October 11, 2005

"Diversity"? "Benefits"? Huh?

Via John Rosenberg: Wake County schools in North Carolina are pondering a move away from busing. The News & Observer calls the busing the district's "diversity policy," yet refers to the "policy's" opponents as "mov[ing] Wake toward resegregation." Nice choice. Is the busing for desegregation -- or is it for [economic, in this case] diversity? Or... both? Or more?

"These policies that have driven the schools have been critical to the harmony of the community," [school board candidate Bill] Fletcher said. Wake's approach to integration was profiled last month in The New York Times. The report credited the policy with helping to narrow the racial achievement gap."

So there we have two reasons in as many lines. "Harmony of the community," and narrowing the achievement gap [between white and black students]. Of course, "harmony of the community" is a quantity that cannot be scientifically measured -- just another poor example of edu-babble. And the supposed "gap" narrowing that Wake apparently demonstrated has already been debunked!

Edu-babblists and diversiphiles just cannot decide. And their indecision perpetually makes them look like idiots. Here, the decision can't be made over whether busing is good for "harmony" (would that fall under "diversity"?), desegregation, or academics. The academic aspect has proven a bust (and for further information, see the National Association of Scholars' report -- .pdf file -- on whether diversity has actual educational benefits), desegregation most likely can't be proven since the legal barriers to actual segregation no longer exist (like here in Delaware, where the official federal order mandating deseg. was lifted almost ten years ago), so this leaves ... "harmony"? Oops! See the above paragraph.

Furthermore, most of the edu-babblists and diversiphiles are completely silent on the issue of HBCs -- Historically Black Colleges. Take, for instance, those critical of Delaware State University's President Allen Sessoms -- they say he "is not building on the university's legacy as a historically black college." But Sessoms was hired by the university's board of trustees: "The board of trustees continues to support Sessoms. It hired Sessoms two years ago to advance the university -- toughen admissions requirements, aggressively seek grants and attract a more diverse student body."

So, Sessoms is actually following the diversity mantra -- wanting a more diverse student body -- but this is against the "university's legacy as a historically black college." But wait -- we were told diversity an educational benefit by the diversiphiles! This is one of Wake County's rationales for continued busing and indeed was the basis of the University of Michigan affirmative action case.

Yeesh. The fact is that the abstract notion of "diversity" shows NO educational benefits, nor does busing. It didn't raise the academic standards of the intended beneficiaries in northern Delaware, or in the famous Kansas City case.

But that won't stop the babblists and diversiphiles. They "know" better than you and me.

Posted by Hube at October 11, 2005 05:03 PM | TrackBack

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