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SCOTUS Strikes Down Racial Quotas in Schools

NY Times story:

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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Comments (9)

P. Bunyan:

Good post Paul. I do wonder though, with attitudes like that do you realize the Democrat Party is in complete opposition to you (at least on this topic)?


you do realize, paul, that you are implying that bush has made good SCOTUS appointments? you point out how important they have been, and then basically say they were right.

Paul Hamilton:

P. Bunyan: I know, and the Dem party position on this makes no sense. They are in effect admitting that inner city schools and those in other poor districts are substandard. But instead of making it their goal to make sure ALL schools are high quality, they'd rather ship SOME students to good schools while leaving the rest in inferior schools. That's tokenism, not progress.

KE: Stopped clocks are right twice a day... :)

U.P. Man:

But nobody without a timepiece know when a stopped clock is right.....


Charter schools. They offer accountability for students, teachers, and parents, by contract. They are not vouchered, and they are public, not private, and not religious. Students, teachers, and parents are flocking to the good ones in the educationally holocausted inner cities.

Paul Hamilton:

They've been pretty much a disaster around here. Despite the state throwing a lot of money at them, many have suffered severe financial problems and the quality of the education provided varies widely.

And yet, there are new ones starting all the time and the state still supports them.

Steve Crickmore:

Paul, I haven`t visited this subject for a long time, but I recall that the original reason for busing,(no one really thought it was the best option, but only the least worst) was that all other recourses ($) to improve inner city black schools had failed.

Paul Hamilton:

Well, if what they'd done so far had failed, then I guess they needed to try something else, and something else, and, if need be, something else again. There's a solution out there, and I know that schools are never as high a priority as new football stadiums, but our kids are the only future we've got and we cannot give up on ANY of them.


The solution is charter schools. Paul, failing charter schools fail. Failing public schools in the old-fashioned model keep failing.


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