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

Friday, November 06, 2009

ACLU vs Florida, Or Brown vs Board of Education--the Sequel?

The Jeb legacy of herding poor kids into segregated charter chain gangs and segregated fundamentalist voucher madrasas seems to be having some consequences beyond the total social control that these racist policies intended. When leaving school becomes the only recourse for preserving one's dignity and some sense of personal freedom, then you might say schools don't matter anymore. The hemorrhaging of black high school students in Florida and elsewhere has resulted in a long overdue lawsuit. From the NYTimes:

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Thursday accusing state officials in Florida of failing to ensure that students in Palm Beach County receive a high quality education, as evidenced by their poor graduation rates.

The state court suit, filed in West Palm Beach, names Gov. Charlie Crist, the Board of Education and several political leaders and asserts that they are violating a requirement in the Florida Constitution to provide a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality” education.

“Palm Beach County is clearly not upholding its responsibility to provide a quality education to all of its students when so many of them are not graduating,” Chris Hansen, senior staff lawyer with the A.C.L.U., said Thursday in a statement.

Mr. Hansen added that the issues in Palm Beach County reflected a national problem.

A spokesman for Mr. Crist, a Republican, did not have immediate comment. . . .

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