"Social dynamite is building up in our large cities" because of the failure of the public school system to meet its responsibilities, James B. Conant '14, President, Emeritus, warned in a statement to the New York Times yesterday.
Especially disturbed by the Negro slum neighborhoods in which half the boys between 16 and 21 are out of school and out of work, Conant proposed a series of specific measures that he claimed are "drastically" needed.
Summarizing his book Slums and Suburbs issued on Monday, Conant called for the schools to continue to provide educational and vocational guidance for youth until the age of 21. Expansion of work programs and meaningful courses are necessary, he said, as are programs to secure the co-operation of parents.
Emphasizing the need for increased funds to problem schools, Conant stated, "The contrast in money spent per pupil in wealthy surburban schools and in the slum schools challenges the concept of opportunity in American public education." The Negro student will benefit more from improved schools, he added, than from token integration across zoning lines.
Suggests Federal Aid
Also pointing out that "relatively little" can be accomplished without increased employment opportunity on a non-discriminatory basis, Conant suggested federal aid be used against discrimination by employers and labor unions.
Turning to suburban schools, Conant, in a less urgent tone, asked for a more realistic attitude toward higher education, and recommended greater consideration of the two-year junior college.