really happening. And then you read in the paper that parents are raising the devil demanding their control if they do that. Who's going to say to parents of children like that. That if you go into that school and take it over you're going to spoil the education of our children. Well children coming out of the 12th grade those who are still in the sixth grade not the moniker achievement. Well why is that. OK well I mean we don't Morkel back to what Coleman says it's a combination of impacting poor kids with poor kids low achieving kids with low achieving kids they can't do it and the teachers don't want to teach it right. Teachers try it's not fair that the old talk the teach it must be somebody else's fault. It's society's fault if any one of putting those kids
together. Well we haven't known this before. It hasn't been so clear looking for people to blame is looking for an excuse. What we should look for is solutions and Coleman helps us doesn't take time and that there's a structural problem here rather than chasing devils and causing that or causing. Let me say of course there are many critics of the Coleman Report who pointed this error and that error. The report is just a survey and it was done hurriedly and there are indeed mistakes as our seminar has found. But this finding comes through no matter how are you managed to control the other relevant variables in the matter HOW ARE YOU. What areas we have found do not in fact affect these. Importance of social class of the of the student body and may I also say that previous studies in sociology of education prior to the Coleman report found the same thing and people didn't take them very seriously because they were not based on anything like this sample of 600000 children throughout the United States. But in other words we have a
great deal that makes us confident of this finding and its important political implications. Well what kind of effect does a child's sense of awareness of his situation his sense of destiny have in relation to his achievement in school. Interesting racial difference here comes. Which path is alluded to in part already. There are two attitudes that Coleman tested very very well. One was a how bright do you think you are in school. In class you were referring to that and wait. The other one is what you might call flight control. How can you determine your own fate in this world. Every time I start to get ahead something gets in my way. Good luck is better than hard work forgetting the hand etc.. Now are for white children the attitude that Curly did very highly with with the achievement scores was how bright they thought they were not how much they assumed they could control things that their environment
for Negro children what was important was much they thought they could control the environment how bright they thought they were. Paths indicate it is almost irrelevant for predicting their achievement. Now the interesting thing is those need and with the strongest scent of sense of fate control. Without this feeling that they are just corks in the nose and unable to do anything about the fate of these children with this sense of control we're much more likely to be found in interracial schools. Well anyone who has spent much time in a ghetto school soon comes to find that poor kids seem to have more social economic and psychological problems than youngsters who come from better backgrounds. We talked before about the political power of the school. What about the power of the school its ability to affect what happens to children from disadvantaged homes. Is it too much to ask us to do something about this. Here's what a school administrator and a civic leader told us when asked Do you believe schools can overcome the problems of children from lower class homes.
Yes I do. At least to a much greater degree than we have ever tried. The capacity exists the intrinsic structure is there whereby the lies the institution of universal education is ideal for trying out many new ideas which haven't tried to talk. But I do believe that if we would think a little differently even with the structure that now exists that we could invite the community so much more in the operation of the school was in the planning of the schools in the policy making of schools. And this in turn would have a very real effect. Holmes which of course in turn would have an effect on the children but I'm fairly convinced that there is a capacity within the school and within the school structure even as it exists today with
modifications to make a real difference in the lives of people who have been socio economically deprived. That's a very comprehensive question and can't be answered. Let me say however that good schools can go a long way in compensating the disadvantaged homes but they cannot perform 100 percent. Of the task. Our experience in compensatory programs with our pupil teacher ratios additional personnel and services are shown great progress when we keep in mind however that this group will spend 5 hours of the day in school. The other 19 hours of the day under the influence of the home. We realize really how little time the schools have to overcome poor homes and environments. This girl has a child for only one tenth of all the other nine tenths is spent under the influence of the home. We have seen the beneficial effects when a child is unrolled and after school and summer school
programs. A longer school day and a longer school year. In addition to beginning school at an earlier age should help. I feel that the family unit. Was informed. The child now spends almost 90 percent of his time is the real thing. All agencies not alone must work together to improve family unity stability and environment. Mr. Kennedy I think is said it well but we have to put what he has said I believe in perspective. But Kennedy runs compensatory programs in all negro schools. The Commission on the civil rights re-analysis of the Coleman report would suggest that this was the hard way to do it. And I'm not surprised that Mr. Kennedy's not too sure that his programs can make it all by themselves. Of course he needs community support. But the idea that compensatory education in ghetto schools are for just the
disadvantaged children regardless of race. All alone can do the job I think is clearly false and I believe that a special analysis done by the commission following up the Coleman report show that this is really too easy it's expensive but it's too easy to get away to try to help the problem. The fact of the matter is these schools are stigmatized often when you begin a compensatory program you act merely to further stigmatize the school. Now this is not to say that compensatory education is not necessary and is not helpful. It is both necessary and helpful but it has to occur in inner racial schools that is to really try to have compensatory education to make up for the problems of ghetto education and so forth. It's a little like bailing water out of the boat fixing the leak the leak segregation has to be fixed also. But even in a larger more integrated school if you're going to group kids according to their abilities in the classroom couldn't you have resegregation even in a highly integrated school.
