thumbnail of The Way it is
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
aeg because is it the national educational television network september and the kids are off to school most of them off to their neighborhood public school but the neighborhood's of changes were once the public schools truly represented a cross section of children are buried incomes and backgrounds today on willingly but inevitably many city schools have become ghetto schools a concentration of race poverty and defeat
pulled out of the ghetto and you're a lawyer they were down in the end payne was then continue what is known as the educational process speeches or turned off some of the ministers are turned off some i'm turned off i want time to say really is the total picture here is that nobody can function well and effectively in the ghetto that everybody has overwhelmed by the circumstance by everybody else in that condition which is dressing up and as we've lost about fourteen fifteen sixteen years of what we can do with a list of more than a holding action and just to get us to the record straight teacher training as a train who would leave them nice guys working your schoolers like it and it's psychologically within one day the first day that moment with that one week later some of running this summer but that at the edges of the
dollar's away from any teeth journal presents away it is a public schools according to the bowl sat for them back in the eighteen forties are supposed to be equal if not superior to any private school but i think in new york city negro and puerto rican children now outnumber white children in the public school and that's the case in more and more city schools across the country are twelve hundred students attend a junior high 57 a pleasant ghetto school in brooklyn's bedford stuyvesant desperate three quarters of the children on negro one quarter are puerto rican there are twelve white people what kind of an education of these children get
as is typical of ghetto seventh graders discuss matters junior high already two and a half years behind the national norms if they actually succeed in finishing high school they will by that time have fallen five years the principal lynn swartz many many years and i want to turn the fair the basic school which just is not just ninety percent and even alaskans who outside school is fine will persist something happens to them in the classroom situation school situation which keeps them from morning these harsh attacks have brought in educational community across the country university fears are coming down from their ivory towers to find out what has gone wrong in a unique experiment yet robertson professor of education at new york university and his
nyu specialists are joining forces with principal lynn swartz and is yeah see if together they can help salvage this particular seventh grade four we're at war and at stake are america's get o'keefe but we fight with weapons that are from a different age and we must find new ones when this is the fbi nyu plans to divide the seventeen classes of the seventh grade into six clusters of three classes that won't have the same teachers and an nyu cluster leader
we can't and a new teacher junior high 57 freddie coleman of teachers them and they'll be part of one new cluster it is big money
it's b the hallways are a way of life while the class is guarding their never ending the war twenty three years old is the school's math teacher in the same cluster and is the official teacher for class seven fourteen as well it's benny
these guys from rome was dismantled time although the longer term and i sense the urban fusion of many of the city's exist the same kind of thing place the efforts of teachers and i think this is one reason i wanted to become a teacher because of the censor wanted to pay teachers who were some were devoted and dedicated to st louis for many for many of these things in the industry and i think the school has become a whole because i think there's a lack of many of these social
activities within this does bring us to lose in terms of getting along when science teachers of a new cluster and one would be a thirty and others planning programs together with their nyu know i
know i know you have to become a teacher support the show well i'm going to try to live off citron of working on a press seven talking to some unease about the time the teacher was now since i didn't have any yet courses and the thought of going back to college to get the courses was just
insurmountable for me and the schools came up to six weeks that but our job i was and what i thought of swim it's very interesting i come from a background similar vigils in this neighborhood islam background family of twelve children and the iphone was a theory at the time that i would have some common basis with children in this neighborhood and i came here and i think it's true yes but certainly this is just enough but it's a battle like and the other thing that you do in life to fight for it and i think that that as far as our country's been sent us citizens and then they get more selfishly my family's consent the main problem isn't areas like this in
schools like this and that has to be solved one where another of my kids are going to live in a world where they could have a chance the people here are a few and this feeling comes off the streets and into the classrooms of junior high 57 a recent study of get your children show that many do not believe they can really influence their own future and the fact is that less than fifty percent can expect a graduate from his junior high with a regular job the teachers had been able to reach only a limited view and the universities have been unable to teach the teachers how to connect with ghetto cannes this is one vital part of what nyu is trying to do now
