Justice Dept. granted extension
by Chance Wright
Oct 17, 2012 | 1018 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Senior Judge Glen H. Davidson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi signed an order on Friday granting an extension to the U.S. Department of Justice to file a brief in support of its objections to the proposed desegregation plan submitted by the Cleveland School District in May and supported in an expert report from Dr. Christine Rossell filed on Oct. 3.

In response to the U.S.'s motion, Davidson replied, "It is hereby ordered that the government shall file its reply brief on or before Friday, Oct. 26."

"On Sept. 23, 2012, the court granted the district's motion for leave to file a response to the United States objections," said U.S. Attorney Felicia C. Adams. "That response filed on Oct. 3 appends yet another expert report from Dr. Christine Rossell, her third, that is 81 pages in length and includes assertions the U.S. should have the opportunity to address before the court before it renders a decision."

Rossell is a professor of political science at Boston University and author of numerous books including "School Desegregation in the 21st Century," "Bilingual Education in Massachusetts" and "The Carrot and the Stick for School Desegregation."

According to the 81-page response, "the plan proposed by Dr. Rossell involves additional magnet programs that have a demonstrated track-record of success. Dr. Rossell’s report makes clear that the mandatory reassignment plan suggested by the Department of Justice will not promote further integration of the district’s schools."

Rossell's expert opinion was sought to combat U.S. arguments filed in August that the district proposed plan to introduce "magnet" programs at both East Side High School and D.M. Smith Middle School to help attract white students from Cleveland High School and Margaret Green Junior High was an unacceptable solution to the segregation problem.

Rossell's opinion also was in response to Adam's argument that, "one obvious remedy would be to consolidate the district's two high schools and two middle schools."

In her motion for extension, Adams says that the United States has conferred with the District and that the District does not oppose the U.S.'s motion for leave so long as the reply brief is filed within 15 days.