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African American Schools 1950s- Six Decades Later 2016

Open Choice Enrollment instead of Federal Orders to Desegregate Our Schools


Just how do we fix the failed plan of school desegregation in the United States? Should we
continue to applaud the NAACP as the instigators who challenged America to uphold the 14th
Constitutional Amendment, and its Equal Protection provisions that lead to the 1954 landmark
civil rights case, Brown vs Board of Education? Alternatively, have we the citizens of this great
country finally decided that separate but equal is all we really need to end Racism, the true
culprit of inequality still hiding within the loop holes of our judicial laws (Plessy vs Ferguson
1896)? After six decades of failed state, local, and federal planning trying to effectively initiate
educational communities into willful desegregation, the challenge and potential solution should
be, Open Choice Enrollment instead of Federal Orders to Desegregate Our Schools.
The US Supreme Court currently remains backlogged with appeals against and favoring
desegregation in its school systems, seemingly all across America (a statement surely joining the
ranks of an overused clich). Desegregation is still a national issue demanding legal attention.
The federal mandate to desegregate American schools officially began in the early 1950s with
the historical landmark decision Brown vs Board of Education (1954). The legal evidence used
to sway the US Supreme Court by Civil Rights lawyers was the 14th Amendment and Equal
Protection clause that was ratified in the late 1860s (See U.S. Const. amendment articles XIIIXIV; Black Codes). The ratification included black codes regarding civil rights and equal
protection provisions for Americas 4 million newly freed slaves.
Has anything changed legally since the 14th Amendments ratification during the reconstruction
era following Americas Civil War?

The answer to the previously mentioned question is a resounding, yes and the changes are
shocking. What the US Supreme Court faces today are civil appeals from some segregated
school districts rejecting federal court orders to desegregate their schools (Brown, WP).
According to some of the African American citizens in Cleveland, Miss., it would upset what
they claim as a vital, delicate balance of school pride and educational improvements within
their segregated school system. The solution that is working for them is Open Choice
Enrollment a very logical and feasible solution.
The Open Choice Enrollment solution, simply proposes that if students (racial background is
not a factor in this proposal) wants to attend a non-segregated or a segregated school, it is their
civil right to exercise this freedom without fear of dealing with racial discrimination as well as
bodily harm or loss of life. This solution will not entirely replace federal courts involvement in
desegregation cases because the real culprit of our desegregation issues is Racism, hiding
within the political loopholes of our US Constitution. However, open choice enrollment is a
solution currently used by a Cleveland, Miss. school effectively for 50 years and yet, they too
have recently received a federal court order to desegregate their school.
The problem to finalize successful transitions to desegregate schools in financially impoverished
communities will remain a relentless condition for US Federal Court systems to address why?
Complete transparency of their plans is required. We, as citizens whose children continue to be
horrendously, affected by their theorized, unseen desegregation plans have a civil right to know
what new educational tools are the teachers being equipped with to handle the educational needs
of their newly integrated student body. Currently, statistical data is steadily becoming a stockpile of reports, and graphical charts proving that their hypothesized plans are failing, miserably
(Rothstein-EPI).

In fact, statistical data shows that a reversal situation to desegregate financially impoverished
communities in non-televised reports of white and some foreign students are quietly enjoying
their special educational privileges (Wells-VLR). In an article written in the Virginia Law
Review, a group of Researchers five-year report suggests, weve given up on Brown vs The
Board of Education (1954) and are seemingly trying to fulfill the promises of Plessy vs Ferguson
(1896). Our refusal to desegregate our schools appears to suggest that we potentially prefer
honoring, The Separate but Equal Laws, which are also included in the 14th Amendment
(Wells-VLR). Historical records reveal that racial integration in our schools was favorably high
during the 1980s. However, a timeline from federal data reports from 2001-2014 in areas where
more than 75 percent of the population is African American and Hispanic, lives in a state of
paucity. Included in that report are a specific number of schools challenged with this increase.
Instead of witnessing a decrease in segregated schools, the numbers has doubled significantly
from 9 percent to 16 percent. Outrageously, when combining these percentages a new castigated
historical record is set, reporting a humiliating 90 percent increase in schools remaining
segregated since the 1980s.
There is an underlying fear swimming in the murky waters of implementing schools InterDistrict
willingness to accept the proposed solution of open choice enrollment, which would allow
students to freely choose where they are willing to attend school for an equal education
opportunity. However, that underlying fear is not fearsome enough to discourage the usage of
their hopeful champion (Open Choice Enrollment), which is now on the rise against forced
desegregation.
Certain reports indicate there are at least 46 states in our union that have some type of open
choice enrollment and InterDistrict provisions on the law books. Many Civil Rights Groups are

now advocating InterDistrict laws be required on law books state to state in efforts to enforce the
federal o Child Left Behind

