Why The End of Integration?
After four decades of school integration America has given up, and the
question is: “Why?”. I believe the answer is because absolutely nothing worked!
Bussing was a hassle, most magnet schools were set up for false reasons, and
everything was very costly. With everything they tried there were still no
significant changes in the test scores of the minority students. So now here we
are in the late 21st century and it can all be summed up with what Chris Hansen
of the American Civil Liberties Union in New York City believes the courts are
saying, “We still agree with the goal of school desegregation, but it’s too hard,
and we’re tired of it, and we give up.”
It all started with Brown v. Board of Education saying “Separate
educational facilities are inherently unequal.” There began a plan to
desegregate public schools across America. The first plan was bussing when Swann
v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education stated that federal courts could
order bussing to desegregate schools. However in most cases bussing became much
more of a hassle than a helper. There were many revolts from parents making
situations even more horrible. Most students wanted to go to their neighborhood
schools and not be bussed for long trips to attend a ‘better’ school. In Seattle
the school board unanimously voted to “avoid race-based school assignment and
increase enrollment in schools closer to home.”(Lilly) The busing plan was not
working and soon many schools were trying to deactivate this maneuver. “There is
evidence that federal courts are realizing that the 25-year-old policy of busing
to achieve racial balance in schools has not worked as a means for ending
segregation or improving the academic performance of minority students.”(NCPA)
Busing did not work out as planned; scores for minority students were not higher
and neither was their happiness. Peter Schmidt opinion is that “after seeing
some districts’ labyrinthine busing maps, that mandating the integration of
classrooms has cost a good number of students any chance of a fair and quality
Another reason why plans for integration stopped was that many believed
they were morally wrong. Mr. Symington, a Republican, said, ” The education of
Arizona’s children should not be held prisoner by a racial quota system.” While
Edward Newsome feels it’s just patronizing to blacks, “that the courts are so
willing to assume that anything that is predominately black must be inferior.”
There were also problems with magnet school programs. Most were designed to
attract white students to predominately black schools and vice versa. The
communities were using magnet schools to lure whites away from private schools.
Along with being unjust the magnet school plan also did not work. In 1985 one
district was 73.6% minority, 11 years later the district is now 75.9% minority.
Missouri v. Jenkins stopped the unjustness of Judge Clark and his magnet schools
when they ordered it was wrong of him to pay for a plan just to attract suburban
students. Plus last June The Supreme Court said the district court had no right
to order expenditures aimed at attracting suburban whites.(Kunen)
The systems to integrate schools were also very costly. On average the
cost for one student per year to be bussed is between $300 and $400. Kansas City
spent $1.5 billion on magnet schools in town, a 10 year failure. San Francisco
spent $200 million since 1982 to improve desegregation and after found it lacked
“even modest overall improvement.” (NCPA) John F. Huppenthal, the Republican
chairman of the Senate’s education committee said, “It is evil to hold them in a
system which isn’t doing much for them, particularly when it is so damn
expensive.”(Schmidt) The huge amount of money they used to pay for these methods
came out of what could have gone to improving general schools or improving
My opinion is that the plans for integration stopped because their
maneuvers were not working. I believe those maneuvers should have stopped. They
should spend more time improving the schools than integrating the students.
There should be more schools like the J.S. Chick elementary school that doesn’t
look down upon it’s 98% African American school. In that school the students
outscore many of the magnet schools’ students on the standardized tests.
Minorities don’t score lower on tests because there are all minorities sitting
around them, they score poorly because the school is poor. I go along with J.
Anthony Lukas when he states, ” Our task is to educate the kids who’re here,
instead of yearning for those who have left. And, who knows, perhaps if we do a
good enough job, some of those who have left may start trickling back.” I
believe some of the plans were a little immoral and wrong.
So after four decades of trying to desegregate schools, the plans failed
and the country is giving up. Over the time most standardized tests showed minor
improvement in minority scoring. The plans cost a lot of money but at least some
schools were improved. The intents ended because the costly plans were not
working. Neither busing nor magnet schools raised minorities academic
performances, so the country has stopped the integration plans.