RACE AND SCHOOLING IN THE CITY by Adam; Lance Liebman & Corinne S. Schelling--Eds. Yarmolinsky
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No consensus here, not even full agreement on basic facts. The 15 authors who prepared these papers for American Academy of Arts and Sciences study sessions have, however, effectively grappled with the problems which followed not from the 1954 Brown decision--most acknowledge that de jure segregation has been dismantled--but from the more intractable segregation related to job opportunities and housing patterns. Most find that shuffling bodies and assigning by color proved fruitless or destructive, that divisive and perhaps irreconcilable conflicts persist: the pursuit of equality vs. the pursuit of community, the right to be equal vs. the right to be different. And most agree that while comprehensive planning has made some desegregated school systems viable, particularly in small cities, resegregation is a disturbing and splintery obstacle to the original goal: integration in the 1954 sense seems unattainable in this century. Some strategies have been successful--the metropolitan approach, various incentive programs, Britain's ""inexplicitness"" policy--when specific requirements (interracial staff, no tracking) were incorporated into the initial conception. Although one lone wolf in this company insists that there are now enough whites in central cities to achieve ""meaningful desegregation,"" other participants sound skeptical, and one points out that middle-class blacks have fled to the suburbs too. Editor Liebman, in an excellent Overview, suggests in partial summation: ""the pursuit of mixed schools is a value, and a significant value. . . . But it is not a constitutional value, one that must prevail against other important considerations. . . and certainly not when [it is] perceived to be in conflict with the effectiveness of the educational process itself."" As study-session organizer Yarmolinsky notes in the Preface (his sole contribution), no unanimous recommendations emerged. But concern for quality and equality in education informs these writings by front-line authorities (Ravitch, Coleman), and their perceptions are imposing--which makes this an obligatory resource for the ongoing debate.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1981
ISBN: 0674745779
Publisher: Harvard Univ. Press