Wake County: Separate and Unequal?
On October 11, the Wake County (NC) School Board Elections will determine if district schools will remain integrated and committed to diversity or return to a system of separate and unequal.
Over the past year, a small group of Wake County citizens have advanced an extremist agenda of "neighborhood schooling", which when implemented, usually means some children get public schools that are racially identifiable and high-poverty, while others get schools that are selective, highly resourced and in effect function as "private" schools for the white and affluent.
The North Carolina NAACP, with support from the national NAACP, opposes the changes – changes that would drastically reduce school diversity and roll back years of progress and integration. Most of Wake County opposes the changes, too – 94 percent of parents in the county said they support the current education system. Research confirms that students in racially diverse schools do better in math and reading and display a marked increase in critical thinking.
U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan’s message to the Wake County School Board is clear.
"America's strength has always been a function of its diversity, so it is troubling to see North Carolina's Wake County school board take steps to reverse a long-standing policy to promote racial diversity in its schools," said Duncan.
*Read Secretary Duncan's letter to the Washington Post criticizing Wake County's misguided approach to education.
**Read President Jealous and North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber’s op-ed on the Wake County re-segregation effort.
***Listen to satirist Stephen Colbert's take on the Wake County School Board's proposal.