CLB programs. The CLB federally states, any student

attending below average schools can voluntarily elect to transfer to a school of their choice that
has greater educational opportunities. InterDistrict laws, also provide recognized reasons
allowing a student to go beyond their intransigent district lines in exploration for schools offering
better educational opportunities. Their fervent hopes are maybe these allowances will minify
segregation in congested segregated areas (Dillon, pg 5).
What are civil rights organizations so fearful of regarding, Open Choice Enrollment?
Many organizations, including certain Civil Rights Advocates are fearful that the right to Open
Choice Enrollment will have a backlash effect destroying many of desegregations
accomplishments realized with the triumphant case of, Brown vs the Board of Education
(1954). A fearful reasoning sequesters their counter-arguments. Their truculent criticisms
proclaim, Allowing, students to utilize the open choice enrollment programs, under the
protection of federal InterDistrict provisions is a historical step in the wrong direction.
Collected dossiers, previously suggests that 80-90 percent of students living in homes with
substandard income will remain in below average schools. Other areas of their strong
contingencies towards open choice enrollment are no substantial evidence has proven these
open choice enrollment programs are the absolute answer to dissolving federal court orders for
schools to desegregate (Dillon-ESR). Constructed as inclusions in their taunting list of
objections are:
o Lack of adequate information for parents wanting to participate in these programs
o Feasible financial funding for appropriate transportation that will be cost efficient

Degrees of difficulty relating to affordability for the parents

Their solution proposes, Controlling student choices is still a necessary requirement, ensuring
the final realization of total integration of our current and future school systems.
In conclusion, there will never be an error free solution to our current desegregation issues if we
are going to continue to place the burden of solving our racial issues on the backs of our school
systems. Racism is too big of a national illness in America that our schools are not properly
equipped to handle. Forced desegregation and integration defeats what our S Constitution is all
about Equal Civil Liberties. Open choice enrollment by far is a very natural and feasible
solution to begin the healing of our social system, instead of relying on Federal court orders to
desegregate our schools.

Works Cited
Brown, Emma. Mississippi School District to Appeal Court-Ordered Desegregation Plan.
Washington Post, Washington Post, 13 July 2016,
www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2016/07/13/mississippi-school-district-to-appealcourt-ordered-desegregation-plan/?utm_term=.81c1a9e04e1d.
CER. CER T OOL K IT March 2007 LEGISLATORS GUIDE TO ED CATIO R EFORM.
The Center for Education Reform , Mar. 2007, pp. 115.
Dillon, Erin. Plotting School Choice: The Challenges of Crossing District Lines. Education
Sector Reports 2008, 15 Aug. 2008, pp. 132.
educationpolicy.air.org/sites/default/files/publications/Interdistrict_Choice.pdf.
Horsford, Sonya Douglass. Mixed Feelings About Mixed Schools: Superintendents on the
Complex Legacy of School Desegregation. Sage Journals, Sage Journals, 15 July 2010,
eaq.sagepub.com/content/46/3/287.short.
Lowry, Wesley, and Emma Brown. Dont Force s to Give up Our School: A Mississippi
Town Is Being Told to Integrate . Washington Post, Washington Post, 2016,
www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/in-a-segregated-city-forced-integration-of-schools-isa-complex-subject/2016/05/27/a295131e-212e-11e6-aa84-42391ba52c91_story.html.
Rothstein, Richard. For Public Schools, Segregation Then, Segregation Since Education and the
nfinished March. Economic Policy Institute, Economic Policy Institute, 27 Aug. 2013,
www.epi.org/publication/unfinished-march-public-school-segregation/.
Wells, Amy Stuart, and Et. al. The Space Between School Desegregation Court Orders and
Outcomes: The Struggle To Challenge White Privilege, 90 Virginia Law Review 1721-1751,
1729-1751 (October, 2004). Virginia Law Review Association, Virginia Law Review
Association, 15 Sept. 2004, virginialawreview.org/sites/virginialawreview.org/files/1721.pdf.