Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Supreme Court Challenges Racial Discrimination in Public Schools

Lawyer Teddy Gordon argued that the Louisville district's plan was a form of
discrimination. In the AP report, he's quoted as saying," Clearly, we need
better race-neutral alternatives. Instead of spending zillions of dollars around
the country to place a black child next to a white child, let's reduce class
size. All the schools are equal. We will no longer accept that an
African-American majority within a school is unacceptable."
Let's keep in mind here that it was parents themselves who were upset with the programs in Seattle and Louisville, and it was the parents who sued. Now, it would stand to reason that parents are in the best position to determine what kind of educational plan is best for their own children. They're far more concerned about whether Johnny can read than who Johnny sits next to in class. No child should have his or her educational opportunities limited because of race. America is supposed to be the land of freedom—not a place where arcane bureaucratic rules and outdated theories of education reign supreme. Parents should have the greatest flexibility in determining where their children go to
school—particularly since it's the parents' tax dollars that are supporting the
schools. It's simply wrong to hang a sign on a schoolhouse door saying only a
certain percentage of blacks or whites are allowed in.
It's morally repugnant to the vast majority of Americans to discriminate against anyone based on race. Therefore, it's time to retire the liberal guilt which states that we have to assign students to schools based on race. Otherwise, we'll never achieve the color-blind society envisioned by King.Town Hall.com

When I taught in a local school district they bused poor Hispanic children for a half hour away from their homes to achieve racial balance. This angered the parents, so when it was time to hire new English as a Second Language teacher, among 20, 000 candidates, the district chose my friend Teresa, born in Bolivia, to pacify the parents. I was in the top five candidates, but was overlooked for what I believe, was racial preference. Teresa and I had graduated with our Master's together, and were both fluent in Spanish, but there the similarities ended. I achieved the 99th percentile in the National Teacher Exam, and Teresa failed it. Three times. Finally, the district had to let her go. An inferior teacher was teaching for three years because of racial preferences.

Conservatives have long been accused of racism, but here the Supreme Court challenges liberal racism, the deliberate assignment of schools based on racial quotas. A much better approach would be to make sure that minorities have high quality schools. This requires a voucher or tax break system which would allow minority parents to choose better schools for their children.

New Yorkers for Choice in Education want just that. UNYCE's goal is to influence our legislators to enact the Maltese-Hikind bill. This legislation is designed to help all education, as well as to give New York's taxpayers some relief. Together we can bring much-needed reform to how elementary and secondary education is financed in New York state.

1 comment:

Lucille said...

It's amusing to see Dr. King invoked by conservatives against affirmation action and similar policies, given that he was all for them.