Supreme Court revisits affirmative action for college admissions

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to revisit affirmative action in college admissions, placing a decade old (5-4) court ruling at risk from today’s more conservative court. The former ruling involved the University of Michigan Law School, which permitted racial diversity to qualify as a compelling governmental interest in public higher education. The new case originates from the University of Texas at Austin. The university policy keeps otherwise qualified applicants from admissions by admitting less qualified applicants in some...

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New school board’s new challenge … New superintendent!

Thursday, the Rockford School District confirmed rumors which have surrounded Superintendent Sheffield for the past few weeks. The district and the superintendent have agreed to a mutual parting of the ways. LaVonne Sheffield will resign as of April 30, 2011, after less than 2 years at the helm. The current board will approve the severance agreement at their regularly scheduled board meeting next Tuesday night. The agreement includes six months salary, which would be approximately $105,000, since the superintendent had signed a four year...

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Why are RSD205 taxpayers paying for busing to out-of-school daycare?

An article in Monday’s Rockford Register Star concluded that shifting to elementary school zones is putting a crimp in the free busing of hundreds of students to day care centers before and after school. This should be good news for RSD205 taxpayers. Talk about a “free ride” at the taxpayer’s expense! The district has been providing transportation to day care facilities free of charge since the 1990s under the current choice assignment plan, even before the court ordered busing. The day care centers have, in most...

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Sheffield’s divisive State of the Schools speech pits one group against another

Dr. Sheffield started her speech by quoting Martin Luther King Jr., “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” I’m reminded of another quote from Dr. King, “Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus, but a molder of consensus.” Unfortunately, Dr. Sheffield must not have read the latter quote, for her speech was one of divisiveness, not consensus, pitting one group against another. The decision for geographic attendance zones has been finalized. Sheffield said ...

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Student assignment vote represented the demographics of Rockford

Two blogs, printed in Sunday’s Rockford Register Star, turned the Rockford School Board’s 5-2 vote for zoned schools and the people at the board meeting who witnessed it, into a power struggle with racial overtones. Excerpt from Sweeny Report: The folks in favor of the current, modified choice plan tend to be the poor, the west siders, the voiceless of our community. The front page picture in the newspaper said it all: The people happy with the 5-2 vote were all-white, and all-connected. Even though only 35 percent of District 205...

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