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U.S. SUPREME COURT: SCHOOL REACTION; PRICE CONTROLS

Voices

June 29, 2007

'This is a very lame excuse to tell a school system that they don't have to use race as an arbiter to help kids achieve and get a fair deal. In a world that still has the vestiges of racism, that's a ridiculous rationale.'

-- Warlene Gary

Chief executive of the National Parent Teacher Assn.

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'There can't be a dual system of school assignments based on race or ethnicity. Racial quotas and preferences never produce diversity -- they produce animosity, bitterness and perpetuate the belief that minority students just can't hack it.'

-- Edward Blum

A visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington

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'The premise is laid for the resegregation of America and the denial of opportunity.... Inheritance and access will not be counterbalanced by equal protection.'

The Rev. Jesse Jackson

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'Clearly, we need better race-neutral alternatives. Instead of spending zillions of dollars around the country to place a black child next to a white child, let's reduce class size. All the schools are equal. We will no longer accept that an African American majority within a school is unacceptable.'

-- Teddy B. Gordon

A Louisville attorney who represented the plaintiffs

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'The rejection of the Seattle and Louisville school plans represents a significant step backwards in a nation where schools are becoming increasingly segregated by race and ethnicity.'

-- Dennis Parker

Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Racial Justice Program

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'I believed so much in what we are doing.... The goal here is to make sure all kids have access to great schools.'

-- Kathleen Brose

President of Parents Involved in Community Schools, who sued the Seattle school district

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'I'm confident the Jefferson County Public Schools leadership team will develop new guidelines for student assignment that will continue this community's commitment to diversity and educational excellence.'

-- Jerry Abramson

Louisville mayor

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'It so limits what the districts can do.... You need some mechanism to more assertively balance school enrollment.'

-- Amy Stuart Wells

Professor of sociology and education at Columbia University

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'The 5-4 decision reflects the narrowest of court majorities, but it has the potential to touch the lives of many by making it unlawful for public school officials and their communities to consider race among other factors in taking needed steps to address the resegregation of a critically important institution that is more segregated today than it was 30 years ago.'

-- Cassandra Q. Butts

Senior vice president for domestic policy at the Center for American Progress

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'Today's decision turns back the clock on equality in our schools.'

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.)

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'A majority of the court still agrees that racial diversity is a boon to education, yet every time schools reach for that goal, the Supreme Court moves the goal posts.'

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)

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'Ever since Brown v. Board of Education, it has been settled law that the Constitution requires racially mixed schools. Today's decision turns Brown upside down and ignores decades of constitutional history. If this isn't judicial activism, I don't know what is.'

-- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

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