Education: Integration's Headaches

When he noted the below-average record of Washington children in reading and arithmetic, District of Columbia Commissioner Brigadier General Thomas A. Lane thought he knew just what was wrong and how to correct it. Integration had thrown together children of unequal preparation, he told the Washington Education Conference. West Pointer Lane's solution to the problem: a mass demotion to restore students to their proper grades.

His proposal outraged both parents and educators. It also set off a public debate calling attention to a problem that many a Southern and border-state school system will eventually have to face: how to get past the...