So School Districts Can Really Be Trusted To Do Right Thing?

In The News

September 19, 2007

Many critics of the No Child Left Behind law have been pushing the traditional Republican line that the federal government ought to keep its nose out of local school issues, that school districts – because they involve many good people at the local level – are working hard and have every natural incentive in place to do whatever it takes to make sure ALL kids get what they need from the system.

Sam Dillon’s stomach-turning piece in the NY Times Monday morning serves as a reminder why that kind of utopic view is simply unrealistic.

The full story is after the jump, but the lead paragraph in the story is not only devastating, but a reminder of how little has changed in our nation over the years. The kids whose parents don’t have power get screwed. The No Child Left Behind law was supposed to empower many of these parents, but has pretty much not been inforced by the Bush administration for reasons which still are unclear to me. As a result, local school districts around the nation have gotten away with murder, even while claiming to be doing good. (These are the same districts that want even more flexibility in the next version of NCLB.)

From Dillon’s story:

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After white parents in this racially mixed city complained about school overcrowding, school authorities set out to draw up a sweeping rezoning plan. The results: all but a handful of the hundreds of students required to move this fall were black — and many were sent to virtually all-black, low-performing schools.