The notion that busing is the last or only hope to achieve integration is a mistake," Nathan Glazer, professor of Education and Social Structure, told a national forum on school desegregation on Saturday in Louisville, Ky.
Glazer said later, "I favor the widest degree of free choice regarding school assignment. One can immediately require that there be no racial basis for school assignment."
"But it's specious to think that the Constitution requires equal statistical distribution of races in public schools. Integration means equal access, not equal distribution," he said.
At the two-day forum, Glazer said he advocates voluntary busing from cities to suburbs and improvement of black inner city schools as methods of accelerating integration.
He told the 300 participants that gains in black occupational status, income, and housing are also promoting integration.
Ronald Edmunds, director of the Center for Urban Studies at Harvard, said yesterday, "I dramatically prefer voluntary desegregation, but litigation is necessary when you have a school committee that interferes with it."