The fight against school re-segregation heats up in North Carolina
A thousand people marched through the streets of North Carolina's capital yesterday to protest the local school board's dismantling of a lauded student assignment policy based on economic diversity in favor of neighborhood schools -- a move many fear will lead to de facto re-segregation. Nineteen protesters were arrested, all for nonviolent ...
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#1 Jul 21, 2010
Actually it should lead to Better Education because all of this money going towards Buses, insurance gas etc. can be used towards teaching and supplies.
#2 Jul 24, 2010
Misunderstanding Other Cultures Creates War
March 22, 2010
OPEN LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY
The Tragedy Unfolding Before our Eyes in Wake County
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
The second tragic action of this narrow majority has been its devious attempt to portray itself as a friend of civil rights. On March 3, 2010, Board member John Tedesco told a local television station:It's time that we end discrimination in Wake County based on income and that we help all of our poor kids."
This is slick and disingenuous packaging. To argue that ending the school systems socio-economic diversity plan is comparable to efforts of courageous civil rights leaders to end racial and economic discrimination is historical heresy. To attempt to characterize socio-economic diversity policies as a cause of discrimination, rather than as what they are an effort to remedy racially identifiable and high poverty schools is to engage in tragically flawed if not consciously deceptive thinking.
The third tragedy has been the new majoritys utter disregard for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. In this era of recession and deep public spending cuts, the last thing Wake County can afford to do is to discard a proven tool for making full and effective use of all of its facilities. By moving, in effect, to a rich zone, poor zone assignment policy, this is precisely what the new Board is doing. The school budget already has a 20 million dollar deficit. This neo-resegregation scheme will be expensive. Whos going to pay for new schools? Trailers? If 99% of the children currently go to a school within 10 miles of their homes, who will provide the money to build more schools so that the board can provide essentially private schools with public dollars for certain privileged communities?
Tragic decision Number 4 was to shove Superintendent Dr. Del Burns out of office. In effect, the new narrow majority of the Board forced out a skilled and veteran leader simply because he could not, in good conscience, help them re-segregate Wakes nationally acclaimed school system; because he could not end a diversity program which educational experts almost unanimously agree is an essential component of building excellent schools. The new narrow majoritys actions forced Burns forced out because he could not stand by as they casually discarded the efforts of leaders and pioneers like former Superintendent Bill McNeal, the Campbell family, the Cofield family, the Lightner Family and thousands of others who sacrificed so much to breathe life into our Constitution's guarantee of equal and adequate education for all.
Finally, the groups fifth tragic decision was after repeated request by us, its refusal to hear anything more than a sound bite from the NAACP State Conference and its three Wake County NAACP Branches. The NAACP, which has decades of experience in this critical debate, asked for a mere 45 public minutes to deliver a historically-grounded, data-based presentation a presentation that would have shown how diversity is a critical component, especially in the South, of insuring equity in funding, high quality teachers, smaller class rooms, a focus on math and science, parental involvement, and eliminating inequities in suspensions, graduation, performance and many other factors, which are necessary to achieve school excellence and student achievement. Sadly, the board stuffed its fingers in its ears.
Yes, there is a tragedy unfolding in Wake County. And it represents a clear call to our communityBlack, White, Latino, Asianto employ all the moral, political, and legal means at our disposal to stop it before its too late. Now is the time for us to stand together.###
Rev. Dr. Barber is the President of the State Conference of the North Carolina NAACP and member of the NAACP National Board of Directors.
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