The issues behind the color-coded Wake County schools plans
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#1 Jun 8, 2011
The Wake County Board of Education is promoting a neighborhood school system. The idea is that children will go to schools within close proximity to their homes. On the surface this sounds well-intentioned and harmless, however it is a major step backward toward segregated schools.
These were supposed to become a thing of the past when the 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education stated that "separate but equal" is not equal at all. If a black student cannot attend a school that a white student can, based on race, then how can their rights be the same? The decision that students cannot be denied access to school based solely on ethnicity overturned the 58 year old decision Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) that had established that black and whites would attend separate schools. The idea had been that "separate but equal" schools were acceptable and just. Not only did this promote hatred--but because black people generally were economically depressed, their schools were not equal to white schools at all--they did not have the same resources.
Here is a map based on the year 2000 census showing the geographical and socio-economic segregation that had originally been in my paper, Residential Segregation in Durham County:
(source: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2004/7066/fi... )
Unfortunately this map depicts a common theme, one that exists in Durham County, Wake County, and generally in any diverse county. Not only are people segregated geographically but black people are generally not as well off, socio-economically. Because school taxes are collected locally, neighbood schools are apt to not only be segregated schools but also "black" schools will generally have less resources and will not be equal to "white" schools.
John Tedesco, seemingly the media spokesperson, for the Wake County Board of Education promotes neighborhood schools. This does not violate the exact wording of Brown v. Board of Education, that there will not be segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race. However it clearly violates the spirit of the law because with the geographic segregation that exists and the coinciding socio-economic segregation, racial segregation and diminished resources are a natural by-product of their plan.
It amazes me that this is going on in this day and age, in the county next to mine. I am not a lawyer yet and do not understand the full implications of a supreme court ruling but this is something I thought would be illegal and not even entertainable. If you would like to voice your opinion to the Wake Board of Education it consists of Chris Malone, Carolyn Morrison, John Tedesco, Deborah Prickett, Kevin Hill, Keith Sutton, Anne Mclaurin, Chairman Ron Margiotta and Vice Chair Deborah Goldman. They can be emailed by clicking on their names.
#2 Jun 14, 2011
It seems like the very end of my comment is missing. If anyone wants to tell the Wake Board of Education what they think of "neighborhood schools" their names are on this page: http://otto--ladensack.blogspot.com/ and linked directly to their emails. Anyone who agrees that this plan is a poor one and who believes that the education of Wake's children should be given a higher priority at budget time, please take a few minutes to write these Board members. If enough people do this I cannot imagine they would still go through with this regressive tact.
Thank you, Have a Nice Day, Otto
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