Of course you do. And I'm not much in favor of the bill if the grouping. You know there's virtually no evidence to show the bill of the grouping helps children. It helps teachers to see easy to teach a class and I can understand you just being human. I think rest of us why they might like that but there's no evidence to show that that's very beneficial for children. Destroying them. Well this is the thing we're keep coming up against which is that if you want to. Help. Children who are behind the rest of their age group you gotta mix them with their age group. And it happens at certain levels of social class which is mostly level how much money do you make how much money you have how much money did daddy give you. Some people get a lot some get none in this country. Well those get none so much the worse for them and if we want our public schools to do and our tax the schools that are Protestant Jewish schools I mean I think
we all have. This country has a general idea that schools are going to not just replicate the social structure of this country but to do something. And now every generation that have kind of a fresh start kind of a new race to start all the time not that everybody's going to end up the same we're going to have winners and losers that the world we don't want a different world that's we fix up those terms. But if we want to give all those new people something like a fair chance. Then we have got to give them a chance to mix with one another. I just think this is what keep coming out of comas. And I think that we have probably got to be pretty clear about what we mean by equality of opportunity. I think that's a word we like to use and it's a very popular word you say. But if what it means is we are going to get everybody take the same examinations at age 21
and we will judge them by how they pass what they what their score is. And yet it's clear that I read about it in this and the town is going to fail everybody not in a time pass. Well it's not equality of opportunity. I mean who's going to talk about such things if that's what's going to happen and I think that in order to deal with this. We've got to reintroduce to our thinking some idea of group and class and saying it's just not going to be good enough. If all the Lithuanian in town get rich and all the Estonians in town stay poor. I mean it's just not. You don't have equal opportunity somehow that your results so the schools really can't overcome anything until we get this class integration. That seems to be what we now know now. But I think that as Tom Pettigrew has made very clear that's just
what Coleman reads from the present system. And the only way he reads that is as as we in this seminar at Harvard University this last year we've really analyzed and gone further into this. These data these numbers and we find that children from lower class families. Who are in school with children. Middle class families invariably do better and why do they do better. Race has an effect but it's all it's a small effect in comparison with class. Isn't that right. You mean you know the middle class Negro children in schools with lower class Negro children doing very poorly in school with middle class negro or white children I do very well. I mean you know the thing keeps coming to know what all we know is that the president school children in those situations perform better than children and situation where they're all tied together in lower class books.
That doesn't say we don't know. We haven't begun to invent new kinds of schools that might do much better. Coleman himself for instance. It has this to say. He says that I think we've begun to measure the results of schools by the results in the first part what goes in by what comes out. Why not let businesses private enterprises get involved and pay them by the result. So there are going to be 50 children who can do third grade mathematics up to $100 if every want to end up with fourth grade mathematics and we get rid of the public school system that way by providing competition and contract I don't think you the schools can still be in the business. It's a little hard to figure out the details but I think Pat's example just shows the kind of thinking that you at least start allowing yourself to tinker with. Given these findings. I think our discussion so far should have
raised in the minds of the viewers two major problems we really haven't touched at all Pat. One is what happens to the advantaged kids from being in school with the disadvantaged kids are they are they hurt by this as the disadvantaged kids are improved in the second is how would you bring it by just in practical terms even admitted that it was desirable. Well on the first one. A narrow analysis both in the faculty seminar in Harvard and the Commission on Civil Rights and the analysis of the Coleman data show rather clearly that as long as it is for race as long as it is a predominantly white school. Whites do as well hypodermically as they do in all white schools for advantaged as long as it's a predominantly advantaged school they do as well with disadvantaged children as in an all advantage advantage school in other words it's not a zero sum game it's not that each school has a finite pot of
educational goodness. And if somehow the slice for the disadvantaged children or Negro children is a little larger they will be less to go around for advantaged children doesn't work that way schools are stretchable and how much educational goodness they have not in not finite slices will hurt them. Tom would you let me ask you one question. This is the thing that come through I don't think we're settled on that. Certainly our some of our didn't settle on having professors get together to disagree and write about them had a good time had a good time. Thanks to the Carnegie Corporation I should say. But. There is one thing that did kind of come through and that is an awful lot of suburban housewives have been blamed for running out to the suburbs to get their children into good schools and and made to think maybe they're monsters or prejudice or whatnot. I think we have to say that Coleman found that that behavior was sensible behavior. Up to you know given the desire to have your kid do well you probably
achieve that desire. And and you were behaving in a rational way maybe so that if you asked people to change that behavior you have to give them rational reasons to behave otherwise. Such as for example a limpet pole such as your job advantage and plus extra So we've got to really sell integrations of the whites is what you're talking. Well you see immigration is I think Brad has pointed out is in our part of the problem it's much broader if you start also thinking in class terms as well as in various terms. And I think though as patters said we don't have exactly the model of the school that we can point to right now. I think we now know what the dimensions are that we're looking for. Let me ask you this how do you really get a quality class integration in a city which is broken up with let's say various ethnic and class ghettos.
