CT MirrorOctober 16, 2018

Lawyers from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the ACLU, and the Center for Children’s Advocacy say that if the federal courts bar the state from conducting a lottery that is tailored to enroll no more than 75 percent black and Hispanic students in a school, the schools would cease to be diverse.

That, in turn, means the state Supreme Court’s order to desegregate schools would be almost impossible to accomplish.

“They just want to destroy what we have and move on to another state,” Cara McClellan, a NAACP attorney representing the Sheff plaintiffs. “This case is a threat for our country. Pacific Legal Foundation would have us just stick our heads in the sand and say, ‘These things will work themselves out’.”

“These schools are quality, integrated schools which makes them successful. There is a multitude of research to show that,” said Martha Stone, the executive director of the Center for Children’s Advocacy.

A national report by the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank, ranked Connecticut among the worst in 2012 for its housing, zoning and school assignment policies. Among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country, the school districts in the Bridgeport region had the largest gap in test scores between low-income students and their better-off peers, the Brookings report found. The Hartford region had the second largest and New Haven the fourth.

If not diversity, then what makes magnets better?

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