Monday, July 2, 2007

Re-segregating in Jersey City?

In Justice Breyer's dissent he mentioned the 200 or so districts that will be under attack because of this ruling. A case in point, Jersey City one of the most diverse communities in the country.
McNair high school is ranked the 27th best high school in the nation. The school turns away five out of six applicants. Some Jersey City school officials said on the day of the ruling that it is questionable whether it will have an effect on McNair, which aims to have a student population that is 25 percent white, 25 percent African-American and 25 percent Hispanic, with the remaining quarter coming from various backgrounds, officials said. But saying the new ruling won't affect this setup is wishful thinking at best.

McNair seeks the best candidates in each racial group, but students of Asian and middle eastern dissent have recently complained their applications were better than some students accepted. Clearly, this high school is in danger of keeping to its mission of a diverse group of students, especially with the gentrification of Jersey City taking hold of this city across the Hudson from lower Manhattan.

The editorial ends with this declaration:

The fact is that there is little if any desegregation in Jersey City. Student populations are decided by housing and neighborhood patterns. What little racial balance exists is in McNair. School officials had better not fall asleep on this ruling and come up with some new challenge-proof plan in determining what should still be a diverse student body.

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