As the age old adage goes: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
As made clear by their recent actions, the Wake County school board believed the current busing system in place since 2000 was broken.
The School Board chose to end the diversity policy on a decisive 5 to 4 vote for the good of the county. Unfortunately, this does not bode well for minorities.
Busing different students to schools based on socioeconomic standings turned Wake County into a national example, sparking books such as Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh by Gerald Grant.
So when the newly elected board came to the decision to end the controversial system, it came as no surprise that the New York Times and Fox News gave it national attention.
Although Grant wrote his book prior to the decision, he made it clear that in schools in Syracuse, there is a large gap between the lower class and the middle class with virtually no chance of switching social standing.
Grant alluded to a book that mentions the language the language of power, that of the middle class, which allows minorities to compete directly with the majority in the business world.
That book that Grant mentioned is titled “The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s Children” by Lisa Delpit.
This article offers insight on the difficulties of minorities trying to make it in a predominantly white country.
Delpit states that the professional world is run in a “white” manner, in essence business and “power” are conducted in methods taught in the majority of public schools in middle class neighborhoods.
While this may not appear to be a problem, imagine a future where neighborhood schools are the norm and diversity is a thing of the past.
In that future, cultures will be divide further because there will be predominately minorities in certain schools. Those schools will teach the students in their own dialect and mannerisms, which is perfectly fine until the school’s students graduate.
When minorities graduate, they are thrust into the aforementioned white business world where, according to Delpit, many will be simply unable to compete.
This is due to simple things such as not comprehending certain dialects or methods of introduction, such as handshakes.
However, if schools remained diverse, this problem would be nonexistent due to people being immersed in the majority culture.
For example, if a child is bused to a middle class school in their early years, and are constantly exposed to mannerisms such as handshakes, they will be better prepared to enter the middle class business world where the same techniques are used.
While this article may not sway North Carolina’s eventual decision, it is worth considering. After all, we are trying to adequately prepare future generations as well as possible.