WASHINGTON, June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was issued today by Magnet Schools of America: On June 28th, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on whether or not the public school districts in Seattle and Louisville can voluntarily use race-conscious measures to avoid racial isolation and achieve racial diversity in their elementary and secondary schools (Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District, 05-908 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, 05-915). The high court found, in a split decision, that both plans were unconstitutional in using race to achieve diversity, but the decision is not viewed as a defeat for "school integration and diversity." Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority, in our opinion, has negated over 50 years of effort for school integration (Brown v. the Board of Education, a unanimous decision by the high court) and the importance of integrated schools for all races and ethnic populations. We are, however, very pleased that a majority of the Court recognizes that educational diversity and overcoming our history of segregation to be "compelling governmental interests" which school districts can pursue through careful race-conscious efforts. We applaud Justice Kennedy's discussion of this very topic of the use of alternate methods to achieve school integration and diversity. We believe (1) the critical importance of every school in the nation to promote a diverse student population with options for parents (e.g., magnet schools) and (2) support the compelling benefits of integrated and diverse schools on student learning, the provisions of equity and opportunity for all students in an integrated student body. Magnet Schools of America finds Justice Roberts' plurality decision to be extremely disappointing as it goes against every principle Magnet Schools of America stands for. We deplore this ruling that the Seattle, Louisville, and similar student assignment plans are unconstitutional. It affects every school district and every racial/ethnic group in America. Based on our mission statement, Magnet Schools of America is ready to provide leadership in working with Congress and school districts to provide solutions to deal with the Supreme Court's decision. We are committed to promoting equity, diversity, and academic excellence for all students to preserve high quality public schools in our nation. MISSION STATEMENT Magnet Schools of America provides leadership for innovative instructional programs that promote equity, diversity, and academic excellence for all students in public school choice programs.
SOURCE Magnet Schools of America