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The Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded federal guidance, including guidelines created in 2011 to promote racial diversity in higher education and end the growing racial isolation in K-12 classrooms.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.

View comments (46)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

You seriously are uneducated and can't even write a comment that pertains to the article.

Donald Crow

This women is clueless at her job duties and should be replaced now. Her kids never went to public schools and she has yet ever visited some of the poorest schools so you have an idiot in charge how sad for our young people.

Former teacher

It sucks that so called "progressive" minded people are now the foremost advocates of discrimination. It's not the 1950s anymore, it's 2018. Welcome to the second millennium.

Anonymous

Actually, we are in the 3rd millennium.

Lois Owens

History repeats itself...nothing happens that hasn't already happened...Make Amerikkka Great Again, really does mean make ameriKkka white again!!
The history of this country is rooted in the blood, sweat, & tears of people of color who not only were here first but in the blood sweat & tears who built this country's economic backbone with their stolen labor! The continued denial of a good educational system to people of color is a primary piece of systemic racism...

Truzak

Actually, MLK Jr. believed and preached the same thing, stating we should be judging people by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin.

Diversity is nothing but judging based upon people's physical attributes - color, gender, sexual preferences, and on and on.

To the Left, white is bad, Christian is bad, American is bad; and color, the Y chromosomes, foreign and anything that had ever been considered taboo is good.

Simple and predictable. Just what the Left specializes in.

John Brown

Actually MLK Jr. believed and preached a hell of a lot more than that one snippet from that one speech that conservatives purposely misquote and misunderstand ALL. THE FRICKEN. TIME.

I feel for all the snowflakes whose constitution is so low and genteel that they can't stomach to read and comprehend the full text of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, or the whole body of his social justice work. Literacy had failed you, son; books and education is of no use to you.

And the only folks who decry diversity are those for whom TRUE competition would be horrifically instructive of their own inferiority relative to the color, the Y chromosomes, the foreign and anything else that they had been conditioned to believe themselves superior. TRUE meritocracy would melt the majority of such snowflakes to lukewarm water, kid.

But holding onto the superstitions and social status quos of yesterday is about all the Right is definitionally good for. I just hope that is enough to keep you warm come 2040.

Dr. Timothy Leary

I get it now Mr. Brown. You are one of those educated Fergusonites.

Anonymous

Wow, did you leave any lies out??? I would be categorized as a Left leaner, I’m a vet!!!! Diversity is a lityle more than a different skin color too. Getting really tired of hearing you white conservatives speak MLK’s name and the twist what he said and lie. Read a book and stop lying in public

Anonymous

I just can't believe how clueless you are. And how you clearly have no idea what diversity is.

Pages

Stay Informed