DeVos Doesn’t Believe that Promoting Racial Diversity in Schools Is a Worthwhile Cause

The Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded federal guidance, including guidelines created in 2011 to promote racial diversity in higher education and end the growing racial isolation in K-12 classrooms. The move reflects the administration’s latest attempt to retreat on the important progress made since Brown v. Board of Education prohibited school segregation 64 years ago and despite Supreme Court rulings protecting affirmative action.

The move is particularly disturbing because the guidelines, put in place by the Obama administration, did not break new ground. Instead, they provided a thoughtful and clear explanation of two Supreme Court cases governing the use of race in K-12 education and higher education. Those two cases, Parents Involved v. Seattle Schools and Grutter v. Bollinger, recognized the importance of promoting diversity in learning environments and established parameters for doing so. While their ruling still stands today, DeVos’ announcement signals a dangerous hostility from the Trump administration towards the idea that promoting racial diversity is in the best interest of America.

The guidance documents were not controversial, as they acknowledged a problem that both education experts and the courts have long recognized: Too many of our nation’s classrooms are racially and economically isolated, and that this isolation is only increasing among students. The guidance also outlined the Supreme Court’s explicit recognition that promoting diversity and avoiding racial isolation in schools are not only compelling governmental interests but also among the nation’s highest priorities. The guidance demonstrated the various ways that efforts to create diverse student bodies in schools and universities can be done effectively, fairly, and in compliance with the existing law in order to improve the quality of education for all students.

Given that the guidance served to accurately describe the current state of the law, the decision to rescind them can only be seen as a repudiation of the idea that diversity is a desirable and achievable goal in education. This is dangerous, considering research shows that school segregation is getting worse. And the impacts of desegregating schools are well-documented, including improved academic performance, reduced involvement in the criminal justice system, and better rates of employment. Revoking the guidelines is a decision that risks the reintroduction of division and segregation in our schools and seeks to pull us back to a time when schools were segregated and opportunity was allocated along racial, ethnic, and economic lines.

Fortunately, no action by the Trump administration can alter the fact that the law is defined by the Supreme Court decisions that the 2011 guidance accurately described. Under those cases, schools, colleges, and universities can take the steps necessary to provide the high quality, diverse education that all of the nation’s students deserve. By continuing to take those steps, the educational institutions will be taking up the mantle so shamefully dropped by the administration today.

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Anonymous

This has nothing to do with lowering the standard of education. Kids are expected to do way too much at way too young. How about we learn from other countries and research instead of just being dumb like DeVos is.

Anonymous

It was a long time ago that I was in college but one question one of my fellow freshman asked me on orientation day has stuck with me my whole life and why I believe diversity is a thing that should be strived for. The question I was asked was What it was like to go to school with an African American?

Dr. Timothy Leary

I went to school with African Americans in Detroit. I can't say I recommend it.

Anonymous

I wouldn't recommend going to school in Detroit and that's because I've known too many people who were screwed out of an education because they were stuck in the Detroit Public School system.

Aunt Sue

I worked with African American families in Watts. What is your problem ?
Maybe something in you, brings something out in people...

Anonymous

More slanderous accusations and propaganda from the anti-American ACLU. The democrats and the left have been in control of all the ghettos in our country for decades.Democratic prosecutors, like Amy Klobachar, have been systematically breaking up black families for decades. Democratic administrators instituted and maintained red-lining and the freeway system to create the segregated neighborhoods. Shameful. Don't blame conservatives, they are not the racists, democrats are. Never vote for a superdelegate.

Anonymous

Your comment has nothing to do with the article and diversity in Education. Seems you are blinded by ideology and are incapable of producing a coherent thought. Try reading the article again and speaking to that, instead of trying to call democrats racists. Truth be told, it sounds like you are projecting.

Anonymous

I was attempting to point out the old democratic tactic of accusing the conservatives of racism, and only when leading up to elections. The ACLU is a key member of the megamedia conglomerates, the six companies which control 95% of all media.in our country.

Anonymous

Democrats AND conservatives are racist, unfortunately. But racism among democrats doesn't excuse racism among conservatives. We should combat all racism from all its sources.

Anonymous

All I read was blah blah blah yell yell yell words words words lol

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