The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected integration plans in two major public school districts but left the door open for using race to assign students in limited circumstances.
The decision in cases affecting schools in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle could imperil similar plans in hundreds of districts nationwide, and it further restricts how public school systems may attain racial diversity.
The court split, 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts announcing the court's judgment. The court's four liberal justices dissented.
''The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,'' Roberts said.
This is a very important decision and the reversal shows how important Bush's appointments have been.
I'll probably lose more Liberal Points for this comment, but I don't see this as an entirely bad thing. For one thing, racial quotas are wrong, period. A person's skin shouldn't be the most important element in determining where a child goes to school. In practical terms, this sort of measure resulted in inner-city kids spending HOURS of each day riding school buses to suburban schools, and that is just not practical.
For another, when you start shuttling kids from poor schools to better ones, that makes it easier to not properly fund or fix up inner city schools. I believe that ALL schools should be quality ones where children have good teachers and proper facilities to learn the skills they'll need to become a success. If we devoted the energy to improving schools in poor districts that we've used to integrate suburban schools, the city kids would be just as well off.
And finally, I see a real benefit in the concept of neighborhood schools, or more accurately, a benefit in neighborhoods, period. People should feel pride in where they live, and that includes the schools. But if most of the kids are being shipped off to distant schools just to balance out the numbers, there's simply no motivation to fix the local school for the kids that are left. I went to neighborhood schools -- I was able to walk to school clear through junior high -- and it was a good thing. People felt a real connection to those schools that simply isn't there today. So maybe if we had smaller, neighborhood which reflected the places where they exist, people could relate to them more closely than these cookie-cutter facilities of today.
To re-emphasize my most important point -- every school should be a good one, with the tools and quality teachers needed to really educate our kids, wherever they live.
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