Excerpts from

Race-Based School Assignments a Victory?

By Joyce Haws - July 3, 2007

National Association for Neighborhood Schools (NANS}


Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who wrote the majority opinion that the school assignment practices unfairly denied students their choice of schools because of race, said school authorities had failed to provide the necessary support for the proposition that there is no other way than individual racial classification to avoid racial isolation in the districts....

Unless a district’s assignment practices are totally race-neutral, they are unconstitutional.... As Justice Roberts pointed out, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discrimination on the basis of race.”...   

Breyer is party to the deliberate or ignorant equating of integration (racial balancing) and desegregation.... As Justice Thomas points out, “Every time government uses racial criteria to ‘bring the races together,’ someone gets excluded, and the person excluded suffers an injury solely because of his or her race.”  Thomas points out that exclusion based solely on race is precisely the sort of government action that pits the races against one another, exacerbates racial tension and provokes resentment among those who believe they have been wronged by the government’s use of race.

In 1954 the Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. Bd. of  Ed. of Topeka, ruled that segregated schools are unconstitutional. Sane Americans cheered the ruling assuming the decision referred to deliberate state-sponsored racial assignment to deliberately segregate the schools.  But for more than a half century the decision has been twisted to include a lack of what social engineers deem a proper level of racial/ethnic diversity in each school, thus promoting assignment based on race instead of ending it.

Education is the function of public schools, not social engineering.

The practice of considering race and ethnicity in school assignment has devastated thousands of school districts and killed the vital environment of the neighborhood school. The neighborhood school is no longer the hub of a community. Thus parents are denied vital parental involvement in and monitoring of the schools their children attend. School pride and community interest and support has been struck down. The practice has devastated communities where parents once worked together for good discipline. It has kept students who attend school together from being able to easily socialize and work together after school hours. It has wasted billions upon billions of tax dollars and precious (and expensive) fuel and has subjected students to traffic dangers and diesel fumes on buses. It has caused untold inconvenience for both parents and students.

 The National Association for Neighborhood Schools (NANS) (www.nans.org) cheers the June 28 Supreme Court ruling which is a victory for Seattle and Jefferson County parents and which no doubt will make use of race as a factor in school assignment more difficult to justify.  We would be amiss, however, if we did not stress the lingering opportunity for racial control of assignment.

We would also be amiss if we did not point out the long road ahead of ridding individual states and school districts of diversity requirements necessitating racial/ethnic consideration in school assignment and of the need to return to the neighborhood school concept in all of the nation’s school districts.

For more information, go to http://www.nans.org/misc.shtml

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