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THE CRISIS IN THE SYSTEM of public school education in America is one of the most obvious facts of our time.  As the new academic year begins concern with this problem is producing struggles which are taking a variety of forms.  The widespread boycott of the public schools in Chicago by the Afro-American community, the demands for "student power" on university campuses across the country and the intense, prolonged confrontation over the issue of "community control" in New York are mirrors of public dissatisfaction.
 The crisis deepens at an uneven rate, varying from city to city, shaped by conditions in which we live. Yet the common concern is that public education is inadequate, especially for the poor and the ghettoized, but also for the young campus intellectuals seeking a relevant education. 
 We believe the situation in New York, with all its strengths, weaknesses and contradictions is a microcosm of where the struggle for quality education is today.  The authoritative articles by Rev. Milton A. Galamison and Charles E. Wilson tend to confirm this appraisal.
 The current demand for "community control" merely asserts for Negro working class parents the kind of power that white parents in suburbia have traditionally exercised in the public schools of their communities.
 The simple fact is public school education in the major population centers of the North has rapidly deteriorated during the decade and a half since the Supreme Court's desegregation rulings affecting public education in the South.  That's the harsh reality which black parents and supporters of their struggle are trying to deal with.  Their aspirations for quality education for their children do not conflict with the need of the teaching profession to protect rights won by trade unionism.  The teacher should feel responsible to the community for the simple reason that teaching as a function in society is a public trust. 
 The essays in this Special Issue of FREEDOMWAYS analyze, interpret and add valuable information to the body of experience being accumulated in the struggle for quality public education in America.  We hope the sum total of this volume will be a substantial contribution to the developing cultural revolution in American life, moving the nation's mentality into closer contact with world realities and truth.

The Editors


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