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US Education Secretary to Wake County School Board – “no time to go backward”


 Maintaining racial diversity in schools

The Washington Post; Letters to the Editor;  1/13/11

America’s strength has always been a function of its diversity, so it is troubling to see North Carolina’s Wake County School Board taking steps to reverse a long-standing policy to promote racial diversity in its schools ["In N.C., a new battle on school integration," front page, Jan. 12]. The board’s action has led to a complaint that has prompted an investigation by our Office for Civil Rights, but it should also prompt a conversation among educators, parents and students across America about our core values.

Those core values, embodied in our founding documents, subsequent amendments and court rulings, include equity and diversity in education and opportunity. In fact, on Monday we celebrate the life and leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose movement for racial equality inspired a nation and brought us closer to the more perfect union envisioned by our founders.

In an increasingly diverse society like ours, racial isolation is not a positive outcome for children of any color or background. School is where children learn to appreciate, respect and collaborate with people different from themselves. I respectfully urge school boards across America to fully consider the consequences before taking such action. This is no time to go backward.

Arne Duncan, Washington

The writer is U.S. education secretary.

5 Comments

  1. Rob Schofield

    January 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Amen, Arne. Please come to Raleigh and say it in person.

  2. Jeff

    January 14, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Dr. King would not be as pleased with this diversity collectivism since it plays groups against each other. I believe he was more interested in seeing the individual achieve equality, thus the whole of society would be free.

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  5. Mannatech Products

    January 18, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Hey Adam, nice article, the school board needs to wake up.