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US public education under ‘attack’ since 1954, analyst says

Segregation of minorities, including African Americans, Hispanics, and the poor is a part of an ongoing “attack” on the United States public education that has failed to cease since 1954, says a black activist.

Abayomi Azikiwe, an editor at the Pan-African News Wire, made the comments Wednesday in regard to results of a study by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Tuesday.

According to the study, the number of schools with racial or socio-economic isolation grew from 9 to 16 percent in the first half of the 2010s.

The rise is reported despite the US Supreme Court’s landmarkBrown v. Board of Education decision more than half a century ago.

“Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group…Any language in contrary to this finding is rejected. We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” wroteEarl Warren, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court in 1954.

Thousands of students, parents and educators rally in Brooklyn demanding an end to what they describe as separate and unequal education in New York City schools on October 7, 2015 in New York City. (AFP)

Six decades after segregation was announced unconstitutional, there is “still a problem” in schools, according to Azikiwe.

Earlier this month, a federal court order was issued to a town in the US state of Mississippi to desegregate its high schools and middle schools.

“Although no court order can right these wrongs, it is the duty of the district to ensure that not one more student suffers under this burden.” Judge Debra M. Brown said on May 16.

The decision stipulates the middle and high school programs in the Cleveland School District to “be combined for the first time in their century-long history,” according to New York Times.

According to the Detroit-based activist, it is “quite remarkable that in 2016,” courts still have to take measures to “bring about a more integrated and quasi-educational system for all students.”

This means, Azikiwe argued, that there is an “attack on public education inside of the Unite States and it’s being done in a national level.”

Meanwhile, the US is “often critical of other societies, saying they do not provide adequate resources and opportunities for youths and minority groups.”

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