Little Rock schools remain under federal court order

(July 1, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- A federal judge said yesterday that the Little Rock school district would remain under a federal desegregation order for two more years. U-S District Judge William R. Wilson Junior ruled June 16 that the school district did not successfully evaluate its academic programs for how well they helped black students. Having done so would have released the district from the desegregation monitoring it has faced since 1965. The district was released in 2002 from all aspects of its federal desegregation order except those relating to program evaluations. In a memorandum opinion issued today, Wilson said the district would remain under a court order through the 2005-06 school year. Wilson said the district must hire outside experts and design a program assessment process. The judge again told the federal Office of Desegregation Management and a group called the Joshua interveners, representing black school patrons, to monitor the progress of the school district.