Equity & Diversity Obituary

Pioneer in School Integration Dies

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — October 16, 2012 1 min read
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Carroll F. Johnson, a former local superintendent who led the effort to integrate schools in the White Plains, N.Y., district after the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education died Oct. 1. He was 99.

“Dr. Johnson was a pioneer and a visionary, and fearless in his devotion to building a just and equitable society using public education as an engine for social change,” Louis N. Wool, the president of the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents, said in a statement. Mr. Johnson was the founder of the organization, which now represents 76 New York school districts.

Carroll F. Johnson

“He is credited with leading the successful desegregation of the White Plains city school district, and in breaking down the barriers to the superintendency for women and minorities,” the statement says.

White Plains was the first school system in the country to voluntarily carry out a plan for desegregating schools, according to Teachers College, Columbia University, where Mr. Johnson was a faculty member later in his career.

Mr. Johnson was born in Georgia and started his career as an educator in that state before joining the U.S. Navy at the start of World War II, according to Teachers College, which he attended with financial support from the GI Bill, and earning a degree in school leadership.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 17, 2012 edition of Education Week as Pioneer in School Integration Dies

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