Desegregation: Leaving It Up To the Locals

Leaving It Up To the Locals

Since the 1960s, when federal judges ordered the desegregation of hundreds of school systems, one key question has gone unanswered: at what point had a system done enough to mix black and white children in the classroom to satisfy the courts?

Last week the Supreme Court edged closer to an answer: it ruled that in many instances, local school districts can determine the means for achieving classroom racial balance. The case involved the public schools of De Kalb County, Ga., which were ordered to desegregate in 1969. After that, large numbers of black families moved into the southern part of the...

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