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Ted Gordon Will Challenge New Student Assignment Plan

The man who successfully argued against the Jefferson County Board of Education’s student assignment plan before the U.S. Supreme Court last year says he’ll mount a legal challenge to the new plan adopted by the board Wednesday night. Ted Gordon says the changes are ineffective.The old desegration policy was thrown out by the Supreme Court because it sometimes used race as the sole factor in assigning students. The new plan uses similar methods, but expands to include three criteria: race, education level and household income.The school board says the new plan will promote diversity in schools. Gordon says some students will be paying too high a price for diversity."We don’t’ need diversity to the point that it interferes with improved educational outcome. They tried that for 25 years. There’s still a 25 to 30 point achievement gap, and I’ll bet anybody that wants to bet that that achievement gap will continue and become worse with this new student assignment plan. It won’t become better," he said.The new plan goes into effect in the fall of 2009. School board attorney Frank Mellen says the new plan will stand up in court.