The Kerner Report 40 Years On

In 1967, following the Detroit Rebellion in which thousands of citizens rose up against racism, joblessness, the police, and an apartheid education system, the Kerner Commission was established and issued an interesting report, which clearly laid the blame for the uprising on racism and oppression.

Following the rebellion, welfare rules softened, thousands of jobs opened up for black youth, and health agencies reintroduced programs which had been abandoned by 1965 (up until about 1956, Detroit offered free health and dental care to all residents who could not afford it, through the Children's Fund of Michigan).

I'm working with several other people on a paper, and documentary, on the rebellion, and trying to keep up with the current Detroit Public Schools strike as well. I thought, however, colleagues might be interested in the part of the report addressing what should be done regarding education.

To implement these strategies, the Commission recommends:

* Sharply increased efforts to eliminate de facto segregation in our schools through substantial federal aid to school systems seeking to desegregate either within the system or in cooperation with neighboring school systems.

* Elimination of racial discrimination in Northern as well as Southern schools by vigorous application of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

* Extension of quality early childhood education to every disad­vantaged child in the country.

* Efforts to improve dramatically schools serving disadvantaged children through substantial federal funding of year-round com­pensatory education programs, improved teaching, and expanded experimentation and research.

* Elimination of illiteracy through greater federal support for adult basic education.

* Enlarged opportunities for parent and community participation in the public schools.

* Reoriented vocational education emphasizing work-experience training and the involvement of business and industry.

* Expanded opportunities for higher education through increased federal assistance to disadvantaged students.

* Revision of state aid formulas to assure more per student aid to districts having a high proportion of disadvantaged school-age children."

Here is a summary of the Kerner Report

This is a longer piece on the Detroit Wildcat Strike of 1999

and the current strike

best r