Field trip for black students in Mich. draws anger
Jeff Karoub, Associated Press, May 5, 2010

DETROIT — A school district is defending its intentions but reviewing its policies after a field trip by African-American elementary students to meet a University of Michigan rocket scientist drew complaints from excluded children and their parents.

Ann Arbor Public Schools officials said Wednesday that the trip last week by 30 Dicken Elementary School students to meet Alec Gallimore, an African-American aerospace engineering professor and propulsion lab director at the university, was intended to inspire them as part of a bigger push to close a persistent gap in test scores between black and white students.

Administrators and teachers “thought it would be an excellent mentoring position for African-American kids to see a successful professional in sciences,” said district spokeswoman Liz Margolis.

“It was a riskier step to take, but the staff at Dicken felt it was going to have tremendous benefit,” Margolis said. “I’m guessing you won’t see that again.”

She said the fallout started when the students returned from the trip and were met with boos from classmates who stayed behind. (Read the full article)