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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 19, 2006 / 28 Kislev, 5767

Distributing schoolchildren by skin tone

By Nat Hentoff


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Before the Dec. 4 oral arguments at the Supreme Court — on using racial classifications for assigning students to public schools in order to achieve racial diversity — editorials in favor of the plan in The New York Times, The Washington Post and, later, USA Today grimly warned the justices not to betray the Court's landmark 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that state-approved racial segregation of public schools is inherently unconstitutional.


Those editorial writers and other troubled watchers miss the constitutional violations now before the Court in this racial balancing of school districts in Seattle and Louisville.


Those districts have insisted on certain percentages of blacks and whites in certain schools to prevent "racial isolation" of blacks.


By contrast with the cases that led up to Brown v. Board, there is no official discrimination against blacks in the two school districts before the Court. These are well-intentioned plans to ensure that more black and white children can learn together in a time of increased residential segregation and subsequent racial imbalance in many schools.


However, the 1954 Supreme Court ruled unanimously that under the Constitution, admission to the nation's public schools must be "on a nonracial basis." And the present case is the first in which the Supreme Court will decide on the use of race in K-12 public schools not to end official segregation, but rather to bring about diversity in classrooms.


The bedrock issue in these cases is the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees to every citizen of the United States "the equal protection of the laws." That means every individual, not groups. And the late Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas — who persistently and vigorously opposed discrimination in all its forms — emphasized:


"The Equal Protections of the Laws clause in the Constitution commands the elimination of racial barriers — not their creation in order to satisfy our theory on how society ought to be organized."


During the Dec. 4 oral arguments, a lawyer defending the use of race to obtain diversity pointed out that "students as a whole do not suffer any harm" because every student in the Seattle school system got a seat — though not necessarily the one he or she (or their parents) preferred. There is no intent to stigmatize by race, said the lawyer. It's not "a selective or merit-based system."


But it is a collective race-based system. As Chief Justice John Roberts said in response: "Saying that this doesn't involve individualized determination simply highlights the fact that the decision to distribute (students), as you put it, was based on skin color and not on any other factor." And it is required by the school systems.


In a revealing account of this diversity process in action, JWR columnist George Will reported: "When registering children for high school (in Seattle), parents were asked to specify each child's race. If parents did not specify, the district did so based on visual inspection of the parents' or the child's pigmentation.


"The school board president has said, 'skin tone matters.'"

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Was this "skin tone" form of racial classification — with its echoes of America before Brown v. Board of Education — what the justices intended in 1954?


Very significantly, during the oral arguments, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that after a school district proved to the courts that it no longer engaged in official racial segregation as barred by Brown v. Board, then "we turn around and use individual skin color as a basis for (student) assignment. That sets us on a perilous path."


With regard to the actual effect of the celebrated 1954 Supreme Court decision intended to end racial isolation, there are now more largely racially segregated schools around the nation than there were in 1954. Private residential segregation is the primary cause, but underlying that dynamic is a far from inconsiderable degree of racism in the nation.


Furthermore, the national "racial gap" in learning scores is undeniable; but that gap has substantially decreased among "disadvantaged" students in public schools where the emphasis is on structured learning and concentrated attention on individual students — not imposed diversity in the classroom.


As William O. Douglas counseled, education decisions should be made "on the basis of individual attributes, rather than according to a preference solely on the basis of race."


"Skin tone" is still a discriminating factor in many situations in this society, but state-required diversity in classrooms is not a substitute for effective individuated teaching in public schools where there is no permissible excuse for any child to be left behind.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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