The Effects of Brown vs. The Board of Education in Montgomery County
Under Superintendent Edwin Broome, MCPS began to consolidate the colored elementary schools into larger, more central schools. For example Longview, in Emory Grove, opened in 1950 and took children from the Cloppers, Germantown, Laytonsville and Stewardtown schools, which then closed. Four such consolidated schools had been finished by 1954: Longview, Rock Terrace in Rockville (both used as special education schools since 1961), Sandy Spring (closed since 1961), and Edward U. Taylor in Boyds (closed in 1979 due to low enrollment, now the Edward U. Taylor Science Materials Center).[caption id=”attachment_5267″ align=”alignnone” width=”584″] Longview Elementary School, 1996. Courtesy Joan Marsh. Longview was one of the four consolidated elementary schools opened in the early 1950s. It was briefly used as an integrated school starting in 1959, during construction on Gaithersburg Elementary School; by 1961 it had become a dedicated special education center.[/caption]
This left only four of the old one-room schools, all in the down-county area: River Road, Linden, Ken Gar, and Takoma Park. The plan was to construct one final consolidated school to serve these children, but instead these schools were closed altogether, and the students were among the first to be integrated into previously all-white schools.
Consolidation was in most ways an improvement. Modern, maintained buildings provided sufficient room for each grade, and better equipment and supplies. Dr. Monk, a teacher at Lincoln High School during and after consolidation, was quoted as saying that students from the new schools were of a noticeably higher caliber, academically, than those who had been forced to learn in cramped and ill-equipped environments. On the other hand, however, pupils from the consolidated communities had to travel even farther to get to school, and they were still paying for their buses.