Omaha Schools Moving In Right Direction

The new plan in Omaha, Nebraska to break up the schools that will lead to a semi-segregation( though not nearly as much as opponents pretend) is not shocking and should be followed by the rest of the nation. The plan would create about three or four districts resulting in majority-status for a particular racial group. State Senator Ernie Chambers, whom is the only black person in the senate, says such a plan would allow blacks to have real power over their children's education.

The bill passed and was signed by the governor but will not be enacted for a couple of years. Of course, the howling starts and legal action will follow. In other words, an urge for the same which means garbage.The Omaha school system is very diverse to begin with. White kids make up a little less than half of all students.

Courts no longer call for integration remedies and "neighborhood schooling" is the common wisdom. Chambers and others say blacks are not doing well under the current system and he simply wants the proposed school districts to reflect housing patterns. Those people living in racially-mixed neighborhoods would attend the designated school zone. Nobody is being plucked out of an area because they represent a certain race.

As usual, the cries of the system "turning back the clock" or lacking its commitment to civil-rights come out. What else is new? What they ignore-often intentionally-is the public schools of this country, never-mind just Omaha, have been long segregated despite massive amounts of money and every attempt to force a racial balance. The reality is this: Whites do not go to public schools once the non-white students hit a certain percentage. It happens in city after city.The National Center for Education Statistics put out an incredible guide showing just how non-integrated the public schools are in this nation. For example, in New York City, white students comprise only 15% of all students.

In Los Angeles, a whopping 9%. Dallas-6%. Detroit-3%. Washington DC-4%. Chicago-9%. You get the picture.

almost shockingly. These pitiful numbers occurred AFTER years and years of attempting to integrate. The truth is integration was more successful simply using neighborhood schooling-the plan Omaha has in place now.Nearly every city in this country should be trying ways to keep white students in the system instead of letting them flee to private schools or suburban ones.

The Omaha plan will do just that while giving neighborhoods real power over their kids' education for all races.Until people come to the obvious conclusion that racial bussing and forced integration have been a disaster, there will only be more segregation. Simple neighborhood schooling would allow more of a racial balance and not force whites out of the system.

Also, the implication is black and hispanic students simply "can't do it" without being around white kids. They have to be put on a bus or train so they can sit next to the "magical" white kids who will help them learn. No.

If anything, it is totally insulting. The Omaha plan shows just that and relies less on race and more on real control of a system. Way to go.

.Robert Carberry is a freelance writer from New York.

By: Robert Carberry

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