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Duncan Chides Wake County For Dropping Diversity Plan

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In a published letter, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has criticized a decision last year by North Carolina’s largest school district to end its program of busing students to achieve socioeconomic balance.

“America’s strength has always been a function of its diversity, so it is troubling to see North Carolina’s Wake County school board take steps to reverse a long-standing policy to promote racial diversity in its schools,” Mr. Duncan wrote in the Washington Post.

“I respectfully urge school boards across America to fully consider the consequences before taking such action,” he wrote. “This is no time to go backward.”

The U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights is investigating the Wake County board’s decision, following a complaint filed last year alleging the move amounted to a rollback of civil rights-era changes that integrated the 140,000-student district.

John Tedesco, a board member who voted to end the diversity policy in favor of allowing students to attend schools closer to their homes, said he was disappointed by Duncan's letter.

Vol. 30, Issue 18, Page 5

Published in Print: January 26, 2011, as Duncan Chides Wake County for Dropping Diversity Plan
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