Sunday, December 03, 2006

Be afraid, be very afraid...US Supreme Court Hears Seattle/Louisville School Desegregation Cases; SF School Board's New Leadership

San Francisco Unified School district student Eli williams [left] poses with the Governor to announce success in the 2004 Williams Case settlement, a modern day Brown v. Board of Education in CA schools which addresses ongoing unequal conditions and opportunities to learn in CA. Photo by ACLU.
- Bob Egelko's front page analysis of the upcoming Supreme Course case on school desegregation in the Louisville and Seattle school districts in the Sunday SF Chronicle worries me. The justices will hear arguments tomorrow. While Prof. Goodwin Liu of UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law calls this perhaps the final chapter of Brown vs. Board of Education, many student and community activists from around the US are fired up to demand racial and economic justice in our schools despite what the Supreme Court rules.

The Supreme Court's agreement to review the Seattle and Louisville cases, after lower courts upheld the districts' integration plans, was a likely signal that Chief Justice John Roberts and his colleagues are preparing to ban racial considerations in public school enrollment, said Pepperdine University law Professor Douglas Kmiec, a Justice Department official under Reagan and President George H.W. Bush.
"Racial balancing is patently unconstitutional, and the Roberts court should -- and will likely -- say so,'' Kmiec said.
Educational Justice activists march on the US Supreme Court Monday - Louisville activists will be joining thousands from the San Francisco/Berkeley/Oakland Bay area and around the country at a D.C. rally speak out for education justice. From Chris Kenning of the Courier-Journal

Dozens of Louisville activists, parents, teachers and college students will demonstrate Monday outside the U.S. Supreme Court as it hears arguments in two
challenges to voluntary school desegregation.
At a press conference yesterday, members of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression said they will travel by bus to join other groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, to urge the
challenges be rejected.
See the useful articles on Desegregation and Equity below.

New Leadership in San Francisco Unified School District -
In our first meeting in January, the SF Board of Education will be joined by 3 new members - all women of color - including the first Korean American board member Jane Kim, the first Filipino American woman Hydra Mendoza, and the first African American Woman in some 20 years Kimshree Maufus.
Former Board of Education member Mary Hernandez also reminded me this weekend that the additions of Kim and Mendoza make the board a majority Asian American with 4/7 members. Some are also predicting that the new progressive board will elect Mark Sanchez as the first ever Teacher elected as the Board President in San Francisco Unified at our first meeting on January 9th. Longtime parent and community activist Kim Shree Maufus may be elected as Vice President as well. She currently works for the Commission on the Status of Women in the City.

More Public Engagement in SF -
In San Francisco parents are participating in an ongoinng public engagement process organized by the San Francisco Education Fund [under the leadership of Hugh Vasquez], and a number of parent and community groups including Coleman Advocates for Children, Youth and their Families, Chinese for Affirmative Action and Parents for Public Schools and our own SFUSD Parent Advisory Council. The project will help our district's search for a new superintendent and flush out parents and non-parents' ideas for a new vision for our district.

Useful articles on Desegregation/Equity and the fight for Educational Justice -
Supreme Court to Revisit Brown v. Board of Education (Equal Justice Society)
Schools More Separate - Rethinking Schools on Brown [Rethinking Schools, Milwaukee]
D.C. rally to support JCPS desegregation policy (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY)
Justices to Hear Cases of Race-Conscious School Placements (The Washington Post)
Let Schools 'Look Like America,' Too (The Los Angeles Times - Editorial)
Pending Supreme Court Cases could Undermine Desegregation (The Louisiana Weekly)
Race is still part of equation for equal education (USA Today - June 18, 2006)
High court to examine race-balancing schools (The Christian Science Monitor)
Understanding the desegregation case Louisville's plan (The Louisville Courier-Journal)
Perhaps Not All Affirmative Action Is Created Equal (The New York Times)
Race's enduring impact on public education (The Seattle Times - Editorial)
Court asked to deny race factor in schools - (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Court to Revisit Race in Schools - Integration plans (The Los Angeles Times)
Bush Administration Opposes Integration Plans (The Los Angeles Times)
Considering Race School officials should be ...'stir the melting pot.' (The Wash Post)
Seattle schools case could change national scene (The Seattle Times)
Asian American Advocates, Youth Education Groups File Amicus Briefs (US Newswire)
Wells Argues on Behalf of Contested Voluntary School Integration Plans (Teachers College)
Diverse Views Offered on Supreme Court Race Cases (Education Week)
The Supreme Court Grants Review in Two Cases (
Supreme Court grants review in a pair of cases (National School Boards Association News)

SF Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
Equal Justice Society

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So how are you going to desegregate children of mixed races! This is incredibly wrong to do! How are our children going to be taught not to be prejudice?