July 15, 2007

WNJ letter writer says it perfectly

Somehow I missed this op-ed (from this past week) by former Christina School District Superintendent Nicholas Fischer. Fischer is definitely an old school educational progressive (which sort of sounds like a contradiction in terms) who has the same ridiculously wrong perceptions of what Brown v. Board of Ed. was all about. This excerpt says it all:

What happened in northern Delaware is one example of the changes wrought by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1954. Brown was finally enforced in Delaware in 1978.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court appears to be on the path to reversing Brown in its most recent decisions regarding schools in Seattle and Louisville, Ky.

My emphasis, because as an obviously well-educated man, Fischer could not be more grossly mistaken. As I've written here at Colossus ad nauseum, New Castle County, Delaware's busing scheme was deemed one of the "most draconian" in the entire country. But that's beside the point; Brown did NOT mandate some sort of "proportionate racial mix" of students in public schools as Fischer claims. It disintegrated de jure segregation that prevented [minority] students from attending schools closest to them (in effect, legally separate schools for different races). Only social engineering progressive educationists like Fischer believe that the historic 1954 decision enforced some muddled notion of mandated "diversity" for public schools in the name of the public "good."

Fortunately, Phillip Mink in today's News Journal shreds Fischer:

Former Christina School District superintendent Nicholas Fischer berates us with the toxic ideology that has done so much to destroy public education in northern Delaware. Let's do ourselves the favor of ignoring him.

His first salvo is to smear neighborhood schools proponents as segregationists. It's time to put that insult to rest. I lived through school desegregation in rural Mississippi during the 1970s, and there is no doubt Jim Crow is a blight on this nation's history. Those who institutionalized racial discrimination deserve more punishment than they received. Those courageous enough to confront that system deserve more credit.

Fischer apparently fancies himself in the latter group because of his insistence on busing, but that's laughable. If sending students to schools that reflect racially identifiable housing patterns were unconstitutional, then virtually every urban school district in the nation -- New York City, Philadelphia, Washington -- would be under fire. They're not, because the civil rights revolution eliminated state-sanctioned school segregation.

Fischer argues that students benefit academically from diversity. If he's right, 30 years of busing Delaware students should have narrowed the achievement gap. It hasn't. There are striking discrepancies in students' test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The Delaware State Testing Program has similar results.

Bravo, Phillip. Target acquired and bullseyed.

For a more accurate and detailed report on New Castle County busing, once again I direct you to Raymond Wolters' 1993 report here (.pdf file), and this post of mine from back in April.

Posted by Hube at July 15, 2007 10:27 AM | 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.)

Having been in the Christina School District during Fischer's time as superintendent, I can say in confidence that the man is a schmuck with no place talking about what education is doing right and wrong.

Posted by: Mat Marshall at July 16, 2007 12:00 PM