Wednesday, June 27, 2007

News Roundup: The Value of Integration

Two recent stories in the news illustrate what's at stake in the Seattle and Louisville cases.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch recently reported that 16 school districts involved in a voluntary student transfer program have unanimously voted to extend the program for five years. Under the St. Louis program, over 8000 African American students from St. Louis attend school in the surrounding counties, and hundreds of white students from the counties attend magnet schools in the city. After reauthorizing the program, one superintendant hailed the program as a "very special thing."

Democratic Presidential candidate former Senator John Edwards also released a statement highlighting the importance of diversity in America's schools. Edwards stated, “On top of the damage the Court has already done this term, the decision expected tomorrow in the school diversity cases could set back the cause of ensuring that every child has an equal chance to succeed. As someone who grew up in the segregated South, it hurts me to say that more than 50 years after the Brown decision, we still have two school systems - one for people who live in the right neighborhoods and one for everyone else. We used to believe the Constitution required school desegregation, but now this Court is on the verge of making the radical decision that the Constitution prevents elected school boards from voluntarily desegregating schools.”

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