Don’t return to the bad old days
Lock Beachum made a state- ment at a recent school board meeting which has been the source of much criticism by the Parent-Student Union and United Front for Education Justice who consider his comments “disrespectful, unacceptable and racist.” From my perspective, Mr. Beachum’s statement “...a diversified student population improves academic performance for all students” has historical credence in that it is a reintegration of the position cited by the Supreme Court in the case of Brown vs. the Board of Education. In that landmark case the Supreme Court overturned the 1857 Plessy vs. Ferguson case that “separate would suffice for equal.”
As is well known, as a result schools across the nation were mandated to integrate and “separate but equal” ended as a result of “Brown” in 1954.
However, in recent decades our communities and schools by default have become increasingly more segregated. As a result of this “resegregation,” schools are again suffering the inevitable consequences of being separate and unequal. All schools need to be diversified in order to ensure academic performance for all students.
Mr. Beachum’s comments indicate his awareness of problems schools and communities face if we once again become a divided nation.
In addition to enforcing the 1954 ruling in our schools, we must also address Ohio’s school-funding formula, which has been ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court some time ago.
Gov. Kasich and administration officials have recently put forth a reform package to address this issue. We need to scrutinize this reform package carefully before we get on board with the governor.
Elaine E. Wilson, Canfield