Roger Clegg writes at National Review Online about the unintended consequences of decades-old desegregation laws in the South. Due to those laws, some white students are being prevented from transferring out of failing schools simply because of their skin color.
During the 1960s and ’70s, hundreds of school-desegregation decrees were put in place, especially in the South, and rightly so. But the Supreme Court has warned that these decrees are not to stay in place forever. Normally local school districts, not federal judges, are supposed to run the schools; dissolving a desegregation decree when the school system is fully desegregated will not allow schools to readopt Jim Crow policies (the Fourteenth Amendment does not expire), but it will allow districts more flexibility with regard to charter schools and other student-assignment issues.
One problem that has arisen in particular is the tension between these ancient decrees (which spell out rigidly which students can go to which schools) and needed reforms that allow students to transfer out of failing schools (as No Child Left Behind, for example, does). Well, the Huffington Post has pointed out a recent instance of this problem, where a 1960s-era decree has prompted school officials in one Louisiana district to warn students that they can’t transfer out of a failing school if they are the wrong color (in this case, white).
Click here for the full article.