I think your question really leads into the answer that is clearly we have to have metropolitan cooperation. It doesn't mean necessarily big large Metropolitan School District but metropolitan cooperation. We just can't do it alone in the central city. It's not just a matter of money it's a matter of human resources a lot of other things. But is this politically realistic. I think it will be the federal government will start giving educational grants for suburbs in Central City rather than just to single grains. I think the suburbs would like to help providing they can do it on terms which they know are not going to hurt their children in any way. And you could. Well in the time we have left I'd like to ask you about the directions and the implications for the Coleman Report. What effect do you have. Do you see it happening in the next year or two. Well I hope it shows one thing and that is that title one of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 one that was not only a great piece of legislation but a very necessary one. And it
shows that the poor kids in poor neighborhoods in this country need help. And the question may be how to help them most effectively. But the fact they need help comes through clear Tom. Well I'd like to amend that just a little. Title One of our one and a half billion dollars a year even in war time we're spending on Title 1 for disadvantaged children of the Elementary Secondary Education Act. I think it was a great step forward but the wrong formula that is always based on the compensatory idea of doing it in the in the in the completely disadvantaged school. Now I'd like to have a little amendment to it maybe not. First session and I know it's Congress but maybe the second session of the 90 first Congress when where we buy we have some money for middle class kids to participate in the Title 1 programs. But you agree that we know that those kids need help. Oh yes and now we have the part where you have to doing something right or we know no bounds. Thank you Mr want to hand this to Pettigrew for the past hour we've been examining the
controversial Coleman report on equal education for children. If the analysis presented here to tonight is correct the Coleman Report could lead to major changes in educational policy if schools contain children from the same kinds of backgrounds generally and class integration is vital. Then the Coleman Report could lead to the death of the neighborhood school concept. If family background may have more impact on student achievement than school facilities more money may have to be forwarded to families through subsidies. The negative income tax or other methods. To many the Coleman report raises more questions than it answers. It seems to have something from everyone's point of view. In the years ahead the Coleman report will be analyzed and reanalyzed probe and the SEC that it will lead to more studies but it will not go away. The big question is how long can children wait before the Coleman Report is translated into action that will provide equal educational opportunity and more.
The Coleman Report
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Program produced and moderated by Howard Spergel examines reaction to the United States Office Of Education issued Coleman Report examining the education of the poor. Authorized by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the report comments on integration, social class and race, the roots of education, and questions how much schools actually influence student learning. Spergel discusses the report in studio with Daniel P. Moynihan, Director of the Harvard/MIT Joint Center For Urban Studies; and Thomas Pettigrew, Harvard Associate Professor of Social Psychology and Chief Consultant to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Also appearing in the program are: William Ohrenberger, Boston School Superintendant; Paul Parks, Education Committee, NAACP; Louise Day Hicks, Boston School Committee; Ellen Jackson, Operation Exodus; Fred Reilly, Boston Teachers Union; Edythe Gaisor, Wellesley Town Meeting; Edna Koretsky, School Volunteer Project; and Paul Kennedy, Compensatory Services, Boston. B/W, 1967.
Public Affairs
Race; Education; race relations
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Duration: 00:59:25;00
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Chicago: “The Coleman Report,” 1967-05-17, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
MLA: “The Coleman Report.” 1967-05-17. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 28, 2024. <>.
APA: The Coleman Report. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from