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Pennsylvania School Scraps Segregation Project

Pennsylvania School Scraps Segregation Project

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However, the Lancaster school district rescinded the pilot program after “blistering” criticism of the blatant segregation and racial stereotyping.

From CNN:

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?

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Photo credit: blmurch via Creative Commons

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73 comments

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10:45AM PST on Feb 13, 2011

Why segregate? That is confusing. We need to accept everyone regardless of color, race, ethnicity etc.

6:30PM PST on Feb 12, 2011

Hi All! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/help-end-minus-grading-affecting-gpa/

6:41AM PST on Feb 12, 2011

These African American mentors they were employing for the black kids...how much more inspiring could it be for them to mentor to EVERYONE? We are all people. No matter what color. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. knew that - he would not have appreciated this segregating - he fought against it. Plenty of While, Latino, & Asians fought right along with him. This was beyond dumb.

6:30AM PST on Feb 12, 2011

Talk about a step backward, I cant even begin to imagine anything like that would be passed or agreed in a school!

6:13AM PST on Feb 12, 2011

Was the picture of the signs "White" and "Colored" with the article the real deal or just to make a point?

7:44AM PST on Feb 11, 2011

When I attended Smith College in 1987, they had a program called The Bridge Program, where minority students were brought to campus early. The idea was for them to form a base of support with other minorities before the white classmates arrived. I understood the intent but kind of thought it was a bad idea at the time. Just kind of encouraging them to stick to their group rather than just mixing in with everyone else.

5:05AM PST on Feb 11, 2011

I'm glad the school changed it's policy..

10:30PM PST on Feb 10, 2011

Good place for that program in the scrap heap. Kids have to interact with each other. They have to learn that there are as many good white, black, brown, red, yellow and blue kids are there are idiots of those same colors. Skin color has nothing to do with intelligence, goodness, badness, purity, evil, wisdom or any other intangible. It does depend upon education, environment and how one is treated in that environment.

10:23PM PST on Feb 10, 2011

I can't believe this ridiculous idea was actually implemented in the first place.

8:43PM PST on Feb 10, 2011

Epic fail. I guess history really does repeat itself.

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This just isn't the place for parties and drinking. Have the party else where.

An excellent idea--one I hope spreads to other cities and states. Many of the homeless are on the street…

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