National News Roundup
More than 75 percent of a national sample of white adults said they would feel comfortable sending their children to schools that are up to 50-percent black, according to researchers at the University of Chicago.
In addition, officials at the university's National Opinion Re-3search Center found in a recent survey that a small but growing number of white adults support cross-district busing for desegregation purposes.
According to the center's 11th annual General Societal Survey, 21 percent of the whites questioned said they support cross-district busing--up from 16 percent last year and 13.5 percent in 1972. The percentage of white people willing to send their children to desegregated schools has held steady for the past decade.
"In at least these two crucial areas, there has been no conservative retrenchment in American society," the norc researchers said.
The researchers also noted growing support for women's rights within all segments of the population.
For example, 86.5 percent of the adults surveyed said they would vote for a female Presidential candidate--up from 74 percent in 1972. Furthermore, only 23 percent of those surveyed agreed that "women should run households while men run the country."
In 1974, the first time the question was asked, 36 percent of the survey respondents agreed with that statement.
For further information about the study, contact Tom W. Smith, norc, 6030 South Ellis Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60637.
States News Roundup
Gov. John V. Evans of Idaho has established a 30-member panel to establish a list of priorities and a "timetable for action and funding" to improve education in the state.
The task force--chaired by A.L. Alford Jr., a newspaper editor and former state board of education president--will meet for the first time this week in Boise. It will consider recommendations on school consolidation, finance reform, upgrading teacher certification, improving teacher-education programs, adopting student-proficiency examinations, merit pay, and strengthening the role of the principal as curriculum leader, as well as ways to attract and retain "quality" teachers.
The group is scheduled to make final recommendations by Nov. 3; its report will be presented to the legislature when it begins its 1984 session in January.
Meanwhile, a special legislative committee--the Idaho Council Committee on Organization of School Districts--is considering how to facilitate the consolidation of school districts.
Supporters of consolidation say the mergers would save money, broaden the tax bases of school districts, and provide more educational opportunity for students. Opponents argue that the cost of transporting students would be high and the savings to districts minimal. Local control over schools would be lost, the opponents say, and the uncertain financial status of some districts would make merger agreements difficult, according to Helen Williams, public information officer for the state department of education.
Last year, an Idaho legislator's attempt to form a committee to study the idea of consolidating more of Idaho's school districts was defeated in committee.
At one time, Idaho had 4,000 small districts. From 1947 through 1982, there were 115 districts in the state. This year, there are 116 districts.
More than 200 representatives of Nebraska school districts will meet at three locations this week to discuss new state guidelines designed to help schools meet the state's sex-equity law.
The law, the Nebraska Equal Opportunity in Education Act, was passed unanimously by the unicameral legislature last year.
With impetus from women's groups seeking state equivalents of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 12 state legislatures thus far have passed specific laws in the area of sex equity in education; an additional 11 states have included statements in other equity laws that specifically bar discrimination by sex in education.
The state boards of education in several other states have adopted policies barring sex bias in education, according to Susan Bailey, director of the Council of Chief State School Officers' resource center on sex equity in education.
Maine is the most recent state to pass a law probiting sex bias in education. Gov. Joseph E. Brennan signed the law on July 1.
Missouri officials have temporarily resolved a dispute with officials of an advocacy group for handicapped children and have agreed to continue the funding of occupational and physical therapy for handicapped students attending state-operated schools.
James Morris, the spokesman for the state department of education, said state education officials and representatives of the state legislators have worked out an agreement with officials from the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Protection and Advocacy Services, who had filed suit in federal court to prevent the state from terminating therapy services for about 500 severely handicapped students.
The department of education had requested $507,000 for the program this year, but, Mr. Morris said, the legislature denied the department's request as a result of "a misunderstanding." When the money was not appropriated, he explained, "we assumed we weren't supposed to draw from other operating funds."
Mr. Morris said the agreement reached last month calls for the department to continuing funding for the salaries of 100 physical and occupational therapists and 14 teachers' aides. He said the leaders of the legislature have also agreed to meet in January and to approve a supplemental appropriation for the program.
A spokesman for the advocacy group said the lawsuit will be placed on hold until after the legislature has acted on the supplemental appropriation.
