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NAACP: Give JCPS Plan A Chance To Work

By Rick HowlettThe Louisville branch of the NAACP has released a report outlining its position on the Jefferson County Public Schools' new student assignment plan. The school board approved the plan following a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared the district's 30-year old desegregation policy unconstitutional because it used race as the sole deciding factor in assigning students.NAACP Education Committee Chairwoman Kathryn Wallace (pictured) says the group and its ally organizations generally support the new plan, which uses a combination of race, income and household education level in determining assignments."We implore every parent, every child, every teacher, every administrator and every Jefferson County board member to give this plan a chance. Give every child in the public school system in Jefferson County, Kentucky an opportunity for equal and high quality education," she said at a Monday press conference at Louisville NAACP headquarters.Wallace says the group is concerned that, among other things, parents who complain loudly enough can have their children placed where they want them, a claim JCPS officials deny.The new plan for elementary students was implemented last fall; the middle and high school plans will begin with the 2011-2012 academic year.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.