SCSJ believes that the Wake County school board’s controversial decision to dismantle the county’s nationally acclaimed diversity policy will fundamentally undermine educational opportunity for students of color, particularly low-income African Americans and Latinos.
The system did not solve all problems: tracking and other factors still create defacto within-school segregation; as early as kindergarten, students are separated into tracks, such as Gifted and Talented, Honors, Special Needs and Remedial, which become virtually unchangeable for the rest of their academic careers, thus impacting the competitiveness of their college and scholarship applications.
Wake County has a high number of suspensions and an achievement gap that correlates with race and socioeconomic status. However, dismantling the diversity policy will only further exacerbate these inequities and will have a disproportionate and negative impact on students that are already at risk.
Because neighborhoods tend to be segregated, so do neighborhood schools. The inconvenience of bussing is more than a fair price to pay for the benefits of integration, enriched curricula, and real opportunities for all children.