well i think we have to turn on the teachers and the way to turn them on is not to tell them what to do really but it is the law wasn't the good ideas that they had wanted to use to be expressed and then to be tried in a protected situation where this time and sixties that have failed and what i'm saying is you can't you can't make a formula for that and you can say good this way or this way or this way what is new here is that you want you want teachers in the school with the help of the extra personnel to concentrate on the eighty or ninety children will be within that family close to a list of these revenue they can finally tell you know we live with each other and they get support i think that's very important you really want to turn people off then you can hold up a lot of things around here that his statement's a bee's we cannot do robertson has advised india thailand indonesia how why and puerto rico on the problems of education it is china's ultimate challenge right here in bedford stuyvesant to me that he's been given a two year grand perform the clinic for
learning working with him or as custer leaders clinic teachers and community agents will work with organizations and parents outside of school a large contingent of student teachers and chinese has been plucked out of the antiseptic university and put into on the job training in the combat zone professor robertson and as people try to get the feel of the school who didn't have to come to school with you know military right because they don't have nine the ntsb as they say this way do you
really well yes stevens thank you one day one day here was that you know new season and analysts are words seem to get it to stop
you know why the point of education's motto is a well planned lesson prevents discipline problems it doesn't at this point nyu has been in the school only two weeks but they've already learned that theory and reality don't always mesh the six cluster leaders are all highly trained in the teaching of disadvantaged children but teaching them together on their home ground in a ghetto classroom five days a week is something else again with two teachers i was
sitting in the markets we were going to a church service we couldn't control us oh my i don't feel exactly defeated i never realized the enormity of that problem i thought it was going to be a situation where there was a school with a bunch of hardworking teachers simply doing the wrong things the kids couldn't read my say they couldn't read i haven't agreed willing to identify what i couldn't identify it or even words he'll top problems the severe
series i just never realized how deep the whole problem is and you think that this is going on in other cities troubled country the greatest danger in the world and in the senate is john mccain here what's going on and they can hear what's going on that question because of the chaos in the two although the turmoil inside of them and that too long turmoil and chaos with his insight and support every moment by the regime on the chaos and turmoil outside as in the industry and in the home to an end the school certainly right that in the school at least i'm asking the question and the question is how can you make it possible for children to listen and how do we make it possible for children to hear and i think we may be on the right track when we think that if we could get them one by one where the chaos the virus
causes some single person saying something they can hear a missing something in that single person has also listening to that and supports the quiet that we can at least begin to feel differently about themselves and hopefully they can expand from hearing how one other person or hearing so i come down for the first time we're influenced communities a chance to listen to that for a chance to play a clean cr they really listen to each other julie lynette the leader of this cluster has five years' experience a master's degree in teaching disadvantaged children
and a highly successful record of experimental work with ghetto children outside of school orchestra leaders will receive extra help from her friends today's as well as community agents they're working saturdays many evenings and the phone calls to each other never stop in a house the new places he was concerned that it doesn't who was farley is why don't we talk about these things in the question as part of the greek know that these things these needs it but i can't have that they bring with them when they come into this building every day are the kinds of things that we need we we may need to concentrate on if we ever agreed to teach them and i think you know in terms of the curriculum we have now is the possibility that maybe we have to check it what can you substitute you know these kids have to take tests and anybody be tested or through there was also this collection say and it's always based on a trip every achievement test they take is based on the curricula so are
you have to do so please compromise in some way we may have to break that system and it means breaking the system up the steps step learned test step step alert test they will have to break their legs the face of last year oh it's like where's it was just complete chaos at just had been in place before and i was the same i believe the time where you get it it's apt or socializing skills skills of socialize and i went to the western cities would think they asked that they didn't even know until i would do everything you got little group here you'll hear there oh it is with costly fight back of each other and vicious language vicious language in the main park in maine them a success was actually didn't know it jenny is no troublemaker and so
