Sunday, March 04, 2007

An Assault on Local School Control

Here's the NYT editorial:

It is startling to see the Justice Department, which was such a strong advocate for integration in the civil rights era, urging the court to strike down the plans. Its position is at odds with so much the Bush administration claims to believe. The federal government is asking federal courts to use the Constitution to overturn educational decisions made by localities. Conservative activists should be crying “judicial activism,” but they do not seem to mind this activism with an anti-integration agenda.

If these plans are struck down, many other cities’ plans will most likely also have to be dismantled. In Brown, a unanimous court declared education critical for a child to “succeed in life” and held that equal protection does not permit it to be provided on a segregated basis. It would be tragic if the court changed directions now and began using equal protection to re-segregate the schools.

I don't have a strong opinion on this -- and am not spending a lot of time agonizing over it because I think the issue is largely a distraction.  While I would LOVE to have integrated schools everywhere, the hard reality is that it isn't going to happen to any significant degree, no matter what certain municipalities try to do and no matter how the Supreme Court decides this case.  So let's instead focus all of our efforts on how to give low-income minority kids a great education in a highly segregated environment -- as KIPP, AF, Uncommon Schools and others are doing so successfully.


December 4, 2006

An Assault on Local School Control

More than 50 years after the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education, the nation still has not abolished de facto segregation in public schools. But thanks to good will and enormous effort, some communities have made progress. Today the Supreme Court hears arguments in a pair of cases that could undo much of that work.

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