Equality and Education

Equality and Education: Federal Civil Rights Enforcement in the New York City School System

MICHAEL A. REBELL
ARTHUR R. BLOCK
Copyright Date: 1985
Pages: 358
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvxnk
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  • Book Info
    Equality and Education
    Book Description:

    Using an innovative blending of ideological, implementation, and comparative institutional analysis, this book takes the New York City case as a springboard for assessing the role of an executive agency in making and implementing egalitarian policies.

    Originally published in 1985.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5782-1
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
    Michael A. Rebell and Arthur R. Block
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. INTRODUCTION A CASE STUDY THROUGH THREE LENSES
    (pp. 3-12)

    In 1974, the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare announced that it would initiate a massive, new, computer-based investigative approach to probe patterns of civil rights compliance in large urban school systems. The prototype for this ambitious project was the “New York City Review,” which was to become “the largest civil rights investigation of a public education institution ever undertaken.”¹ This new investigative technique was expected to open up entirely new possibilities for civil rights enforcement. To some extent it did. But, at the same time, it also revealed fundamental limitations in...

  6. PART ONE The Ideological, Legal, and Legislative Background
    • CHAPTER ONE AMERICAN EGALITARIAN IDEOLOGY
      (pp. 15-26)

      More than two hundred years ago, the American colonies announced their Declaration of Independence to England and the world by declaring as a self-evident truth “that all men are created equal.” In essence, “[t]he equal legal and moral status of free individuals was America’s reason for independent existence."¹ The American Republic established the concept of equality as a revolutionary, democratic principle in the eighteenth century, and egalitarianism has remained a dominant concern of American politics ever since.² America’s unique role as the midwife of egalitarianism in modern history can be traced primarily to three factors. First was the image and...

    • CHAPTER TWO EQUALITY AND THE COURTS
      (pp. 27-37)

      It has been generally acknowledged that the modern civil rights era began with the Supreme Court’s landmark school desegregation decision inBrownv.Board of Education.¹ SinceBrown,the courts have, of course, delved deeply into major egalitarian issues on the cutting edge of social controversy. The culmination of this era of intense judicial concentration on egalitarian issues could be said to be marked by the decision inRegents of the University of Californiav.Bakke,² the medical school preferential admissions case in which fifty-eightamicusbriefs, the most ever submitted in any Supreme Court case, presented virtually every conceivable...

    • CHAPTER THREE EQUALITY AND THE CONGRESS: THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF TITLE VI AND ESAA
      (pp. 38-52)

      The Supreme Court’s 1954 decision inBrownv.Board of Educationforcefully established the principle that school segregation is inherently inequitable and unconstitutional. In the decade followingBrown,however, the judiciary failed to effect the broad changes needed to vindicate this principle. In 1963, over 99 percent of black children in most southern states still attended segregated schools.¹

      Judicial tempering during that era was paralleled by a lack of firm legislative and executive branch initiatives in support of the anti-discrimination principle. Especially striking was the continuation of federal funding to segregated programs in the deep South. Federal money continued to...

  7. PART TWO Equality and the AdministrativeAgency: OCR’s New York City Review, 1972–1982
    • [PART TWO Introduction]
      (pp. 53-56)

      The discussion in the preceding chapters has demonstrated that neither the courts nor Congress was able to reconcile the competing strands of American egalitarian ideology. Although the passage of Title VI represented a major political breakthrough for civil rights advocates, it could not be known until the statute was implemented whether the unresolved, underlying ideological conflicts and statutory compromises would impede effective enforcement.

      Initial implementation of Title VI in the late 1960s was concentrated in southern school districts, where strong administrative standards, backed up by the courts, substantially accelerated the process of dismantling dual school systems. It was, however, with...

    • CHAPTER FOUR THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
      (pp. 57-68)

      When the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, only one-fifth of the school districts in the South had even begun to desegregate, and almost all of the black children in the southern states still attended all-black schools.¹ In this context, it was far from clear how the newly enacted Title VI would be implemented and whether its passage could substantially accelerate the pace of school desegregation.

      Title VI called upon HEW to devise regulations and procedures to end discrimination in federally assisted school programs.² Within HEW, the key agency was the Office of Education. As an organization accustomed to providing...

