Desegregation Will Change – Not End (8/2/07) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Desegregation Will Change – Not End (8/2/07)

I have mixed feelings about the Supreme Court's recent ruling that the Jefferson County Public Schools' race-based student assignment plan was unconstitutional.

Making decisions that affect people's lives solely on the basis of race - as a way of battling racial discrimination - certainly does seems like a contradiction.

But the school system was only doing what was mandated by the courts in 1975. And truthfully, it's hard to deny that most of the gross inequities that existed three decades ago no longer do - precisely because of a student assignment policy that effectively eradicated all-white and all-black "neighborhood schools."

Actually, the Justices made it pretty clear they still acknowledge the value of racially-diverse public school populations. They just ruled that such diversity can't be achieved by rigidly denying people their constitutional rights.

However you feel about this ruling, it certainly doesn't mean a return to the bad old days of a divided school system of haves and have-nots. No one wants to simply discard thirty years of progress.

So now, it's up to Superintendent Berman and the school board to create a new plan that'll continue the progress that's been made. And the rest of us should support them as they do.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.

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