The Washington Post is reporting that a new majority-Republican school board in Wake County, N.C., backed by national Tea Party conservatives, has voted to abolish the county's integration policy. Pledging to "say no to the social engineers!" it has abolished the policy behind one of the nation's most celebrated integration efforts. And as the board moves toward a system in which students attend neighborhood schools, some members are embracing the provocative idea that concentrating poor children, who are usually minorities, in a few schools could have merits — logic that critics are blasting as a 21st-century case for segregation.
In July the Rev. William Barber, head of Raleigh, N.C.'s NAACP, was arrested for protesting the school board's decision to scrap its diversity policy. It's not just in Wake County — it is happening throughout North Carolina. Last year the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system eliminated its volunteer diversity committee.
Cutting funding and segregating poor students, many of whom are black, in enclaves sounds eerily familiar. These measures have been happening over the last couple of years, to no avail. We won't even mention the foolishness going on in Texas and Arizona with the elimination of ethnic-studies courses.
People want to know what it means when Tea Party-backed conservatives are allowed to shape education. Segregation, economic discrimination and racism as the status quo is what it means. What next? Eliminating Spanish because it's an "un-American" language? When we are living in an increasingly diverse society and education-policy makers do not believe that diversity is necessary, then madness will ensue. This is madness.
Read more at the Washington Post.