Education: A Dubious Precedent

When Judge W. Arthur Garrity placed South Boston High School in federal receivership last December, he cited the precedent of a small rural Georgia school system that was taken over by the courts ten years ago, after it tried to circumvent federal desegregation guidelines. But on close inspection, the consequences of that Georgia takeover do not bode well for South Boston: instead of leading to integration, the court's intervention resulted in a school system that now has only black students.

The Georgia case had its roots in a 1965 voter-registration drive organized by...

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