Texas's 1983 State Textbook Committee this month presented its list of recommended textbooks for the 1984-85 school year to the Texas Education Agency following hearings in August.
After reviewing the list, the agency will turn it over to Education Commissioner Raymon Bynum in early November. Commissioner Bynum will then give his final recommendations to the state board of education. A public hearing to review the adoption information will be held Nov. 10, and final adoption procedures will be carried out on Nov. 12.
Texas is the largest state with a unified book-adoption process. The volume of its annual purchases is such that even textbook-industry officials acknowledge its influence on the content of books.
Texas's adoption process for the 1983-84 school year began last month. During the first round of hearings in early August, testimony by Mel and Norma Gabler, the Texas couple who annually argue against books that they say ignore or undermine "traditional" values, was countered by representatives of the anti-censorship group People for the American Way, who spoke in support of several of the books under consideration.
The testimony by the civil-liberties advocates marked the first time that comments in favor of books have been heard at the textbook hearings. The change followed the passage this year of a state law allowing both positive and negative comments.
Fifty-four other groups and individuals filed written comments, which gave them the opportunity to testify at the hearings. Under a new ruling, each was limited to six minutes of oral testimony on a specific subject area.
The cost of new materials for the 1984-85 school year--including textbooks in the areas of language and composition, English, mathematics, world history, and vocational education--will total $36.6 million, state officials said.
But the cost of replacing books already in use, adding Braille and large-type books, and shipping charges will increase that figure to approximately $65.6 million, they estimated.
Officials representing the 11 Arkansas school districts that successfully challenged the state's funding formula in May have warned Gov. Bill Clinton and the legislature that if a new financing plan is not devised soon, they will ask the state supreme court to force required changes.
At press conference earlier this month, the school leaders said they wanted a new school funding formula to be enacted by the legislature by Nov. 1 and fully in place by Jan. 1, 1984, according to Charles B. Dyer, superintendent of schools in Alma, Ark.
Last May, the high court struck down the state's system of financing public schools, saying that the current scheme relies too heavily on local property taxes and discriminates against children who live in property-poor districts.
The court gave the state no deadline for complying with the ruling, but said that the legislature should change the system "within a reasonable time."
Gov. Bill Clinton said in May that he would wait until the state educational standards commission reported its interim findings in September before calling the legislature into special session.
"The interim findings of the commission were announced last week. Now there is nothing for the governor to wait for," according to Mr. Dyer.
The state legislature is not scheduled to meet again for regular session until January 1985.
Meanwhile, an independent study to be passed on to the legislature and the standards commission indicates that class size, school size, teachers' salaries, busing, and a school's accreditation rating accounted for "no more than 12 percent" of the variance in students' achievement-test scores in 1981 and 1982.
Among students whose scores did vary because of those factors, those in larger districts with larger classes and those who were bused to school performed a little better than the others, according to the study conducted by Thomas Teeter, Ralph Shull, and Robert Bradley of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
"Small classes by themselves do not guarantee good results. Nor will raising teachers salaries alone guarantee higher student achievement," Mr. Bradley says.
In response to the report of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, the Minnesota School Boards Association has approved and sent to its members for implementation a series of recommendations to improve the quality of schools.
The executive board of the association, which represents the 437 school districts in the state, voted on the nine-point policy statement last month.
According to James Jacobs, the association's associate executive secretary, the policy statement advises local school boards to examine issues such as the length of the school day, the use of time spent in the classroom, curriculum standards, and teacher-training programs.
"We are challenging these local boards to review what is going on [in their schools] and take whatever measures are necessary" to improve education," Mr. Jacobs said.
District News Rounsup
School officials in Weehawken, N.J., are proceeding with what may be the first system of "electronic integration" in order to increase the interaction among the Hispanic and other ethnic groups represented in the district's three elementary schools.
In a plan approved by the school board in August, the district will use video equipment and computers to offer multi-ethnic programs that will be written and produced by students with help from parents and teachers. The programs will be shown at all three of the schools.
The district decided on the unusual plan in response to requests from the state education department's equal-opportunity office, which is monitoring Hispanic enrollment trends.