he just withdraw you leave him alone and he'll leave you alone you know he has been held over in the seventh grade he was absent last year over fifty times at school is remote from his classmates and his teachers but the sheer is coming to school more often and receiving a lot of individual attention his support for roberts it was beautiful
thank you oh yeah
thank you oh yeah it just can't say to a clears i think it's a great these days kids just don't believe words is not a mass don't see any action to back up these words the only thing that they care about is is when you actually do
and sometimes some of the key in what he does something all he knows if you really cared about teaching as i've seen it is both marvelous and tallow because it had to make such a big difference allows the kids and we mustn't mustn't so obvious in to them and that may be in a sense make every student there that what we are and with that piece among the teachers of junior high 57 there are mixed feelings about what the clusters are doing and even among themselves there is disagreement as to what is the best thing to do everyone knows there's a problem but what is the solution
he really is as the state exchanges letting the jews celebrated the two committees and we agreed with the villains as the us often at odds at our house wasn't until i wanted our house to be built these social situations it's just as good
are you really but mainly the clusters are tackling the problem of reading in many ways with cluster leader bob fine and social studies teacher when goldstein class seven fifteen has given hot chocolate and the local negro newspaper the amsterdam news fourteen youngsters are in this class but as
usual only eight have shown up to scientists with two student teachers to help out democrats half over the children and still not touch their chocolate i was asked those bushes
only when the class split up into groups of two of the kids start to participate in the mission says they face is education center it is innovative you know that newspapers have a section where he can send letters of items that sometimes prayer
is one of the commanding one atom at all you know how you can learn about and he happens to be an important mandate york city politics and if you wanted something about him his chance to write it in a letter that says something here about adam clayton powell in a negro section of it with a negro in it you and you didn't but this is still has moments like the lack of responsiveness who knows why is it now that the gulf between the children and the school is in part a reflection of the gulf between the school and the
community the kids see their teachers leave each day but they remain here in the ghetto with all its frustrations and isolation fb and will use communications are trying to bridge the gap between the gavel on the school and one way is to try to learn from the kids what their life was like outside of school this is their last day
julie says cost is ms cathy diseases yes
sir he's brilliant ben dolan has been doing a neighborhood census with some kids from julie's cluster making history or a show or every seventh grader in the us many of the kids don't know that a classmate lives on the very same blockade of the names on the mailboxes
as dave has gotten older children he and other community agents have been going to their homes and neighborhood stores to meet their family nyu has hired local people such as genetic used to reach their families and bring them in to school and they should go up to school and take him and make sure that kids get the same education that another tune again and if they're not getting why they don't get and find out why and do something about it and help that school that's going to speak because this was on thin so you can pay people a common the teacher challenge that doesn't say your child doesn't want to know what you feel that they're not they're inventing a lot to be accepted into society this is a feeling a lot of people and because he could tighten it was duran duran toe what to do and be in twenty years and it's about time that the people get up or they'd be if they do something about it i do know that people are being
a little more dubious and we'll do something about it what do you feel about this why not do something and what dr richard charney duets go about self mrs jimmy's mother when she has seven children three right now attending fifty seven have you ever been to go with the vermont parents teachers association and i don't want no i think the you know it's going you know with health
thank you the community agents go into the church's to cry when the minister to get the members to become active in the school said one woman's son did not attend school for three years those three years when his father was a head on tuesday today you think you think there's learning going on the school and you think that that everything is normal as well as it could be well fed he says
they let you know they get along as the final climb into his event comes you noticed that one to make all they are you know that should be done and especially pleased because of my kids get so one man's out that vision and struggled through it thank you before you thank you you know
thank you and ratliff city in a new man who is the ceo of the procedures about it she's a certain that as bad as the area issa says cullen so close to iraq you send a container was that she'd i i thought that i came in that a great deal of them could be done that somewhere along the line the teachers and the administration's as well as a parents letting these kids and i think that the time has come when the community and apparently the parents ought to say to the principal it's a two way street and we play our whole lot of cooperation on support and also are our own
