That’s the gist we got out of the First District’s ruling today, in a constitutional challenge to Berkeley’s way-complicated system for assigning students to different elementary schools, and to different programs in high school. The upshot: The appeals court unanimously said Berkeley’s system is A-OK, despite Prop 209, because it doesn’t consider a student’s own race at all. Instead, all students in a neighborhood are treated the same — and the way the neighborhood is treated is based on a bunch of things, like average income level, average education level, and the neighborhood’s overall racial composition. The court’s opinion calls things like this “affirmative policies” fostering social diversity. That term doesn’t sound familiar at all.
The Opinion 49K PDF
Perhaps this is what new Madison School District Superintendent Dan Nerad had in mind:
Still, Nerad has clearly taken notice. Given the new numbers, he plans to ask state lawmakers to allow Madison to deny future requests based on family income levels, rather than race, to prevent disparities from further growing between Madison and its suburbs.