Diversity is great, if...
April 16, 2008
The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that almost "nine in 10 public elementary school parents in Jefferson County [Kentucky] say it's important to bring together students from different races and backgrounds to learn." (The Supreme Court ruled last year that Jefferson County may very rarely, if ever, consider race when determining how it assigns students to schools.)
But the article also notes:
At least 90 percent of parents said any changes to assignment rules should maintain family choice, minimize time on buses, allow siblings to attend together and ensure parents know which middle and high schools their children will attend.
That's a lot to ask from an assignment plan that seeks to make schools more racially diverse. All things being equal, most parents will, at least in surveys, support engineering school diversity. But in big districts like Jefferson County, parental choice and minimal time on buses??are often just logistically incompatible with racially mixed schools. Parents support diversity, but not if it means their kids attend class all the way across town and wake up at 5 a.m. each morning to catch the bus.