Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




William F. Losito


The purpose of this study was to describe and interpret the desegregation process in a southern city through an examination of the issues faced by the local school board and its response to these issues, in order to gain knowledge about the implementation of a federal policy at the local level.;The city of Richmond, Virginia, was chosen for this study because of its former role as capital of the southern Confederacy and its present role as the capital of the state of Virginia, a leader in the South's resistance to the Brown decision. as a city with a large black population, desegregation of schools was a major concern over a twenty-year period of time.;The case study method was used, using primary sources to describe the desegregation process and the Board's role. Some secondary and some primary sources were used to develop the historical background needed to provide a framework for analyzing and interpreting the events from 1954 to 1971. A brief comparison with the desegregation process in San Francisco served to validate the Richmond experience.;It was concluded that the implementation of a federal policy at the local level is affected by a variety of factors. Resistance to the implementation of a policy will be strongest when it is at variance with local traditions and if it threatens the local power structure. Compliance is achieved more readily through strong leadership, widespread support for change, and cooperative efforts among the branches of government to bring about compliance.;Further case studies of the implementation of other federal policies would be valuable in order to see if the conclusions are valid in all circumstances or if they apply only when a sweeping social change, such as desegregation, is called for.



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