PCSSD continues to struggle with desegregation

Dear Editor:

Pulaski County Special School District continues its struggle to desegregate.

Since 1957, Little Rock has been a hotspot for an equal rights issue that continues to plague the nation today. Just over a year ago Pulaski County School District was denied unitary status by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth District.

The PCSSD’s desegregation plan, "Plan 2000," focuses on the areas of student achievement, discipline, and assignment, academic remediation, staff recruitment, and attendance. The Little Rock School District and North Little Rock School District included a focus on community involvement and development in their desegregation plans.

The PCSSD has not made any changes or additions to "Plan 2000," even after the court declared the district non-unitary.

The PCCSD has, as the other districts in the Little Rock metropolitan area, administered M-to-M transfer programs and magnet school programs. These programs have, however, not been successful in desegregating the PCSSD’s schools. The one initiative that the LRSD and NLRSD have in addition is an initiative to involve the community.

In their continuing struggle to attain unitary status the PCSSD should administer programs to involve the community in their efforts. The school district should advocate the building of Boys and Girls Clubs and other community programs that assist economically disadvantaged families. They should also involve African American community organizations to act as role models for African American students and inspire their achievement.

A community involvement initiative is the final step in the Pulaski County Special School District’s efforts to desegregate and attain unitary status.

Joseph Dobson

Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts

200 Whittington Avenue

Hot Springs, AR 71901