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A Kid from the Bronx

I grew up in the Bronx during turbulent times. I was in elementary school during the first desegregation of the public schools in the early 1960s. This and my idealism formation during the late 1960s had a big impact on my values and my career. I went to City College of New York, and one of my psychology professors was Dr. Kenneth Clark, who was the major witness during Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954, leading to desegregation of the schools passed by the Supreme Court.

I have my doctorate in school psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and have worked with a multitude of special education and regular school programs as well as my work as a consultant for Child Protective Services in New Jersey. A private practice in Princeton allowed me to challenge school districts on behalf of my clients who are parents and their special needs children. The law allowing for due process and IEPs has never been fully funded, and the work of Dr. Kenneth Clark to offer services to the disenfranchised in Harlem had disappointing results due to political wrangling and turf wars.

There are many needs for students in the public schools and families in the inner city and elsewhere that cannot be met because of the poor funding offered for these services. I am recommending private funding to supplement or create new programming to meet these needs, which will never be met through the political wrangling of either party.

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--Norman Weistuch, Ph.D.

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