"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, September 17, 2007

Resegregationists on the Move in the New Old South

Following the Roberts Court's repudiation of Brown v Board of Education, a closeted generation of racists has begun crawling out from under their rocks to pick up where they left off in 1954.

The NYTimes has found a prime example of emboldened segregationists in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where "color-blindness" has not been such a black and white issue since the heyday of Gov. George Wallace.

But this is not segregation, the No Excuses segregationists rebel-yell back, but, rather, efficient use of limited economic resources. And if these Negro children don't like going to a segregated school, then they can apply for a transfer under that 21st Century Civil Rights Act, NCLB, whose mandated reporting of test scores has already driven real estate prices even lower in poor neighborhoods--thus making them undesirable for blacks and whites, alike.

What a savior that NCLB is, allowing as it does the transfer of the most able and informed students from these poor and getting poorer schools, and leaving behind deepening encampments of the disenfranchised and demoralized. And what gated lake community needs that type of pollution added to the healthy school climates that these white parents have worked so hard to create. Really, the nerve of you, madam!!

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After white parents in this racially mixed city complained about school overcrowding, school authorities set out to draw up a sweeping rezoning plan. The results: all but a handful of the hundreds of students required to move this fall were black — and many were sent to virtually all-black, low-performing schools.

Black parents have been battling the rezoning for weeks, calling it resegregation. And in a new twist for an integration fight, they are wielding an unusual weapon: the federal No Child Left Behind law, which gives students in schools deemed failing the right to move to better ones.

“We’re talking about moving children from good schools into low-performing ones, and that’s illegal,” said Kendra Williams, a hospital receptionist, whose two children were rezoned. “And it’s all about race. It’s as clear as daylight.”

Tuscaloosa, where George Wallace once stood defiantly in the schoolhouse door to keep blacks out of the University of Alabama, also has had a volatile history in its public schools. Three decades of federal desegregation marked by busing and white flight ended in 2000. Though the city is 54 percent white, its school system is 75 percent black.

The schools superintendent and board president, both white, said in an interview that the rezoning, which redrew boundaries of school attendance zones, was a color-blind effort to reorganize the 10,000-student district around community schools and relieve overcrowding. By optimizing use of the city’s 19 school buildings, the district saved taxpayers millions, officials said. They also acknowledged another goal: to draw more whites back into Tuscaloosa’s schools by making them attractive to parents of 1,500 children attending private academies founded after court-ordered desegregation began.

“I’m sorry not everybody is on board with this,” said Joyce Levey, the superintendent. “But the issue in drawing up our plan was not race. It was how to use our buildings in the best possible way.” Dr. Levey said that all students forced by the rezoning to move from a high- to a lower-performing school were told of their right under the No Child law to request a transfer. . . .

1 comment:

  1. This is a sorry excuse to cover up EXTREME racial discrimination. I just read the full article on globalgrind.com and the facts clearly show the discrimination in all of this. I'm glad NCLB allows these kids their rights to transfer back to the better schools.