Group Fighting Closure of 15 D.C. Public Schools Vows To Press On | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Group Fighting Closure of 15 D.C. Public Schools Vows To Press On

Play associated audio
A federal judge said that D.C. officials did not discriminate in their plan to close 15 D.C. public schools.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wysz/73000961/
A federal judge said that D.C. officials did not discriminate in their plan to close 15 D.C. public schools.

The community group Empower D.C., which was behind the effort to keep 15 under enrolled D.C. public schools open, vows to continue their fight, despite a ruling from a federal judge that he will not stop the planned closures. 

In his 31-page ruling, Judge James Boasberg bluntly rejected the plaintiff's civil rights argument that this would adversely affect poor, minority children, calling the claim "hollow."

He wrote that there's  "no evidence whatsoever" of intentional racial discrimination on the part of school officials who are transferring children out of "weaker, more segregated and under enrolled schools." He also rejected the argument that Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, or ANCs, were not properly informed of the school district's plans. 

Boasberg said the District's rationale to close schools because of under enrollment and put the money saved into improving the remaining schools appears "realistic and sensible." In a statement, DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson said the judge's opinion allows the school district to  move forward. 

But for Jamie Raskin, a professor at American University who argued the case for the plaintiffs, the case could still go on. He says many communities across the country are facing similar school closings. 

"Federal courts historically have been extremely conservative institutions, and we know change will come slowly here. But the grievances of minority communities have got to be heard," he said.

In his ruling, Boasberg acknowledged "few topics incite our passions more than the education of our children." And in that respect, he might be prophetic. Parisa Norouzi with Empower D.C., for one, says this is far from over.

"We may be exploring direct action, we may be exploring further legal actions. But one thing everyone knows, Empower D.C. does not back down from a big fight."

WAMU is licensed to American University.

NPR

Ever Cheat At Monopoly? So Did Its Creator: He Stole The Idea From A Woman

The game Charles Darrow sold in the 1930s bore a striking resemblance to a game Lizzie Magie patented in 1904. In The Monopolists, Mary Pilon tells Monopoly's origin story.

NPR

Sandwich Monday: The Funnel Cake Corn Dog

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a new twist on a classic. It's a corn dog that uses funnel cake in place of corn meal to encase a hot dog.
NPR

Controverisal Netanyahu Speech Is Latest Glitch In U.S.-Israel Relations

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks to a joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday. The speech highlights differences between the U.S. and Israel on how to stop Iran from going nuclear.
NPR

Free Wi-Fi On Buses Offers A Link To Future Of 'Smart Cities'

A new service in a Portuguese city not only provides commuters with free Internet connections but it also helps collect data that makes the municipality run more efficiently.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.