Way Will Open: A Study of the Presidency of Jack Niemeyer at Bank Street College of Education


SKU: 9781975994068
Author: Borden, John S
Publication Date: 09/07/2017
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Binding: Paperback
Media: Book
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John H. “Jack” Niemeyer was Bank Street College’s first “official” president. From 1956-73, during one of the most turbulent political and social eras in America, he led the transformation of a small teacher preparation institution into a thriving center of innovation that influenced American educational policies. McCarthyism was fading but still pungent. Cities were grappling with the impact of the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown school desegregation decision. Cold War shadows darkened when the USSR launched the Sputnik satellite. Rapid expansion of American education converged with growing diversity within the nation’s population and the crusade for civil rights. John F. Kennedy’s election brought new hope for change, and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs attempted to fulfill lofty goals. Niemeyer’s tenure included the Vietnam War, the Black Power movement, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and many other upheavals. Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 created new challenges during Jack’s final years of leadership. Niemeyer expanded Bank Street’s engagement with public schools and introduced new educational ventures, such as the Bank Street Readers. He helped to create the national preschool program Head Start. He was an ardent champion of progressive education, school integration, equal access to educational opportunities, and anti-poverty programs. Idealistic and pragmatic, Niemeyer always believed that with perseverance and ingenuity, as the Quaker quotation said, “The way will open.”