ATTORNEY FOR PARENT WHO FOUGHT SYSTEM
URGES CURRENT SYSTEM BE SCRAPPED IMMEDIATELY
LOUISVILLE --As the Louisville school system begins to adjust to a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down its student assignment program, the new superintendent said yesterday that its system might need only to be tweaked, not overhauled.
Sheldon Berman, who took over the nation's 26th-largest school system on Monday, said that, even though the high court struck down the use of race in placing students, an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy could leave Jefferson County Public Schools in good shape.
"It gives us a lot of flexibility to stay with the current plan with some modifications," Berman said of Kennedy's opinion.
Last week, Kennedy went along with the court's four most conservative members in rejecting the Louisville and Seattle student assignment plans, but also said race could sometimes be a component of school efforts to achieve diversity. Kennedy wrote that he disagreed with an interpretation that the majority opinion completely foreclosed the use of race in any circumstance.
Kennedy suggested that districts can draw attendance zones, strategically locate new schools and recruit students and teachers in a targeted fashion.
Berman, whose previous job was head of the Hudson, Mass., school district, said school diversity is important, but rejected the idea of neighborhood schools if it meant a return to segregated facilities.
"I'm not sure that's a solution," Berman said. "I'm not leaning in that direction and I'm not sure the board is leaning in that direction."
Attorney Teddy Gordon, who represented Louisville parent Crystal Meredith in challenging the student assignment plan, has said he wants the current system scrapped immediately and will ask a judge to enforce the Supreme Court's decision.
This from the Herald-Leader.