Integration Rule Discussion Continues. The Integration Rule and Statute Alignment Group met again on Monday, February 3, as it continues to move toward the development of a final report. The primary sticking point in the discussion is the status of the actual physical integration of students in racially-balanced learning environments. Former legislator and current University of Minnesota Law Professor and Director of the Law School's Institute for Metropolitan Opportunity Myron Orfield has been a consistent and longtime proponent of the physical integration of students and often cites studies showing the value in creating these types of learning opportunities for all students, not just minority students. It's too early to tell how the rule/statute alignment is going to work out, but the consensus appears to be drifting away from the physical integration of students and toward a system based that concentrates more on achievement in home school districts. Where Orfield continues to hit the ball out of the park is with his statistics on how charter schools and open enrollment often derail district efforts to reach racial balance through boundary changes. We only have to witness the furor from some parents after Eden Prairie changed its attendance boundaries a few years back to know that these efforts are often met with considerable resistance and/or disappointment.
This working group will be finishing up its next week. Below is a link to the working group's home page. Professor Orfield's memorandum to Rose Hermodson makes for good reading.
Speaking of Hitting it out of the Park. I promised I wouldn't meander too much with the blog, but I have to take this opportunity to wish my boyhood idol, Hank Aaron, a happy 80th birthday. You wouldn't believe the Aaron versus Killebrew arguments my older brother and I had growing up. Anyway, happy birthday to a class act and exemplary athlete.