Interview with Reverend John Powis
QUESTION 7
INTERVIEWER:

Okay, we're talking about the coalition that formed the experiment in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, how did they, how did that come about, how did they come together?

JOHN POWIS:

The coalition in Ocean Hill-Brownsville was formed, it started with the independent school board. And, the interesting thing about the independent school board was that it had no power, but that the parents began relating to it more than it did to the, uh, to the regular school board from Bed-Stuy. So, as that was becoming obvious that there was a lot of parents relating to the independent school board, the next thing we know, the UFT started also coming to our meetings. The UFT representatives from the various schools, and, uh, then all of a sudden, around the city there was all this turmoil around the schools, particularly up around 201 in Harlem, and also in Ocean Hill-Brownsville with this independent school board. The Ford Foundation then came along, together with Yeshiva College, and started talking about the possibility of funding something that could be a demonstration for decentralization of schools in New York City.