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George Will: Mrs. Jellyby, Stuck in the Sixties

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Posted on March 21 2010 8:06 am
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by George Will

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, like many liberals, seems afflicted by Sixties Nostalgia Syndrome, a longing for the high drama and moral clarity of the civil rights era. Speaking in Alabama at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 45th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march, Duncan vowed to unleash on public schools legions of lawyers wielding Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They supposedly will rectify what he considers civil rights violations, such as too many white students in high school advanced placement classes.

Duncan said “the civil rights struggle” has become “more complex since the days of Selma.” He seems not to understand that today’s complexities of equity are complex because they are not about “rights.”

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