NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ869701
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-1047-8248
"Not the Bus, but Us": George W. Bush and School Desegregation
McAndrews, Larry
Educational Foundations, v23 n1-2 p67-82 Win-Spr 2009
In 1982 civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson criticized President Ronald Reagan's attacks on busing to coerce school desegregation for targeting "not the bus, but us." Two decades later, the United States Supreme Court ended the thirty-two-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina, plan which had launched the era of court-ordered busing (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools). The same year, President George W. Bush signed the "No Child Left Behind Act," which authorized federal funding and state testing of the nation's public school students. In lieu of busing, this law was also targeting "us," the largely minority underclass for whom Jackson purported to speak in 1982. Yet this time the Republican president was not implicitly assaulting minorities; he was seeking to aid them. Despite this significant change in policy, however, one outcome remained the same: public schools increasingly divided by race and class. This article provides a brief history of the school desegregation policies of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower through Bill Clinton, based on secondary and primary sources, then examines the initial school desegregation efforts of President George W. Bush, based largely on contemporary primary sources. It argues that the early returns on the Bush Presidency show that despite his genuinely good intentions, President Bush, like his predecessors, has been unable to overcome this difficult history of racial segregation in the nation's public schools. George W. Bush would become the first Republican president to fight a "war on poverty," yet only the latest president of either party to struggle in the battle for school desegregation. In many ways, for a variety of reasons, this battle was over before it began.
Caddo Gap Press. 3145 Geary Boulevard PMB 275, San Francisco, CA 94118. Tel: 415-666-3012; Fax: 415-666-3552; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001