Monday, May 17, 2004

LA Students Protest Continuing Educational Opportunities, 50 Years After Brown Vs Board of Ed
The near universal tone on the 50th Anniversary was one of justified despair. Even if one conceded that we got rid of many nasty things over time, not even the most strident status-quo supporter (that i have see)n has argued that the spirit of Brown - equal education for all - is anywhere near in place. After years of negative experiences, many blacks have even conceded the basic integration principle. But that doesn't escape the fact that in many parts of the US, an all black school will too often be a struggling school as a result of property taxes, family issues and other residues of the racial aspect of poverty in America. Requiring more tests and holding kids back won't solve this (Bush's solution touted by Ed Sec. Rod Paige as being the most significant Civil Rights victory in 50 years!!). Regional Property tax sharing like in Minneapolis would help, more Federal funds to do the big things like construction and assuring minimum standards would as well. We need to have the best, most dedicated teachers in these schools and extra help needs to be all around. We must also foster, with all deliberate speed, more integrated schools all over America.

India Correction - oops, spoke too soon on the coronation of Sonia Gandhi (below). The Communists held to their principles and staying out of the Indian coalition Government, led by the Congress Party. Though both have the same ideology after the battering of neo-liberalism in recent years, they compete vigorously for the progressive Kerala and West Bengal states, which have been Communist for years - and provide excellent examples of places where Socialism has done wonders in literacy, health, education and quality of life. Now Mrs. Gandhi has bowed out, under immesne pressure from Nationalists worried about where she was born and Capital markets, which dropped a record 18% upon the news.


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