Trib takes step back from Red Plan

Until today Robin Washington, the DNT’s Editorial Editor, had given his qualified approval to the District’s Red Plan. I sent him the page of the District’s report for review and comment which showed the likely division of Duluth a couple weeks ago. He’s obviously given this some thought and doesn’t like what he sees.

Key quote:

“Told by a multitude of individuals and groups that would be unacceptable, Superintendent Keith Dixon responded with a “left-right” plan, dividing the districts into a more truly geographic, and demographic, east-west split. The west-side school would then be 11 percent minority and 34 percent low-income; the east-side school would be 12 percent minority and 24 percent low income.

But for whatever reason, Dixon and the school district haven’t definitively committed to the left-right plan. Instead, they submitted to the state Department of Education the 14th Avenue East boundary with some platitudes about “community input [to] finalize the precise locations of the middle/high school boundaries” and the “establishment of attendance boundaries and school populations, transportation or other means combined with school-specific programming to create a positive school culture.”

That’s just doublespeak. Either the district is interested in demographically balancing the schools or it isn’t. And if it is, the left-right plan is the best model for achieving it. If Dixon and company continue to ignore it, what possible conclusion can be drawn from their actions other than that they’re intentionally seeking to keep Duluth’s schools segregated?”

I’m glad because I went to the Topeka Schools and remember vividly being sent out to the playground when the black kids from the nearby all black elementary were shepherded into our school to fully integrate it. I’d hate to see racial divisions carved into Duluth’s heart.

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