Kenneth B. Clark, the noted psychologist whose research on the harmful effects of racial segregation on children was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in its historic Brown v. Board of Education decision, said this month that schools are failing to fulfill their responsibility to help eradicate racism from society.
"I believe that educational institutions are the chief instruments for the perpetuation of racism,'' Mr. Clark said at a symposium sponsored by the Scientists' Institute for Public Information.
Mr. Clark, an emeritus member of the New York State Board of Regents who currently runs a consulting firm, said that schools must take the lead in fighting racism, rather than deal with it only as politics requires.
According to a report in The New York Times, he said that schools should not "just reflect society,'' but should "help society move beyond idiocies.''
"We've gotten to the point where we are not only dealing with segregation again,'' said the psychologist, "but segregation without achievement. It's a cycle of pathology, and schools are primarily responsible.''
John R. Silber, president of Boston University, has told a citizens' group that public schools in Boston are "a complex system of child abuse'' and the city's School Committee should be disbanded.
Mr. Silber, who once offered to take over the administration of the city's school system, did not elaborate on his remarks, which came in response to a question following a speech to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Committee last month.
In the speech, Mr. Silber attacked the state's Board of Regents of Higher Education for creating state-supported programs that duplicate and compete with programs at the state's many independent colleges and universities.
Declining enrollment brought about by the growth of public-university programs, he said, has forced Boston University to consider closing its nursing school.
Rather than spend $15,000 a year per student for new nursing programs, he suggested, the state should spend $8,000 a year per student to provide vouchers to subsidize the tuition of students who want to attend nursing programs at private schools.
"This would ensure that needy students have full access to existing programs of their choice,'' he contended.