June 01, 2007

Wayne Smith (among others) vindicated by former haters

The Christina School District "is in violation of Delaware's Neighborhood Schools Act," says Chancery Court judge Leo E. Strine Jr. This means that the district cannot close several Wilmington city schools as it had wished to do.

As noted here previously, the main architect of the Neighborhood Schools Act, former House Majority Leader Wayne A. Smith, was blasted by critics (mainly from the city and the Wilmington News Journal) when he first proposed the Act. "New millenium racism," it was, according to New Castle County councilman Jea Street. And, as I've said before, the irony here is, for lack of a better term, delicious: People like Street -- a big proponent of busing -- just can't make up their minds. The original county busing plan mandated that city children be bused to the suburbs for nine of their twelve school years, while suburban children were bused to the city for only three years. Yet,

in his 73-page ruling, Strine blasted the district's strategic plan, saying it allowed suburban kids to avoid being bused to Wilmington, while most city kids would be forced to travel approximately 15 miles down I-95 for the last seven of their 13-year public school careers.

"As I understand it, the plaintiffs view Christina's approach to neighborhood schools in terms that bring to mind Chef Emeril Lagasse's term, 'one-sided-tasting food,' " Strine wrote. "Suburban kids get to eat from the tasty, seasoned side of the roast; city kids from the side without flavor."

But what it all boils down to is that all the blustering from Street, the News Journal and others about Wayne Smith and his supposed "true intentions" about the Neighborhood Schools Act was just a bunch of pure CRAP. The implications of "racism" and desire for "newly segregated schools" were the usual Street/News Journal cultural swill. And the proof is right here, folks: Wilmington SUED using Smith's law, the very law they had despised and thought "racist" and "segregationist." And not only that, they sued against the very bases of the original county busing order.

One wonders when Street and the other REAL new millenium racists will finally make up their minds as to what is "racist" and "segregationist." The answer is, of course, "never," because keeping such charges alive is, after all, what keeps them in "business."

UPDATE: University of Delaware Professor Raymond Wolters, who wrote the report about New Castle County's busing saga here, responds to the recent verdict against Christina in an e-mail to me:

My first reaction is to be pleased with Strine's decision. I have made a point of NOT following the recent developments closely. I have grown weary after 30 years of observing the courts and the school bureaucrats mismanage public education. Maybe I like Strine's decision simply because it is a rebuff to the Christina School Board, which has been disregarding the Neighborhood Schools Act for years.

It seems to me that the members of the Christina School Board are stuck with the mindset of the liberal integrationists of the 1970s. The members of the Board are deeply committed to racially balanced, integrated education. They don't think black students can learn in neighborhood schools. And they fear another round of white flight if they require suburban students to spend any extra time attending schools in Wilmington. Since they (1) are committed to racially balanced integration, and (2) fear the flight of whites who are sent to Wilmington, (3) they came up with the idea of busing more blacks to the suburbs. But to do this they have to (1) disregard the Neighborhood Schools Act, (2) close schools in Wilmington, and (3) build educational centers in the suburbs that are large enough to accommodate all the students on a few campuses.

Although the members of the CSB have been thinking this way for years, they (or other like minded people)continue to be elected to the Board. I don't understand why these issues have not been major topics of discussion in school board elections. As I see it, the best thing to do now would be to recruit candidates who would promise to discuss these points in the next school board election.

Posted by Hube at June 1, 2007 02:06 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

We have just got to get the government out of the business of running schools. They are incompetent. Possibly worse, this kind of fight over who should go where will keep popping up.

If the government just paid us to educate our children (I think that obligation is in the constitution of the State) we could then get it done. No more fighting over curricula, dress codes, teacher pay... Just education. Maybe the State could test everyone to make sure the basics are being covered. Peace and education. Nice.

Posted by: Alan Coffey at June 1, 2007 04:02 PM

Interesting application on cooking to describe the decision.

Here is one. WHAT is RACISM?

As a Baseball umpire is famous for saying

"It's a Ball or a Strike when I calls it. "

Or about pornography, "I know it when I see it".

So for our illustrious community leaders,
""Racism is whatever I decide it to be, or not.""

NOT much to go on. I say TIME to IGNORE the
accusations altogether. THE term has lost its
meaning. Time to laugh at those who intend to use the label.
Time to ask them, to DEFINE RACISM.
Once and for ALL. OR FORGET IT.


Posted by: Paul at June 2, 2007 02:47 PM