Currently, the three schools have varying Hispanic enrollments--79 percent, 53 percent, and 36 percent.
The state recommended equalizing the enrollments, but school officials said that parents resisted the notion of busing students to other schools, in part because of the heavy traffic from the Lincoln Tunnel that passes through the middle of town.
Richard E. Onorevole, superintendent of schools for the 18,000-student system that overlooks New York City, said that start-up costs for the program will be about $22,000. About $10,000 will be spent on equipment, and another $12,000 to expand the media center at one elementary school. That cost, Mr. Onorevole noted, is less than the cost of one bus and driver for a year.
Using the elementary school with the largest Hispanic enrollment functioning as a magnet school, the district will create "Kidwitness News" teams, who will work with pupils from other schools. They will present programs that will help acquaint students with the cultural diversity represented by the student body.
Mr. Onorevole said that school officials will use the program as an opportunity to study the effect of such programming on students' attitudes toward ethnic groups. They plan to do pre- and post-programming surveys to evaluate the effects of the new system.
A pilot program, designed to brighten morale as well as dirty classrooms, was launched last month in the Houston school district.
Instead of hiring outside cleaning companies to sweep its 22 campuses, the district has decided to turn over the work to its own custodians. A comparison of the cleaning done by the two groups showed that the custodians--many of whom are district graduates--cleaned just as thoroughly as the private firms, according to district officials.
The shift may mean the return of more than 100 custodial jobs that were eliminated when the district turned to outside companies, the officials said.
Under the new plan, crews will clean at night rather than during daytime hours. Only a skeletal day staff will remain on duty to cover emergencies. To limit the inconveniences of night work, the officials said they will provide vans, equipped with supplies, to taxi the crews from school to school. The pilot project, which will last until December, will include only selected schools near the custodians' homes.
After first announcing their decision to close the Ira (Vt.) Central School, school-board members--and 47 town residents--have had a change of heart and will keep the one-room school open.
Anita Toppin, chairman of the school board, said the board had considered closing the school when this year's enrollment dropped to seven children. The school can accommodate about 22 children in grades 1 through 4.
Last year, she said, about 16 children were enrolled, but seven of them graduated and two families moved, taking four more of the students with them.
When the issue of closing the school was put to residents for a vote, according to Ms. Toppin, 47 favored keeping the school open and 11 opposed doing so. "Just the idea of having the small children going to school in the town instead of paying tuition to send them to school outside of town" prompted the voters to approve keeping the school open, she explained.
Although the Ira school is not the only one-room schoolhouse in the state, according to Ms. Toppin, it is the only one in the area. "I think we're one of a dying breed and that's why there's so much publicity about it," she added.
A former felon, hired as superintendent for the Pleasant Plains, Ark., school district six weeks after being released from prison, is now fighting to keep his job amid protests by parents concerned that he could be a bad influence on their children.
Douglas M. Adams served nine months in prison for bank fraud after turning himself in last year for illegally obtaining $156,000 from the bank in which he served as president, the First Security Bank of North Arkansas in Horse Shoe Bend.
He says he borrowed money in the names of his relatives and used it to pay personal debts. In his defense, he says that "not all felonies are alike."
Mr. Adams has experience as a mathematics teacher, basketball coach, and guidance counselor, and he served for seven years as superintendent of schools in Strawberry, Ark.
The school board hired him on Aug. 25 to replace Hubert Long Jr., who resigned. Mr. Adams was one of eight candidates for the job.
A meeting was scheduled for last week to assess support for Mr. Adams's contract.
The state has no regulation that prohibits convicted felons from hold-ing a teaching or administrative license, according to a spokesman for the state department of education.
Linda Atkins Farris, the first (and only) female dean of a private military college and academy in the United States this month begins her first full academic year as dean of Kemper Military School and College in Boonville, Mo.
"There is greater acceptance for women in leadership roles than there was 10 years ago," says Ms. Farris, who notes that women named to lead military schools "won't even make the news" in a few years.
Ms. Farris was appointed dean and vice-president for academic affairs at Kemper last October. The school is also the first military school in the U.S. to enroll women students. It became coeducational in 1976.
