ERIC Number: ED248296
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Aug-10
Reference Count: N/A
Statement before the National Association of Neighborhood Schools (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 10, 1984).
Reynolds, Wm. Bradford
The Brown v. Board of Education decision upheld a civil rights ideal that was based on the personal interests of the students; it made no requirement for a perfect racial balance in all classrooms throughout the offending school district. Yet the ensuing, forced desegregation plans that involved long-distance busing, and other measures based on percentages, actually produced racial isolation on a broader scale. The consequent flight of economically able parents from urban public schools contributed to the erosion of the municipal tax bases, which in turn directly affected the ability of many school systems to provide quality public education to their students--whether white or black. Fortunately, the experiment with forced busing is largely over. The present administration has premised its remedial approach on consensus, not conflict. Centering on magnet schools and other curriculum enhancement programs, its approach provides all children with educational incentives and leaves the choice of school up to each of them--with a full range of transfer options. Thus the use of racial percentages and classroom proportionality are no longer used as measurements of equal opportunity. Nonetheless, two court-related issues bear watching. First, the Supreme Court is about to rule on the scope of relief that can be awarded in a desegregation suit. The Justice Department is arguing that Federal courts lack the power to make States responsible for all transfer costs resulting from interdistrict student transfers. Second, courts should not be slow to declare unitariness when a school district has clearly exhibited good faith in attempting to comply with court desegregation decrees. (KH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Civil Rights Div.