Tuesday, December 05, 2006
While WE were sleeping
So I've been busy, but I did want to post briefly on something that is tremendously important and waiting in the balance of the Supreme Courts. While we were all sleeping, two cases rose to the level of a Supreme Court hearing and stand to place the final nail(s) in the coffin of Brown V. Board of Education. Realize that Brown v. Board of Education has been dismantled steadily through legislation and contestation. For a great discussion of the process check out Dismantling Desegregation by Gary Orfield.
The Supreme Court yesterday heard oral arguments for Parents Involved v. Seattle School District No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education. The first case (Seattle) is about high school assignment and the latter is about elementary school assignment. There is some really impressive social scientific research that went into an amicus brief provided by the Harvard Civil Rights Project here. Essentially both cases boil down to the question that is IN PART analogous to the Michigan cases: "Can be race a factor when determining school entry or placement."
I'll let my legal colleagues dissect the finer nitty-gritty details for you, so I'll let them lead that way. But I do want folks to realize this is once again an attempt to reduce racial disparity by race neutrality.... yeah I know it sounds ridiculous. I recently watched a panel on CSPAN that features Ted Shaw (NAACP LDF), Roger Clegg (Center for Equal Opportunity) and others. The most interesting part was hearing Roger Clegg actually say (and I paraphrase) "considering race is racial discrimination." For me, that sums up my issue with "race-neutrality" in fact it let's just call it "utopian-neutrality" because there darn sure isn't any consideration of race.
Aight, I gotta go write and do the 50 other things I have, but wanted you all to be paying attention. By the way, remember when I posed my simple question of who has beeen doing the work on the k-12 education? Well, clearly the conservatives have been working on dismantling equal oppurtunity there too.