It lasted less than two weeks.
Care2′s Fiona O’Sullivan reported at the end of January that McCaskey East High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, had segregated its homeroom classes, in the belief that segregation might be a good thing.
In pursuit of this belief, the school segregated students by race and gender for specific short periods each day and twice a month to meet with mentors.
No More School Segregation At MsCaskey East
Now McCaskey East High School has abandoned its pilot “mentoring” program that separated students by race and gender in their homeroom classrooms, following much controversy and negative media attention.
Pedro Rivera, the superintendent, continues to defend the segregation, saying, “The intent…by educators was to serve students. They identified a need and were innovative and forward-thinking around how they were going to provide a quality education to kids here at the high school.”
Lancaster School District Forced To Withdraw Progam
However, the Lancaster school district rescinded the pilot program after “blistering” criticism of the blatant segregation and racial stereotyping.
Educators at the school said they initially noticed strong bonds being formed between all students and mentor teachers,” the statement said.
But some analysts say the experiment was misguided.
“When we talk about reducing the achievement gap, do we mean merely reducing the discrepancy of test scores of white students and students of color?” asked education consultant Sam Chaltain. “Or do we mean reducing the predictive impact that things like race, class and gender have on all aspects of student engagement, performance and learning?”
Segregation In Public Schools Ruled Unconstitutional
As a reminder, the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in the Brown vs. Board of Education case held that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, overturning an earlier ruling in a decision that determined “separate educational facilitates are inherently unequal.’
What do you think? Can segregation ever be a good thing?
Photo credit: blmurch via Creative Commons