Caulfield v. Board of Ed. of City of New York

Decision Date27 August 1979
Docket NumberNo. 77 C 2155 (JBW).,77 C 2155 (JBW).
Citation486 F. Supp. 862
PartiesWilliam CAULFIELD et al., Plaintiffs, Albert Shanker et al., Intervenors-Plaintiffs, Theodore Elsberg et al., Intervenors-Plaintiffs, v. The BOARD OF EDUCATION OF the CITY OF NEW YORK et al., Defendants, The Coalition of Concerned Black Educators et al., Intervenors-Defendants, Ronald Ross, Intervenor-Defendant.
CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of New York

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Morris Weissberg, New York City, for plaintiffs.

Gretchen White Oberman, Lewis, Greenwald & Oberman, New York City, for intervenors-plaintiffs Elsberg, et al.

James R. Sandner, New York City by Jeffrey S. Karp, New York City, of counsel, for intervenors-plaintiffs Albert Shanker, et al.

Allen G. Schwartz, Corp. Counsel of the City of New York, New York City by Deborah Rothman, Jane Hovde, Asst. Corp. Counsel, New York City, for defendant New York City Board of Education.

Edward R. Korman, U. S. Atty., E. D. N. Y., Brooklyn, N. Y. by Richard P. Caro, Asst. U. S. Atty., Brooklyn, N. Y., Lois Hochhauser, Albany, N. Y., for Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

James I. Meyerson, N.A.A.C.P., New York City, for intervenors-defendants Coalition of Concerned Black Educators, et al.

Arthur N. Eisenberg, New York Civil Liberties Union, E. Richard Larson, Bruce J. Ennis, American Civil Liberties Union, Jeanne R. Sielver, Public Education Ass'n, Carolyn L. Ziegler, New York City, for intervenor-defendant Ross.

Kenneth Pawson, New York State Dept. of Ed., Albany, N. Y., for State Commissioner of Education Gordon Ambach.

MEMORANDUM

WEINSTEIN, District Judge:

                                            TABLE OF CONTENTS
                  I. Background of the Litigation                                                    867
                     A. Events Leading to the Memorandum of Understanding                            867
                     B. The Related ESAA Funding Controversy                                         869
                     C. Prior Litigation in This Case                                                871
                     D. Litigation Regarding ESAA Fund Ineligibility                                 872
                 II. Parties, Issues and Standard of Review in this Litigation                       875
                III. Preliminary Issues                                                              878
                     A. Standing                                                                     878
                     B. Jurisdiction                                                                 878
                        1. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act                                          878
                        2. Title IX of the Education Amendments                                      882
                
                 IV. Evidence                                                                        885
                     A. Background                                                                   886
                        1. Statutory Framework                                                       886
                           a. Prior to Decentralization                                              886
                           b. Following Decentralization                                             886
                        2. Historical Backdrop of Criticism                                          887
                        3. Board Procedures for Assigning Teachers                                   893
                           a. Prior to Decentralization                                              894
                              1. Elementary Schools                                                  894
                              2. Junior High and High Schools                                        895
                           b. During Interim Period                                                  895
                           c. Following Decentralization                                             895
                              1. Elementary and Junior High Schools                                  895
                              2. High Schools                                                        897
                           d. The Problem of Assignment Declination Following the Budget
                               Crisis                                                                897
                        4. Demographic Changes in Student Population                                 897
                     B. OCR's Charges and Evidence                                                   898
                        1. Racially discriminatory selection and testing procedures and racially
                           identifiable employment pools                                             898
                           a. racially identifiable employment pools                                 898
                           b. racially discriminatory selection and testing procedures               901
                              1. "pass-fail score"                                                   902
                              2. "numerical score above passing" — rank order                  903
                              3. "date of examination"                                               906
                        2. Assignment of teachers in a manner that has created, confirmed
                           and reinforced the racial or ethnic identifiability of the system's
                           schools                                                                   908
                        3. Assignment of teachers with less experience, lower average salaries
                           and fewer advanced degrees to schools with higher percentages
                           of minority students                                                      913
                        4. Denial to women of equal access to positions as principals and assistant
                           principals throughout the system                                          916
                     C. Rebuttal Evidence                                                            919
                  V. Summary and Conclusions                                                         923
                

This is yet another chapter in the challenge to the September 7, 1977 "Memorandum of Understanding" ("agreement") between the New York City Board of Education ("Board") and the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare ("OCR"). The agreement purports to remedy alleged violations by the Board of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d et seq., and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., with respect to hiring and assignment of teachers, and hiring of supervisory personnel. Alleging that OCR had no jurisdiction to investigate what they deem "employment" practices under either Title VI, see 42 U.S.C. § 2000d-3, or Title IX, and that the agreement itself violates Title VI, Title IX, and the fifth and fourteenth amendments, plaintiffs and intervenor-plaintiffs seek injunctive and declaratory relief voiding the agreement. For the reasons indicated below, no relief is warranted.

Following a bench trial, this Court delivered an oral opinion and filed written findings of fact and conclusions of law. This Memorandum elaborating on the Court's oral opinion may be of assistance on the appeals.

I. Background of this Litigation
A. Events Leading to the Memorandum of Understanding

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d, provides that "No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, in similar language, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in "any education program or activity" receiving federal funds. Each federal department and agency is charged with assuring compliance with these provisions in the programs and activities under its jurisdiction; each must adopt regulations toward this end. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000d-1; 20 U.S.C. § 1682. See, e. g., 45 C.F.R. §§ 80.1-80.13 (Title VI regulations of Department of Health, Education and Welfare); 45 C.F.R. §§ 86.1-86.71 (Title IX regulations of Department of Health, Education and Welfare). In addition to requiring initial assurances of nondiscrimination in every application for federal assistance, see, e. g., 45 C.F.R. § 80.4, federal departments are required to conduct periodic compliance reviews and to investigate and resolve individual or class complaints of discrimination arising under any federally assisted program they supervise. See, e. g., 45 C.F.R. § 80.7; see also Brown v. Weinberger, 417 F.Supp. 1215 (D.D.C.1976) (requiring expeditious compliance investigations and enforcement proceedings by HEW under Title VI). In the event that efforts to achieve voluntary compliance fail, a federal department must terminate or withhold federal funding to programs in violation of the statutes, see 42 U.S.C. § 2000d-1(1), or seek compliance by other means authorized by law, see id. § 2000d-1(2).

The Department of Health, Education and Welfare supervises various programs of federal aid to the New York City school system. On November 9, 1976, OCR Director Martin Gerry sent a letter to the Chancellor of the New York City Schools specifying alleged areas of noncompliance by the school system with Titles VI and IX. The letter focused on the "employment" phase of OCR's review of the system. It charged that the Board had, in violation of Title VI, discriminated on the basis of race and national origin by,

(1) denying minority teachers full access to employment opportunity through the use of racially discriminatory selection and testing procedures and through the use of racially identifiable employment pools in a manner that discriminatorily restricts the placement of minority teachers;
(2) assigning teachers, assistant principals and principals in a manner that has created, confirmed and reinforced the racial and/or ethnic identifiability of the system's schools; and
(3) assigning teachers with less experience, lower average salaries and fewer advanced degrees to schools which have higher percentages of minority students.

It also charged that the Board had, in violation of Title IX, discriminated on the...

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