Daily Archives: December 4, 2006

The School Issues – Updated

My personal thought is that your child should go to his or her neighborhood school. The school that the student can walk to. The school where the neighbors go.

If you live in a homogeneous neighborhood then you will probably have a homogeneous school.

If you live in a diverse neighborhood then you will probably have a diverse school.

A child was denied a place in his neighborhood school because he was white and by going to that school he wouldn’t maintain the diversity that the school board was attempting to maintain.

In my school district, all the children go to the same school for kindergarten. There are five elementary schools (1st-6th), one middle school (7th-8th), and one high school. Children are generally assigned to their “neighborhood” elementary school unless the child is registered late and there is no more room at the closest school. If a child lives within 1.5 miles of his/her neighborhood school, the child walks, otherwise the child is bussed. In our district children aren’t assigned by race or first language spoken at home.

I think that’s the proper way. People segregate themselves all the time. The school districts say that some of this “self segregation” is caused by affordable housing or lack thereof. That may be so. But people still have a choice of where to live. People could choose a more diverse neighborhood. They can choose a more homogeneous neighborhood.

The school districts in the cases before the SCOTUS want to balance the number of white and black students at the schools even though some students may spend an inordinate amount of time traveling from home to school and then back again. The school districts maintain that diversity is more important for the early grades, kindergarten, first, second grade. This means that a 5-, 6-, or 7-year-old may be spending from 1-1/2 to 3 hours daily on a bus. That seems a high price for the child to be paying.

You’d also think that parents might want to make that decision for themselves.

Update: I just heard one woman (on Fox) from the protests today at SCOTUS saying “we can’t return to segregated schools”.

That reminded me. Weren’t segregated schools specifically designed that way? Weren’t children bussed to a school for ‘their color’ no matter where they lived? Isn’t this almost the same in reverse?