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those concerned who profess to be in the know about Cox’s thinking claim that the judge himself does not care for busing, and that he chose the computer plan because it calls for relatively little busing and does, as he said, eliminate the dual school system. Cox apparently either did not consider or did not foresee the upheaval that would be caused by the extensive reassignments the plan calls for. Both the plaintiffs and the board now seem to be agreed that a little more busing and a lot less transferring would make desegregation easier on everyone. As Heaven and Judge Cox know, finding the perfect desegregation plan is not easy, but Rupp’s “diabolical solution” seems to have ticked off just about everybody. Rupp himself resigned from the board of Concerned Neighbors on Aug. 13, saying that he was tired of defending his computer plan and that his presence put a strain on the organization. “They felt since it was my plan they felt an obligation .. . not to vigorously oppose the plan. . . .” He said he planned to “fade away, like an old soldier.” M.I. A clerical error Corpus Christi In the late spring of 1974, a pretty, 16-year-old girl named Bibiana Bright was ranked 20th in her junior class of 639 students at Ray High School in Corpus Christi. Bibi is the second eldest daughter of Jim and Ann Bright, who have six children. Jim Bright, an architect, is an easy-going, witty man, whose gray hair is slightly longer than the Corpus norm. His wife Ann is the family dynamo, a very feminine woman with a gift for drollery. Ann Bright has long been active in liberal causes in Corpus, most particularly in the campaigns of her friend Sissy Farenthold and in the school desegregation suit. The Brights’ youngest child is adopted, a black son whose presence in the family gives the Brights more than the usual liberal high-minded-from-a-distance interest in the matter of school desegregation. AFTER THE first quarter of her senior year, Bibi’s class rank dropped to 44th. Since her grades for that quarter were an A-, two A’s, and an A+, the Brights were not particularly concerned, but rather vaguely assumed that some 20-odd other Students must have worked very hard that quarter and just raced past Bibi. They told her that 44th in a class of 639 was a splendid record and that they were very proud of her. Bibi is considered “the student” in the family and is a very hard worker. Ann Bright once vaguely inquired about the drop in Bibi’s class rank, and was told by Bibi’s adviser at Ray that it was because Bibi had not taken any “weighted courses,” i.e., physics or a fourth-year language, for which students get additional credit. They thought no more of it until several months later when Jim Bright accompanied Bibi to Austin to apply to the College of Architecture. Bibi’s ambition is to become an architect, and her first choice for a college was M.I.T. Jim was startled to learn that architecture schools, or at least the one at UT, look at only two things when considering students for admission their test scores and their class rank. UT accepts no one not in the top ten percent of his class while MIT takes no one under the fifth percentile. Bibi’s class rank, raised to 4 The Texas Observer 43rd after the second quarter of her senior year, put her in the top ten percent, but not in the top five. It also dimmed her chances for a scholarship, for which she had applied at several places and which she especially needed to afford M.I.T. Freshly aware of the importance of class rank, Jim Bright made some inquiries on the subject when he returned to Corpus. He was told that a change in rank of more than one or two notches is relatively rare, and a change as great as Bibi’s is generally considered a trouble signal the kind of thing that should cause parents and counselors to ask if the student has started taking drugs or something to cause such a precipitous drop in grades. But no one at Ray had seemed troubled about Bibi’s drop. At this point, the Brights did start wondering about the change in Bibi’s rank, but kept telling themselves that they were just being paranoid. But, you see, a funny thing had happened during the last quarter of Bibi’s junior year well, maybe not funny. Ann Bright has been active in the Corpus school desegregation. suit since 1968, when she sort of accidentally wound up testifying against the school board during a pre-trial hearing because she realized that the lawyers for the board were showing the judge an inaccurate map. Her involvement deepened thereafter, and she and her friend Jim Alice Scott, a lively woman of considerable fortitude, took to attending school board meetings. They, along with others of the liberal persuasion, began making objections, proposing alternatives, and generally raising hell. This did not endear them either to the school board members or to Superintendent In early 1974, the Corpus school district applied for a $600,000 federal grant to aid desegregation. Ann Bright, in looking over the guidelines for the grant, found a provision stating that no school district operating under “freedom of choice” guidelines was eligible for such a grant. Bright took it upon herself to fire off letters to the Justice Dept., HEW, the Office of Education, and the Dallas Office of Civil Rights pointing out that Corpus Christi was indeed, in fact, operating under just that principle. The result was that Corpus didn’t get the grant, and Dana Williams said publicly that the only reason the district didn’t get the money was because of a letter written by a local citizen and “we know who she is.” Just how he knew is another story, since HEW reps assured Ann it was against their policy ever to divulge the name of a complainant. However, the leak was traced back to some functionary in the Office of Education. Williams was reportedly enraged by the feds’ decision not to grant the money and, one assumes, by Ann Bright’s “interference.” The next quarter was when Bibi’s class rank dropped so abruptly. Well, by this time it was Paranoia City around the Bright household. In addition to that rather ominous “and we know who she is,” there was Williams’ statement quoted in the Jan. 14, 1975 Corpus Christi Caller. “He said that he had purposely not *heeded the names [of those involved in the desegregation suit against the school district] fearing that ‘being human’ he might be influenced against those on the list and their children” Jim Bright decided he was going to get to the bottom of this drop in Bibi’s class rank, and set off on the trail like a veritable bloodhound. He went first to Ray High, where he was assured that the whole process of class ranking was far too complex for a layman ever to understand. “Try me,” said Bright. He then immersed himself in the arcana of weighted courses, grade point averages, computer print-outs, and one thing and another. He finally came to the conclusion that any idiot with a pocket calculator could figure that Bibi, whose lowest grades were two B’s, had to have a higher average than she’d been given credit for. By this time, Jim Bright had gone over the heads of the staff at Ray High and was meeting with Pete Sprinkler, head of secondary education in Corpus, and other district officials, including the public relations man. He feels he got no help until he ran across Tom Clark, computer programming supervisor at the district’s data processing center. The processing center handles the class rankings by feeding students’ grades into a computer and then stacking them up comparatively. Bright and Clark found that somehow, some way, someone had fed 30 extra grades onto Bibi’s record mostly C’s, some D’s. Dana Williams said this was “the first complaint in nine years” of working with the computer and no one