ERIC Number: ED249328
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Sep-13
Reference Count: N/A
Remarks of Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division before the Metropolitan Center for Educational Research, Development & Training, New York University, Brown Plus Thirty Conference (New York, NY, September 13, 1984).
Reynolds, Wm. Bradford
In rulings between 1954 and 1971, the Supreme Court always emphasized that racially segregated schools were inherently unconstitutional, although it upheld a system of student assignments that was neutral toward race. But with the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenberg Board of Education decision of 1971, the court embarked on a new remedial course. A decade of widespread forced busing followed, and this only produced racial isolation on a broader scale. Today, the Department of Justice is committed to desegregation premised on consensus, not conflict. Voluntary student transfer techniques and expanded educational opportunities have been designed to attract students to public school, not drive them away. Magnet programs, which appear to have been particularly effective have found wide support in Federal courts and in Congress. Criticized for being too expensive, magnet programs will prove to be more cost-effective than the failed policies of the past. Equally false is the contention that magnets drain the best students from a school system and thus deprive those left in regular schools of equal educational opportunity. In fact, magnet programs have been found to enhance the overall educational environment. Finally, the question of when judicial coercion should terminate remains to be officially answered. But the time has come for the Federal courts to release their hold on school districts: there is a growing unease among educators that, in the name of desegregation, we have surrendered to the courts the day-to-day responsibility of operating schools, all too often with disappointing results. (KH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Civil Rights Div.