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HomeNewsCivil Rights Lawyers Disagree With a School District's Segregated Classes

Civil Rights Lawyers Disagree With a School District’s Segregated Classes

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A “woke” Illinois school district is coming under a lot of fire by civil rights lawyers for its segregated Math and English classes.

A school bus painted halfway white, and the other half, black
Source: Pinterest

Evanston Township High School’s program racially segregates students in a so-called attempt to boost black students’ scores. The school has just 44% of white students, and attorneys are warning that the school’s actions may be illegal.

The school offers Algebra 2, pre-calculus, AP calculus AXLE (Advancing Excellence, Lifting Everyone) and GANAS, which is coined from a Spanish expression that means “giving it all you got.”

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However inspiring and engaging these courses may seem, they are designed for just black and Latino students. So, what about the white student? Why is it only people of color that need to have separate classes to learn better?

The school board defends its system’s goal, saying, “Recognizing that racism is the most devastating factor contributing to the diminished achievement of students, ETHS will strive to eliminate the predictability of academic achievement based upon race.”

Also, superintendent Marcus Campbell said the program gives students of color a more familiar setting for kids anxious about being in an AP class. However, not everyone agrees.

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William Trachman, a former Education Department Office for Civil Rights official, argues that ETHS’s program “does not distinguish between mandatory and optional activities” under Title VI.

Title VI laws ban racial discrimination by federally funded programs. Another civil rights law expert,  David Bernstein, said, “There is no way that could possibly pass legal muster if someone is sued.” He also called the program “blatantly unconstitutional.”

The programs began in 2019, and students can voluntarily register. So far, the school hasn’t released any data to show whether the programs have been beneficial or not. So, it’s unclear if the school district’s program should be continued or halted.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 105 students are currently in the GANAS program, while another 86 are in the AXLE program. However, some students in the programs said they were not benefiting anything from the program. Other students say the course has been more than helpful.

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An alum of an AXLE class said, “I feel like I represent me and not the whole black race in this AP class. It’s a safe place. In AP classes that are mostly white, I feel like if I answer wrong, I am representing all black kids. I stay quiet in those classes.”

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Another GANAS program learner, who is half Latina, said, “I feel accepted for the first time in a long time.”

Apart from possible legal fallout, Glenn Singleton, a racial equity consultant, agrees that the best-case scenario would be not needing the programs in the future. “The ultimate goal is not having an affinity section of algebra,” he said. “It’s to have no disparity.”

So far, no one has taken any sort of legal action against the school. The idea of segregation in schools based on race existing in 2023 shocks people.

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