Thursday, June 28

Supreme Court rejects school integration

This morning the Supreme Court issued decisions in two school integration lawsuits, in both cases rejecting cities' plans to ensure racial diversity in their schools. The blog of the School Integration Project at the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP has a complete rundown of the cases and the decisions, but it's important to note that Justice Kennedy, who concurred with the court's decision, issued his own opinion arguing that while these particular voluntary integration plans -- in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle -- are not constitutional, schools still have a right to promote integration. He wrote:

To the extent the plurality opinion suggests the Constitution mandates that state and local school authorities must accept the status quo of racial isolation in schools, it is, in my view, profoundly mistaken.
So while the court dealt a blow to the future of integration, it may not be fatal, as advocates of desegregation feared today's decisions could be.

In New York City, only two schools are affected by court-ordered desegregation plans. One, IS 239, the Mark Twain school, made headlines this week with the news that some white students are admitted to the school with lower scores on the entrance exam than some minority applicants. Chancellor Klein came out against the school's quota system.

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