Grant Colfax, an 18-year-old who was educated by his parents on a remote ranch in California, last week became one of 2,200 new students at Harvard University.
Mr. Colfax, who scored in the top 5 percent of high-school seniors on the Scholastic Aptitude Test and impressed a Harvard admissions officer with his "different perspective," moved to Booneville, a rural town 100 miles north of San Francisco, 11 years ago.
Since moving to the town, Mr. Colfax, his three brothers, and his parents have lived the country life--breeding goats, building a house, constructing a water system, and laying electrical and telephone lines.
Mr. Colfax's father, David, earned a doctorate in sociology at the University of Chicago and later taught at the University of Connecticiut and the University of Washington. His mother, Micki, is a former high-school English teacher.
The Harvard freshman does have some classroom experience. He took 18 hours of courses at Santa Rosa Community College last year and earned a perfect "A" average.
Lawrence A. Cremin, president of Teachers College at Columbia University, has been named to succeed H. Thomas James as president of the Spencer Foundation, a Chicago-based foundation that sup-ports education projects. Mr. Cremin--who is completing a three-volume history of American education, the second of which in 1981 won the Pulitzer Prize for History--will assume the position in 1985.
Johnny Jones, ousted in 1980 as superintendent of Dade Public Schools because of allegations that he misused district funds, has settled into a routine as a cook in a ghetto restaurant.
Mr. Jones was convicted that year in Dade County Circuit Court of trying to divert $9,000 in district funds to buy luxury plumbing fixtures for his vacation home in Naples, Fla.
Mr. Jones, who earned $58,000 as school superintendent before his suspension in 1980, says many people still recognize him on the street and at the restaurant, owned by his sister. The reception he gets from people who recognize him, he said, is mixed.
Following the recent ruling by a Common Pleas Court judge that Philadelphia's all-male Central High School must admit girls, the city's board of education last week agreed to dispute the decision.
Acting with only five of its nine members present, the board decided to file exceptions to Judge William M. Marutani's ruling that Central's admissions policies violated federal and state law, according to William Jones, the district's director of public affairs.
The move will stay the judge's order opening the school to the three girls who filed the suit. But, according to Mr. Jones, Judge Marutani said he would request a temporary injunction allowing the girls to attend Central pending the outcome of the appeal.
The school board was expected to vote this week, as Central opens for the year, on whether to authorize a full appeal. If the board approves the appeal, the case could be heard in either the commonwealth court or the state supreme court, according to Mr. Jones.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the National Defense Education Act, the legislation that directed $840 million into schools to support improved mathematics, science, and foreign-language programs so that U.S. schools could maintain academic superiority over the Soviets.
"Echoes of September 2, 1958, are reverberating in the halls of Congress and in the classrooms of America today," according to a statement released by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
"The talk then was of Sputnik (aloft in October, 1957, from Russia) and of the need for America to revitalize its education programs to keep the country strong and in the forefront of international development."
"The talk now is of a renewal of that effort in the face of new challenges, confrontations, and perceived domestic weaknesses--a "neo-realpolitik" to revitalize the American engines of human progress," according to the statement.
The student-run bank at Easton (Mass.) Middle School that was forced to close by the Massachusetts Banking Commission because it violated state banking laws may soon be back in business.
The Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill that would exempt school banks with assets of less than $500 from banking regulations. The bill was initially drafted by the 6th-grade students in the "high ability learners" program who started the now-defunct bank as a learning experience.
The Easton school committee approved the students' request to have the bill submitted and the students then solicited their state representative who agreed to introduce a revised version of the bill into the legislature.
If the bill is approved and signed into law, the students have planned to attend the signing ceremony.
Courts News Roundup
The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that the use of racial slurs in the classroom is immoral and constitutes grounds for the immediate dismissal of a teacher.
In a ruling issued Sept. 2, the court said the Omaha Board of Education was justified when it fired a junior-high-school teacher, James Clarke, in March 1981 for using racial slurs.
Mr. Clarke was fired after he admitted that he referred to black students as "dumb niggers" in one class and threatened to make a "black grease spot" out of another student.
The dismissal was based on a state teacher-tenure law which, at the time, allowed school officials to dismiss teachers immediately for "immorality" or "insubordination," according to David M. Pedersen, attorney for the Omaha public schools.
