Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Discipline



The purpose of this study is to show the impact of a conservative approach to desegregation of a formerly de jure school system covering the sixth largest school system in the Nation operating under Federal Court order for 15 years. At the outset the connotation of "conservative" should be defined as "doing the least possible" to meet whatever legal requirements of compliance may exist so that compliance with desegregation becomes, always, only minimum compliance. In the words of Judge Ben Connally, speaking from the bench of the Houston Federal District Court on July 23 in the Houston School Desegregation Case (Ross vs. Echols): "If I may be permitted an extrajudicial comment here, I have the feeling, that your client has tended to use the prior orders of the court here sort of as a crutch to lean on in this area. I think the board has been too prone, when suggestions or proposals of further integration efforts have been made, to take the position that the board is complying with the court's order and that is all that they are obliged to do."1

It will be necessary, therefore, to give a historical overview of: (1) what has happened in the Houston Independent School District since 1954; (2) what resources the district comprises; (3) what changes have come about in recent developments of 1969; and (4) what the district could do about desegregation if the Board of Trustees were not too prone to merely comply with a minimum court order.

The author of this study used 234 public schools, both elementary and secondary, to gather data for this study. This study shows how the administration of Houston Independent School District and the School Board have played politics since the 1954 decision by the Supreme Court. It appears as if the Houston Independent School District has done the least possible to get by and that this type of politics along with other actions has led to a complete realignment on the School Board by the people of Houston.

1 Judge Ben C. Connally's Verbal Preliminary Ruling in the July, 1969 Desegregation Hearing (July 23, 1969).

Committee Chair/Advisor

William Walker


Prairie View A&M University


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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