The placid consensus on federal aid which Congress had long sought was equally elusive for those in the forefront of the elementary and secondary education debate. The leading players in this drama, the most powerful federal aid interest groups--the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Catholic Welfare Conference, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People--each had on different occasions wandered, waffled, and wavered. Just as the task before these groups in November 1960 would be to discern the significance of Kennedy’s election victory to their agendas, so it would be Kennedy’s challenge to determine the importance of these disparate forces to his.