Re: A meeting on diversity in svs-model schools

Alan Klein (
Thu, 05 Sep 1996 06:28:15

Mimsy wrote:

>What particular population should a school seek to replicate in its student
>body? Not the world's, for sure. Not the continent's, for sure. The
>country's? The state's? Not the town: way too un-diverse. It seems to me
>that diversity is very different in very different places and a population
>that pretty much replicates the area a school is in is exactly what people
>are objecting to when they want "diversity".

Not me. A school can, of course, at best only achieve a population
representative of their area. In addition, as you have so aptly pointed out,
our schools require a very large general population in order to get those one
in ten thousand who are attracted to them. I certainly do desire a more even
playing field when it comes to housing and I certainly do hope that more and
more neighborhoods will become more and more diverse (no coercion - just a
hope). I don't, however, expect our schools to contort themselves. Highland
is in an all-white county, surrounded by all-white counties in rural West
Virginia. It seldom, if ever, has a non-white student. We fought long and
hard with the IRS to get our 501(c)3 status and had to show that we were not
excluding people of color. Clearly, I don't expect Highland or others to
spend inordinate resources, just to go that "extra step" personally and
collectively to make sure that we don't exclude by our actions or inactions
and that we make it clear by our actions that we are actively seeking out
those who don't look like ourselves. (Is that vague? Yes, it is. I don't
favor prescriptions, proscriptions, or coercions...just personal reflection,
responsibility, and action.)

>Maybe I do seek some balance in my activities and my diet. Maybe I have a
>sneaky idea that those who don't may acheive more in their lives than I
>possibly could in mine. Exactly those people who don't give a fig for
>balance are zoned in on creating new ideas it seems to me.

It's also said that geniuses must be tortured souls. While I would never
interfere with anyone's right to be a tortured soul, I certainly don't
advocate for it just so they can be geniuses!

(PS - re an earlier post - Do you really equate how we are treated due to the
kind of car we choose to drive with how we are treated due to our race,
gender, social and economic class, etc?)

Alan Klein ...
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