The other night I linked to a Fredrik Pohl blog that Bill Crider noted. Pohl suggested that Evan Hunter got the idea for The Blackboard Jungle from a publisher and he then wrote it based on the suggestion.
Todd Mason has done his usual good job of getting to the truth. He contacted Barry Malzberg, an excellent writer of science fiction fantasy, who worked at the Scott Meredith Agency for years. This was the agency where Evan Hunter was working at the time he wrote his breakthrough novel.
Todd received the following from Barry today:
"Not so. BLACKBOARD JUNGLE is an expansion of Hunter's short story "To Break A Wall" which appeared in NEW WORLD WRITING in 1952 (it's anthologized); the essential story is there (in that version however the kids do _not_ stand up for him and the teacher is destroyed)."
Thank you, Todd.