A controversial Minority Relations Advisory Committee established more than a year ago by the old Montgomery County school board issued its first report yesterday and immediately drew criticisms from black leaders and one school board member who termed the report an embarrassment.
The four-page document, which was submitted 15 months after the committee formed, contains brief summations of areas in which the committee found the school system to be deficient in its handling of minority students. It suggests a number of remedies for problems in counseling, school closings and day care for minority students.
"For the committee to be in place for nearly two years and produce no more information than this suggests that we probably don't need it to exist," said Roscoe Nix, a former school board member and now president of the county's NAACP chapter.
The report was termed an embarrassment by one board member who asked not to be named.
The report includes some of the same general conclusions as those documented by a previous Minority Relations Monitoring Committee in 1981, which was shortly thereafter abolished by the old board. But overall, the new report is in sharp contrast to the extensively documented and highly critical analysis of racial affairs in the schools submitted by the previous committee. When the old board dismissed that committee, the result was a worsening of already strained tensions with the minority community, contributing, in part, to the defeat of the old board's majority in last November's elections.
The new 14-member minority relations committee that was recruited by the old board and that produced yesterday's report, was viewed by minority groups as a token attempt to address the problem of racial integration in the county schools.
Although its report included some of the same general conclusions as those documented by the previous committee, the conclusions were vaguely stated and unsupported by statistical analysis.
Members of the new committee reacted strongly at last night's board meeting to criticisms of their work.
"From the onset this committee has been compared with the other . . . We are not the same," said Carlos Anzoategui. The present committee, Anzoategui said, was charged with advising the board, while the other's responsibility was to monitor race relations. The present committee "was born in a time of turmoil," he said; "not only were we an unwanted child, we were an unwanted pregnancy . . . But we did work hard on this report . . . and told you in simple terms what we thought should be done."