Interview with Albert Shanker

Okay, we're going to begin in the spring of '67. The Ford Foundation, with the UF--and the UFT come together and, with a proposal which leads to the Ocean Hill-Brownsville experiment. It's a very unique coalition of labor, a community group, and a foundation in government. What did you hope that this coala--coalition could achieve?


I'd hoped that we could develop a kind of cooperation between parents and community groups on the one hand and the, and the union on the other. We were moving along trying to get something that we called a more effective schools which was, ah, a plan which had, ah, a very small class size and kids could enter in the morning and have care and education all day. And there were summer programs and there were, ah, it was just very rich in facilities and we, ah, we were trying to get support for this, ah, at the same time of course there were movements for greater parental involvement and community involvement, and, ah, we had, ah, a kind of a shoot out at IS-201, just before this where, ah, some community groups wanted a Black principal, fell into conflict with the school. And what we were trying to do is show that we didn't have to have conflict all the time, that we could support greater parental involvement and we hoped that, ah, ah, that the parents would support the things that we wanted because after all they were basically, ah, good for education. And, ah, we thought that this could be done in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, that we could show that parents and teachers could support each other in these goals.