07 Dec Why didn't school integration achieve the goals hoped for?

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I am a child of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. I grew up in Prince Edward County Virginia -- one of the epicenters of the battle. Looking back on the results, my observation is that forced integration of schools created a sharper contrast of the real foundation of the disparity in education -- economic and housing discrimination. Integrated schools could not solve the problem of equality alone. Not when parents of poor children were still discriminated along racial lines in job opportunities, housing, higher education and other social needs.

My children went to integrated schools where they were often the only Black children in the classrooms. The difference for them is that we lived in the communities where they went to school. They weren't bused to a "foreign environment" with teachers and classmates that were nothing like them.

The single biggest factor in the gap in results is poverty. The class difference trumps all attempts at artificial integration for education purposes only. The best efforts of teachers in classrooms cannot overcome this barrier. If the participants aren't being integrated into the community of their classroom peers, then they see barriers that they feel that they may never overcome. 

Looking back, the biggest flaw is that Brown v. Board of Education was ten years ahead of other Civil Rights initiatives. By then, the hostilities against busing, and other more sophisticated solutions (i.e., redlining, and white flight from urban communities) had been implemented that resulted in de facto re-segregation.

See full article at Huffington Post -- Race, Class and Schools -- at http://bit.ly/RaceClassSchools.
Last modified on Sunday, 02 October 2016 23:55