It is official. Segregation is back. Call it neo—Crow. The great state of Nebraska has enacted legislation that would split the Omaha schools into three districts. AP reports:
...the Legislature voted Thursday to divide the Omaha school system into three districts _ one mostly black, one predominantly white and one largely Hispanic.
Supporters said the plan would give minorities control over their own school board and ensure that their children are not shortchanged in favor of white youngsters.
Of course, the change is motivated by the proverbial Best of Intentions:
"There is no intent to create segregation," said Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, the Legislature's only black senator and a longtime critic of the school system.
He argued that the district is already segregated, because it no longer buses students for integration and instead requires them to attend their neighborhood school.
Chambers said the schools attended largely by minorities lack the resources and quality teachers provided others in the district. He said the black students he represents in north Omaha would receive a better education if they had more control over their district.
We know where that road leads. Shame on those who pander.
Thomas Lifson 4 14 06
Update: LaShawn Barber has her typically pointed and sensible comments on the affair:
I thought I was sleepwalking this morning when I read this: lawmakers in Nebraska have written a law mandating the racial segregation of government schools.
Wait a second, didn't the Supreme Court end government—mandated race segregation, even though the decision was based not on legal reasoning, but on a flawed sociological study and social engineering motives of the justices?
And a Republican governor signed the bill into law! I know why. The people in Omaha are fed up with black parents complaining about the achievement gap between students, so they're giving blacks their own schools. Does this mean the faculty will be predominantly black, too? Hmmm...
Let me make a distinction. If a school is mostly black because whites have left the district, that's not illegal. Americans are free to move wherever they want. And take their kids with them. If people want to start a private, race—based school, they can, as long as they don't accept government funds. If the government separates people on the basis of race, it's illegal. Just thought I'd clear that up.
Whatever the legislature's reason for doing this, they will never get away with it. The academic achievement gap is a no—win situation in America. Differences between blacks and whites mean there will always be racial disparities. While skin color preferences are designed to artificially minimize disparities, they don't change the fact that for whatever reason, blacks generally perform worse on standardized tests than whites. Black children lag behind their white peers academically. Facts are stubborn things. They don't change with the times or mold themselves to fit hare—brained, politically correct theories.
Well, I'm not mad at the politicians for writing and passing an unconstitutional law. They're trying to placate black parents who keep calling them racists, but it won't work. You can separate students based on skin color, dumb down school for everyone else, teach 'afrocentrism'...whatever. There's no miracle achievement—gap closer.
They'll just have to void the law and suck it up. For parents who're tired of all the complaining, black or white, there's always HOMESCHOOLING.
Update: A reader from Nebraska writes:
I am from Nebraska (Not Omaha). Looks to me that the only result from creating the new districts will be two new school boards and Superintendents, administrations etc. Nothing else will change. Any student in Nebraska can go to any other public school in the state, regardless of the district they reside in, so the new districts don't block student access to any public schools. As for funding, the State equates quality of education on $ spent/pupil and they equalize it between districts. This new law may indeed be illegal, but the uproar is a tempest in a teapot.