Letters To The Editor
Your article ("House Panel Told Aid Formula Slows School Integration," Education Week, Sept. 28, 1983) discussed some of the desegregation efforts made under the Emergency School Aid Act of 1972, and it quoted Clarence M. Pendleton Jr. of the Civil Rights Commission as saying that the inclusion of esaa in the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981 is hindering instead of helping integration efforts.
Everyone is entitled to the same quality of education, and one method of achieving this is to integrate one-race schools. If such acts as the esaa and the ecia are going to slow down the integration process, they should be discontinued. Tests show that where desegregation has been accomplished, the achievement levels of blacks have risen significantly, while those of whites have either risen slightly or stayed steady. This proves that putting blacks into white schools would not hinder the learning process for the whites.
There are many ways to achieve school integration. Although mandatory busing plans proved ineffective because many children did not want to travel so much every morning, it would be a good idea to offer voluntary plans for those students who do not mind the traveling.
It would also help to use voluntary measures like those used in Milwaukee and Buffalo, school systems that offer magnet schools that provide intensive instruction in subjects such as fine arts.
In most areas, integration is a slow process because there are differences in values and opinions. Many whites protest the entrance of blacks into their schools and many blacks feel that it is always they who have to make the sacrifices, such as traveling far distances to get to school. But while things are being worked out, all schools should receive the same quality of education. This means they should get the same programs, facilities, textbooks, and teachers.
Jennifer Wallman Sophomore Irvington High School Irvington, N.Y.