A lower court had said the slurs were "insensitive" and "deplorable," but not immoral, Mr. Pedersen said.
Mr. Pedersen said there were two majority opinions in the case. One held that the slurs were inherently immoral. The other, he said, was tied more closely to an explicit policy the Omaha public schools have against racial slurs.
A 10-year-old suit challenging North Carolina's requirement that teachers pass the National Teacher Examination was settled out of court this summer. The suit against the Educational Testing Service's nte was filed by the U.S. Justice Department, the National Education Association, and the North Carolina Education Association.
The plaintiffs had alleged that the test is not a valid criterion for certifying teachers, that the study done to validate the test was improper, and that the cutoff score set by the state discriminated against blacks and therefore violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
They agreed to withdraw their suit, which was pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, in return for several concessions by the state, including its agreement to provide counseling and remedial programs for those who fail the examination.
The California Teachers Association has filed a $261-million lawsuit against the state in an attempt to force state officials to make their required annual contribution to the State Teachers Retirement System.
According to the teachers' group, the lawsuit is a response to Gov. George Deukmejian's veto of the contribution, which is mandated by state law.
This year, the state legislature appropriated $211 million for the pension fund, but the Governor vetoed the appropriation.
For union officials, the veto simply compounded the problem, since the $211 million had been $50 million short of the total $261 million owed by the state, a cta spokesman said.
An annual state contribution to the fund was mandated by law to slow the growth of a shortfall between the fund's actual assets and its obligations to its 197,000 members.
That unfunded liability is currently about $13 billion, according to the cta
The lawsuit, filed in the State Court of Appeals in Sacramento last month, asks the court to transfer the $261 million from the state's general fund to the pension fund. The state was expected to respond to the suit late last week.
School districts in Utah have been asked to temporarily waive the tuition charges for nonresident students that are required by state law until a federal judge makes a decision in a case that was filed late last month.
The suit, Downey v. Birningham, was filed on Aug. 29 by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 11-year-old Kimberly Ann Downey, who lives with her aunt and uncle in Utah and attended school last year in the Jordan School District.
The state claims that the girl is legally a resident of Washington because her father resides there, but her suit claims that she and other students affected by the nonresident-tuition law passed last year are actually Utah residents.
These students, the suit says, have attended school in Utah and have elected for one reason or another to stay in the state and continue their schooling after their legal parent or guardian has moved away.
Under state law, a district can charge nonresident students the entire cost of their education.
That sum in Utah districts averages about $1,800 to $2,000, according to Douglas F. Bates, administrative assistant in the state education department's office of planning and external relations.
The law was established to control escalating educational costs in the state and to cut back the number of students attending school in exchange programs.
Utah "has the highest birthrate in country, the highest teacher-pupil ratio, and the heaviest tax burden, and yet it has been educating at no cost several hundreds of [nonresident] children," according to Mr. Bates.
The Downey case comes to trial Sept. 26. Until a decision has been reached, the court and the state department of education have recommended that districts enroll students at no charge on a temporary basis.
Associate Justice William J. Brennan of the U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to suspend a rul-ing that denies tax-exempt status to a small Baptist school in Mississippi until it actively seeks black students and teachers.
The church had asked the court for a stay pending its appeal of the injunction.
The all-white Clarksdale, Miss., school was founded by the Clarksdale Baptist Church in 1963. The church contends it has never practiced racial discrimination and is willing to accept black students or teachers, but says none have ever applied there.
On Aug. 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied the church's request to suspend a ruling by a federal district-court judge in Mississippi to revoke the church's tax exemption. That ruling came in 1980.
Five members of the Raleigh (W.Va.) County Board of Education who last month were convicted of breaking the county's open-meetings law say they will appeal the decision.
County Magistrate Harold Hanks ruled that the board members broke the open-meetings law--which allows the board to go into executive session only to discuss personnel issues--at a June 20 meeting.
Sixteen teachers protested the executive session called during that meeting so that the board, its members said, could discuss the qualifications of teachers in the district.
