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Decrease in Bias in Schools Reported by American Jewish Committee

October 23, 1953
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An “encouraging decrease” in bias in the schools throughout the United States was reported here today by Irving M. Engel, chairman of the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee, which is opening a two-day session here tomorrow with more than 100 leaders of American Jewry attending.

Mr. Engel said that studies made on a nationwide basis by the AJC during the past 12 months show that “efforts of bigots and trouble-makers to inject bias and discrimination into American’s schools and colleges are being rejected by most of the American people. ” Gains made in the educational field in the struggle against-discrimination, he added, included:

1. Considerable progress in decreasing bias in college admissions in many sections of the United States, with the brightest spots in the Northeast and Far West, and substantial progress in the mid-West.

2. Checkmating of a small group of bigots in their reckless attacks on public schools in various sections of the United States, including Scarsdale, N. Y., Englewood, N. J., Pasadena, Calif., Battle Creek, Mich.

3. Liberalization of admission policies in professional schools, particularly in colleges of medicine, toward the applications of students from minority groups.

4. The forthright position taken by the Trustees of the University of the State of New York in banning discriminatory practices by fraternities and sororities on campuses of state colleges.

5. Action by student groups, including Columbia University students, in voting to ban any fraternity practicing discrimination.

In commenting on that part of the problem of discrimination relating to college admissions by means of assigning set quotas to applicants of religious or racial minorities, Mr. Engel stated: “The wave of discriminatory admissions practices of the colleges and professional schools of our country gathered increased momentum during the 1930’s, reaching peak immediately after the end of World War II. This trend is now clearly downward, with the decline more rapid in some sections than in others.”

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