Evidently structural racism is more of an aesthetic rather than factual matter. If and when structural racism is alleged, should the facts suggest otherwise, then there must be a problem with the facts, no?
At least this is the case with U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder. His Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP) violates federal school desegregation mandates implemented in the 1970s.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, LSP was piloted in New Orleans in 2008, providing public funds to low-income students who attended low-performing public schools to enroll in local private schools. Then, in 2012, Governor Bobby Jindal and the State Legislature of Louisiana expanded LSP statewide. Since then, thousands of public school students have been allowed to transfer out of their local public schools and into private schools of their choosing.
Research data collected concerning the school choices made by voucher recipients since 2008 suggest:
- Among the subset of students for whom data are available, LSP transfers overwhelmingly improve integration in the public schools that students leave (the sending schools), bringing the racial composition of those schools closer to that of the broader communities in which they are located.
- In the school districts under federal desegregation orders, which are the focus of the Holder's Department of Justice litigation, LSP transfers improve integration in both the sending schools as well as the private schools that participating students attend (receiving schools).
Unlike the U.S. Attorney General who offers ideology from the bully pulpit of the Department of Justice, the researchers who conducted the study, Anna Egalite and Jonathan Mills of the University of Arkansas, offer facts. School choice in Louisiana is not harming desegregation efforts. To the contrary, LSP appears to have improved the racial composition of Louisiana's public schools.
Has that not been the goal of integration since the 1970s?
Perhaps the U.S. Attorney General has to attack LSP and its success because it has been implemented by a Republican governor who may be a candidate for his party's 2016 presidential nomination. Why not cause a little political mischief by tying Bobby Jindal down with having to defend against the allegation that his policies promote segregation in the Deep South?
Then, too, why allow the Republican Party the opportunity to make vouchers and school choice an issue in 2016? Why not keep the issue tied up in litigation so that its alleged segregationist underpinnings can be touted only because a court hasn't yet been able to rule on the issue?
Doesn't this seem to be the pattern with Obama administration officials and how they deal with their political enemies?
Let the discussion begin...
To read the research report, click on the following link:
"The Louisiana Scholarship Program."