observation in terms of saying that the job is done we will not win that just a pleading for that we wanted to have it these pricing low quality at once only all once someone is something these kids last year she makes some money and she goes away is a brilliant is as a daughter in the seventh grade and has become a community she is now showing up you're visiting mothers through the school
and on the key to peace do you want to tell me they visit the principal to find out how they can help but even with this great effort only a few mothers are becoming julian fall for those who are the reality of the school hits hard when they were young and reality it's the nyu teachers hard to sue sexist caught in the cleveland slums but he didn't prepare for what she found here some of her twelve year old girls have formed an extortion
gay and are threatening the others it still feels that they need and at least one third of our pupils need psychiatric help but she's just learned from an assistant principal at the waiting list for such care from the city is two and a half years i'm understand the needs of the skin and i used to tell stand that i could teach him even either because of his class no matter where egypt keith this was an overwhelming but sue sticks to it however by genuine in only six months one third of nyu was people everywhere including cluster leaders community agencies and clinic teachers
nyu students have been reluctant to come out to teach in the ghetto fearing violence but by now a grapevine has begun to work and reinforcements are pouring in fifty additional student teachers and eight plus new teachers make a total of over sixty extra people just for the seventh grade judy uses two of them for a special class in the past she's been able to raise the reading level of other ghetto children five years into months but she didn't do it in a regular school setting and the same techniques just don't seem to work here so she is peeled off the non readers from or three cluster classes and whether to student teachers she sees them for several hours each day they're trying many different approaches right now you know he's trying to stimulate the kids with the detective story and cartoons warm her goal to try to get them to allow themselves to learn and to use those brains which are so active outside the
classroom that's right right right this is also divided troublesome class seven five into two totally separate classes new reading books have been assigned them a deal with my friends' mothers and the kids really as for the teachers have a seven time she begins to enjoy her
a story about life thank you right now julie is encouraging her cluster teachers to try on orthodox approaches gay is really tried some and is having his troubles with the administration as a result at a recent observation he was criticized for not putting the aim of the lesson on the blackboard and he is
touring with the inevitable bureaucracy of the public school systems thankfully the city greece's that's important in mathematics
yeah yeah let's see he is he is he says well i just business
the peak he's able to put some of his own views tomorrow rising that's right
oh my now now that's right as disappointing as
you something that is a sense of unity they don't try to tear each other down and make fun of each other and just destroy each other but to help each other shows assad so many different ways and it addresses itself into the upper classes you know when you know in a way to bring on the people
you know the idea when you give them were and they see that their fellow students are having trouble people and they try to tell me at the united nations i see i might
have only energy that gets that but you can teach them wrestle in the sense that the reading scores low listen understand i think they have a sense of respect not only for themselves but for me as a teacher but lots of these kids and the situation in the school and you wonder whether they're going to be able to supply the influences which i dragging them and the other way and knowing the responsibility and some of the other things that warring against the ethical piece of this nyu knew the job would be hard but it has turned out to be harder social successes and a recent report united states commission on civil rights just didn't have a very
extensive survey which shows that there is a single this compensatory education where is it several are forces in motion teacher training in the combat zone is proving effective and accept it with all the criticisms that i'm clear out some of the activities that we do with the notion that we should have families that you're working with groups of teachers has been accepted as an ipo we learn learn and learn with the situation and i think what we're learning is that more radical solutions are necessary and most anticipated
petite young adult children educators must throw away the rule books and find new methods for this we need an army of teachers and an arsenal of drastic new ideas the school's alone cannot be done without the involvement of the community first the schools must read in their last place as a symbol of hope and for this to happen real opportunities must be provided by society for the people of the ghetto schools not enough there's a life beyond school and that life must offer the children more than their mothers and fathers and so the war must be fought on many fronts meanwhile the crisis is escalating all our efforts to stop it so far have not been enough and the children are not waiting soon they will be men and women helping to shape a smash and their needs are our needs
they require the full unstinting urgent mobilization of our nation's creativity step number one is to face the reality of the situation and know what the way it is yeah really the name thank you we
NET Journal
Episode Number
Episode Number
The Way it is
Producing Organization
National Educational Television and Radio Center
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/516-wm13n21m7q).
