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John F. Gummere, a Quaker educator who helped found the National Association of Independent Schools and served as its first chairman, died of heart failure Jan. 26 in Philadelphia. He was 86 years old.

A proponent of classics instruction at the secondary-school level, Mr. Gummere was the author of a series of Latin textbooks, Using Latin. He was a leader in efforts to develop stronger management skills among school administrators.

Mr. Gummere was born in Philadelphia and graduated from the William Penn Charter School and Haverford College, where he served as a member of the board of managers. He obtained a Ph.D. in Indo-European languages from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1923, Mr. Gummere began teaching at Penn Charter and served as headmaster from 1941 to 1968. In 1963, he became the first chairman of nais After his retirement, he taught Latin and English at Haverford.

Mr. Gummere is survived by his wife, the former Martha C. Longstreth, and four step-children.

Enrollment at independent boarding schools declined in the 1986-87 school year, while independent day-school enrollment held about steady, according to the National Association of Independent Schools' annual survey of its member institutions.

The nais counted 870 member schools in 1986-87, 11 more schools than in 1985-86. Total enrollment in member schools reached 347,987, up by 5,584 from the previous year, the group found. Enrollment in day schools was up by 0.1 percent from 1985-86, while boarding-student enrollment declined by 1.1 percent.

Minority students accounted for 11.2 percent of enrollment, up from 10.7 percent in 1985-86. For the first time, the enrollment of Asian-Americans surpassed the enrollment of black students.

About 3.5 percent of the teachers and 1.9 percent of the administrators in nais schools are minorities. The association will release minority statistics for 1987-88 at its annual meeting Feb. 25-27.

A business group raised $5- million last year to help finance inner-city Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The Big Shoulders Fund, which takes its name from a Carl Sandburg poem describing Chicago as the city of "big shoulders," raised the money from corporations, foundations, and individuals to assist 123 elementary schools and 16 high schools. The fund was created at the behest of Chicago's Archbishop, Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin.

The schools benefiting from the program enroll nearly 48,000 students, about 80 percent of whom are members of minority groups and 60 percent of whom are non-Catholics.--kg

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