Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's About Time Lawsuits Were Filed

over those failed "reform" proposals which impact poor and minority students far more than students in wealthier parts of a school district.

These "reforms" ought to be declared illegal:

The catch with turnarounds and closings? Urban schools affected by them house more students of color than those left alone. As such, a growing national movement argues, the implementation of these policies systematically violates Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits race-based discrimination in federally funded programs.

In a coordinated effort, Title VI complaints have been filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) by plaintiffs from turned-over districts across the country: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, D.C., Newark, New York, and Philadelphia. Coming soon, says Jitu Brown of Chicago’s Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, are filings from Austin, Cleveland, Kansas City, New Orleans, Oakland, and Wichita. That’s 14 cities (and counting) that see evidence of discrimination in federal education mandates.

Though the complaints vary city by city, the themes are common: school closings and turnarounds have a statistically disproportionate impact on students of color, and this impact is destructive: displaced students are shipped away from their neighborhoods and forced to cross many social boundaries, with little to no precedent of advanced academic success in their new environments.

Ditto the employment of Teach for America types. While it wasn't founded as a racist organization, the impact of using temps for largely minority students in largely minority-dominated schools is definitely racist.

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