Episode Description
In September 1966, a major metropolitan university took on a major problem in secondary education - the ghetto school. Backed by a Ford Foundation grant, New York University's Clinic for Learning focused its attention and talents on Junior High School 57 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. At the same time, producer Harold Mayer and his crew arrived for a documentary study of the ghetto school. Original impressions were far from encouraging. The NET film begins with some of these impressions. During a special meeting, members of the NYU project describe the reigning mood of each classroom - bedlam, disinterest, no reading skills. How can you make them hear? Asks Jack Robertson, project director. The camera moves abruptly to a series of classrooms, where children play tic-tac-toe, drum on their desks, shout at each other, shove, fall off chairs, dance, or sit on a radiator in an attitude of withdrawal. Nowhere is there a sense of attention. As one teacher laments: "These kids just don't believe in words." Confronted with this chaos, the NYU group and individual teachers try various approaches to "reach" the children. Working separately with a troubled boy, an English teacher encourages him to deal with language. A Negro teacher of arithmetic shouts "I challenge you" to a boy engaged in a problem at the blackboard. Members of his class are permitted to sing and to argue among themselves - as long as the subject is arithmetic. In another class, students read "Black Boy" by Richard Wright and a detective story, in two attempts to make them relate to the material and to view it without their usual disdain. Meanwhile, community leaders attempt to engage the local mothers. The camera follows them into a grocery store, a church, and a schoolroom where some mothers appear. However, apathy is the prevailing mood in the ghetto. While educators debate the best way to proceed, little success is noted at Junior High School 57. NYU will devote another 18 months to the project. It has already lost five of its original 15 members. At this point, in one teacher's words, "we've just learned what questions to ask." But the teacher can't simultaneously function as psychologist, cop, mother, father - and teacher, says Mayer. "There's a mechanism at work in the ghetto situation. And until you get at it - until, in effect, you do away with the ghetto - you can't really talk about education. The simple fact is that these kids will be five years behind by the time they get out of high school - if they get out. And this is the reality of all urban ghetto education." NET Journal - The Way It Is is a production of National Educational Television, which runs approximately an hour and was originally recorded on videotape. It aired as Intertel/NET Journal episode 133 on May 1, 1967 and as NET Journal episode 164 on December 4, 1967. When the documentary was reaired in December 1967, it was accompanied by a follow-up panel discussion. A live studio audience, drawn from special-interest groups in New York City, confront the educators. The panel includes Francis Keppel, former U.S. Commissioner of Education, now chairman of the board, General Learning Corporation; Alfred A. Giardino, president of the New York City Board of Education; Richardson Dilworth, ex-mayor of Philadelphia, who is that city's president of the Board of Education; Nolan Estes, associate commissioner for elementary and secondary education, U.S. Office of Education, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and Mrs. Ellen Jackson, head of a Roxbury (Mass.) action group, Operation Exodus. Appearing in the New York studio with Keppel and Giardino is NET moderator Richard McCutchen; Dilworth, Estes, and Mrs. Jackson appear from Philadelphia, Washington, and Boston respectively. Harold Mayer, producer-director of "The Way It Is, " also produced the interconnected discussion. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast Date
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Social Issues
Public Affairs
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Camera Operator: Sopanen, Jeri
Director: Mayer, Harold
Editor: Voynow, Zena
Producer: Mayer, Harold
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
Writer: Mayer, Lynne Rhodes
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2431958-4 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 1 inch videotape: SMPTE Type C
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
Duration: 0:59:31
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2431958-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
Duration: 0:59:31
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2431958-5 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W
Duration: 0:59:31
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2431958-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2431958-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Master
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “The Way it is,” 1967-12-04, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 22, 2023,
MLA: “The Way it is.” 1967-12-04. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 22, 2023. <>.
APA: The Way it is. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from