Busing Debate and Poll
Should Busing be used to Desegregate Public Schools ? 


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Should Busing be used to Desegregate Public Schools ?


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fact 1

The recent history of public school desegregation follows landmark United States Supreme Court decisions beginning in 1954, when the court required the abolition of "separate but equal" schools in Topeka, KS, and culminating in 1971, when the Court permitted the busing of pupils in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to achieve racial balance. 


fact 2

One important case, Swann V. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, originated in Charlotte in 1965 when Darius and Vera Swann filed suit against the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education charging that their request for the reassignment of their son James to a predominantly white school nearer their home had been denied on the basis of their race. 



Many felt that black children weren't getting an equal education. Many of the schools in the black neighborhoods were under funded. Another hoped for benefit was that children growing up in ethnic diverse schools would be less prejudice.



Years after a Kansas City court implemented busing, black students in integrated magnet schools performed no better than blacks in neighborhood schools. San Francisco spent more than $200 million [on busing] following a 1982 court order to end school segregation, but a 1992 study led by Harvard Professor Gary Orfield, who supports busing, found black and Hispanic students lacked ``even modest overall improvement'' [as a result of intrusive court-ordered busing.]  A National Institute of Education report could not even find a single study showing black kids fared appreciably better following a switch to integrated schools. In fact, it is patronizing to think that minority students need to sit next to a white student in order to learn. Many black leaders, from Wisconsin State Rep. Annette Polly Williams, a Milwaukee Democrat, to Cleveland Mayor Michael White have come to that conclusion and led efforts to end busing.



Busing has obliterated effective parental and neighborhood involvement. Discipline is far more effective when the child knows that the teacher knows their parents.



"Twenty-five years after racial violence erupted in Boston over court-ordered desegregation, the city is considering abandoning widespread busing and sending students to their neighborhood schools again.  The reason: White flight and a burgeoning immigrant population have dramatically changed the racial makeup in many parts of Boston. "Blacks, Hispanics and Asians now constitute about 85 percent of the city's 64,000 public school students, up from about 48 percent when busing began.  As a result, most areas of the city - including the once lily-white South Boston, where the worst trouble took place in the early 1970s - are now racially and ethnically diverse. "The change has prompted the Mayor to propose building five new schools in the city and returning to 'walk-to schools.' " 



I think a better idea would be to arrange school districts and place neighborhood schools in such a way as to cross neighborhood borders.




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