Richard Kahlenberg, senior fellow for the liberal Century Foundation, is calling last week's Wake County school board election results "an important victory for proponents of integration."
Kahlenberg's column, which was reposted today in The Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog, says "the vote has national significance because it demonstrates that if school diversity policies are pursued through choice, rather than compulsion, they can draw strong public support."
Kahlenberg was an outspoken supporter of the old diversity policy and criticized the board majority's decision to scrap it. He went on to back the efforts to develop a compromise plan "to employ choice to promote integration by student achievement levels, a close cousin of socioeconomic status."
"Voters sided with business people and teachers and civil rights groups in rejecting resegregation," Kanlenberg says of the election results. "This development should give hope to supporters of integration that if implemented smartly — through public school choice rather than compulsory busing — diversity can win broad support from voters."