The lawyer for the board members, Warren Thornhill, said the magistrate did not explain his decision and added that he still does not know what open-meetings provision the board members were said to have violated. The Circuit Court of Raleigh County is expected to hear the case by the end of the year, Mr. Thornhill said.
A federal appeals court has ruled that the National Asssociation for the Advancement of Colored People can press its federal school-desegregation lawsuit against the Los Angeles public schools, but it cannot ask for a rehearing of claims that were decided upon by state courts prior to September 1981.
But in another opinion rendered on Sept. 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit opened the way for the naacp to sue the state superintendent of schools, the state board of education, and the state department of education for alleged acts of segregation in the nation's second-largest school system.
The first ruling, which came in the case Los Angeles Unified School District v. naacp, was viewed as a setback for the rights group.
Although the naacp was arguing the desegregation case in state courts, two years ago it sought to file a lawsuit in federal court charging that the district had been segregating students for decades.
On Sept. 10, 1981, State Superior Court Judge Robert Lopez closed the original lawsuit brought in state court, Crawford v. Board of Education, and approved the district's desegregation plan, which includes a system of voluntary student busing. According to the Ninth Circuit Court, Judge Lopez's ruling laid to rest questions of segregation prior to September 1981, and therefore prevented the naacp from arguing in federal court many of the issues that were argued in state court.
The naacp eventually took the Crawford case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The rights group unsuccessfully argued that Proposition One, a state constitutional amendment that allows state courts to order desegregation only when intentional discrimination is present, was unconstitutional. (See Education Week, Sept. 1, 1982.)
The second ruling, which came in the case naacp v. Los Angeles Unified School District, leaves open the question of whether the rights group can sue the state for acts of segregation prior to 1981. The naacp has based its case on a state law that mandated racial segregation from 1863 to 1947.
In light of that law, the Ninth Circuit Court overturned U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima's decision that the state officials could not be sued.
The dates of the next annual meeting of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education were incorrectly noted in the chronological listings of conferences in the Sept. 7 issue of Education Week. The correct dates of the annual meeting are Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 1983.
In the same issue, five of the six regional accrediting associations for schools and colleges were incorrectly categorized as independent-school organizations. The following associations are responsible for accrediting both public and independent schools and colleges: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
A Texas parent has filed complaints against the Van Alstyne, Tex., school district, charging that the district's practice of segregating 7th- and 8th-grade pupils by sex is illegal.
In complaints filed on behalf of his daughter, a 7th grader, James Wolfe alleged that the 650-student school system is in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He filed the complaints last week with the Texas Education Agency and the U.S. Education Department's office for civil rights.
Responding to a telephone call from the U.S. Justice Department, Mr. Wolfe has also sent a letter outlining his complaint to the litigation office of that agency.
The complaints were generated by a system of sex-segregation in the district's only middle school. The system was put into effect this year, according to Charles Williams, the superintendent, because school officials wanted to schedule both boys' and girls' athletics during the same period.
After studying the possibilities, Mr. Williams said, the officials decided that the best way to avoid scheduling conflicts for a mathematics teacher who was also a football coach was to create separate classes for boys and girls in all subjects except band.
According to Mr. Wolfe, boys and girls are also kept separate at lunch time. The sex segregation, he said, is the latest example of what he al-leges are discriminatory practices by the system.
"We've had things going on for two or three years," he said. "A lot of things, you don't have hard evidence. This is pretty open, it's pretty hard to hide this." He said he had no evidence that his daughter is receiving an education inferior to that of the boys, but argued that it would be difficult for the two classes to be identical even if they do have the same course guidelines and teachers.
"That's completely untrue," Mr. Williams said of the allegations that the system is discriminatory. "They all have exactly the same teachers, the same classes." He said he had received only two complaints about the system, and many more tele-phone calls in support of it.
Experts on sex-equity issues said such gender-segregation is extremely rare, although it is common for school systems to schedule classes around their athletic events and practice. Mr. Williams, however, said several neighboring districts had used the system, and that it had been tried in Van Alstyne about six years ago.
Several lawyers with expertise in equity issues said the gender-segregation system could be in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and possibly of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. "It's 'separate but equal,"' one lawyer said, adding that the courts have already spoken on that question.