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Awareness of the existence of mass poverty and of the failure of economic growth seriously to diminish what had previously been seen as a temporary and receding problem made rapid strides across a very short period. The search of the Kennedy administration for anti-poverty solutions was hampered by the fact that 'economists and practitioners were only just beginning to discover poverty' (A: Davidson, 1969, 6), and that public opinion was only just being alerted to the extent of the problem and the dangers.

Board of Education case before the Supreme Court in 1954. Rejecting the principle of 'separate but equal' and segregation as a basis for schooling, the Supreme Court made Brown a. milestone in the civil rights movement and in educational history, altering the ground-rules of American politics, and pointing towards the limited Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the crucial Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made possible some of the educational legislation which followed. In 1954 Keppel, then Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard, wrote in his annual report that the Supreme Court decision would probably be for historians the most important event of the year, and at the same time he offered what proved to be an accurate picture of what lay ahead: Experience has shown that the American people cheerfully put tasks on the shoulders of the school systems with little realization of the difficulties involved.

Other papers included one by two of Deutsch's associates on ' the social context of language acquisition' - one of the authors being Vera John, who was to be one of the American researchers working in a field parallel to that being developed in Britain by Basil Bernstein (A: John and Goldstein, 1964). McVicker Hunt's paper to the same conference, on 'the psychological basis for using pre-school enrichment as an antidote for cultural deprivation' was also to become the first chapter of his The Challenge of Incompetence and Poverty.

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