    • CHAPTER FIVE FACULTY HIRING AND ASSIGNMENT
      (pp. 69-112)

      New York City, the testing ground for the Big City Reviews project, has the nation’s largest and most complex public school system. When the reviews commenced, New York City had over 1 million students, some 60,000 teachers, and a budget of approximately $3 billion. Between 1955 and 1975, minority enrollment as a proportion of the student body had grown from 28 percent to 68 percent.

      These rapid demographic changes had political ramifications. In the late 1960s, demands by minority groups for “community control” of schools ultimately led to the passage of a school decentralization law. This law divided power between...

    • CHAPTER SIX STUDENT SERVICES
      (pp. 113-134)

      The original focus of the New York City Review was on relatively novel theories of discrimination. The plan was to use statistical methods of proof (which largely reflected a result-oriented approach toward educational equity issues) to uncover discriminatory patterns in the allocation of educational resources, classroom segregation of minority children, and racial disparties in the application of disciplinary rules.

      However, as discussed in the previous chapter, the focus of the review shifted abruptly in 1976, toward more traditional allegations about employment discrimination.¹ Indeed, the very issues Gerry had originally hoped to soft-pedal—if not avoid entirely—came to dominate the...

  8. PART THREE Analytical Perspectives
    • [PART THREE Introduction]
      (pp. 135-138)

      The story of the New York City Review, as recounted in the preceding chapters, is a mosaic of complex issues, intriguing personalities, and dramatic political developments. In and of itself, the narrative is a useful record of school reform initiatives on egalitarian issues in New York City over the past decade. In addition, as indicated in the Introduction, the New York City Review, if subjected to a tripartite analysis, can advance understanding in the areas of egalitarian ideology, implementation, and institutional comparisons. And, by interrelating these three distinct, but complementary, analytical perspectives, we can attain a more profound understanding of...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN THE EGALITARIAN IDEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 139-150)

      Egalitarian ideology in America, as noted in chapter 1, reflects a dynamic tension between opposing ideological poles. The equality of opportunity pole is rooted in the basic American commitment to individual liberty. But, especially in the last twenty-five years, counter pressures pushing for practical remedies to overcome entrenched patterns of discrimination have bolstered the equality of result view. Neither Congress nor the courts have either reconciled these competing ideological strands or provided consistent egalitarian policies or principles to guide OCR’s Title VI compliance review activities.

      Thus, a key question this study has sought to answer is how may an administrative...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT THE IMPLEMENTATION PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 151-170)

      Implementation has been defined as “the process of creating or attempting social change through law.”¹ Social science analysis of implementation is premised on an assumption that the precise policy goals set forth in a statute will not necessarily—or even probably—be fully realized in practice. Thus, for the implementation analyst, careful case studies of what happensaftera law goes into effect are as important as understanding the law’s stated purposes. The outcome of the New York City Review dramatically illustrates this point. Clearly, the drafters of Title VI could not have anticipated that the statute, written with an...

    • CHAPTER NINE THE COMPARATIVE INSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 171-196)

      The comparative institutional perspective is based on the premise that the traditional separation of powers model of the functioning of American government no longer fully reflects reality. Legislatures, courts, and administrative agencies all play unprecedented roles in the expanded governmental activities of the post–New Deal era. In regard to the executive branch, Douglas Yates has written: “Bureaucracies assume a legislative role when they interpret weak congressional mandates.... They play an executive role as they make substantive decisions about the innovation and implementation of public policies. They play a judicial role, especially in the regulatory sphere, when they try appeals...

    • CHAPTER TEN CONCLUSIONS
      (pp. 197-202)

      Shortly before this book was completed, more than five years after the two OCR agreements had been negotiated in New York City, the United States Supreme Court decided a case which directly raised the critical legal issue that has been a leitmotif of this study: do policies that have an adverse impact on minorities violate Title VI, even if there is no proof of discriminatory intent? InGuardians Association v. Civil Service Commission of the City of New York,¹ an employment discrimination case involving layoffs of minority police officers, a majority of the justices held that Title VI does require...

  9. APPENDIX A LIST OF MAJOR INTERVIEWS
    (pp. 203-207)
  10. APPENDIX B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE
    (pp. 208-216)
  11. NOTES
    (pp. 217-330)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 331-340)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 341-341)