Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Public School Diversity: Does the Ruling Really Matter?

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A divided supreme court voted against voluntary school integration with the final decision leaning 5-4. 

“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for four of the court’s nine justices. The ruling applies to school districts that aren’t under a court order to remove the vestiges of past discrimination.  (from Bloomberg.com)

For the last couple of years the court has been asked to decide on cases that some have said leaned more towards racial quotas.  As recent as 2003 the Supreme Court decided in favor of having race based admissions at colleges and universities in order to help create a more diverse student body.  To have a more diverse student body, the court said that schools can look at the race of a student to achieve it.

The same doesn’t hold true for public schools.  In this instance the court shot down race based admissions.  All sides are watching to see what happens next and what changes will happen in their school system.

Some people are observing more closely than others.  Cincinnati Public School systems use race as one of the criteria to enter into their magnet school programs.  The magnet school programs are possibly the only schools that are racially diverse, because the regular school programs are majority black and the flagging system has had to contend with a decreasing student body because of suburban flight and competition from local charter school programs. The school system wants to guarantee a diverse school experience but can only really guarantee if for those in the magnet programs.

Many people are now pointing out that its hard to have a diverse school without diverse neighborhoods but not too many are actually sure how that can be done.  When school desegregation came about in the early ’70s many whites moved (in the North and South) took refuge in the suburbs, taking their tax dollars which helped to create the deteriorating systems we have in many cities today.  In Detroit, black families are now following suit as they walk in the footsteps of their white predecessors to the suburbs only to discover whites moving further out.

African Americans shouldn’t take it too personal.  Because just like some whites are fleeing blacks because they fear we bring down the educational level, in California some white familes are leaving school systems with high Asian numbers because they feel Asians raise the bar too high.   (“The New White Flight” from the Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2005)

So although college campuses and most work places are moving toward becoming more racially diverse  where people live isn’t.  Most of the major and mid-sized U.S. cities are stratified by race.  30 years of forced busing, race based admissions and affirmative action programs hasn’t gotten across to Americans that diversity is a good thing.  So for all those who are crying about how horrible this ruling is I sit and wonder how many shades of brown and beige are living on their streets and when was the last time their child brought home a playmate of a different race or cultural background?  And how many of them are willing to leave our enclave in the ‘burbs or bus their children into the inner city in the name of diversity?

Yeah,  I thought so.

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Written by rentec

8 July, 2007 at 2:29 am

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