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29 Fordham Urb. L.J. 387 (2001-2002)
Sorting Out Federal and State Judicial Roles in State Institutional Reform: Abstention's Potential Role

handle is hein.journals/frdurb29 and id is 403 raw text is: SORTING OUT FEDERAL AND STATE
JUDICIAL ROLES IN STATE
INSTITUTIONAL REFORM:
ABSTENTION'S
POTENTIAL ROLE
By Charles R. Wise and Robert K. Christensen*
INTRODUCTION
The Kansas City School District will move vigorously to raise
achievement levels of its students after a federal judge dismissed
what had become one of the costliest desegregation cases ever,
Superintendent Benjamin Demps has vowed.
Demps hailed the decision Wednesday by U.S. District Judge
Dean Whipple to free the district from federal court supervision
in a case that had dragged on 22 years and cost the state $2
billion.
In dismissing the case, Whipple said further court involvement
would only get in the way of the district's efforts to improve
student achievement. He said court involvement over the years
had probably contributed to turmoil in the district-citing in-
fighting on the school board and the revolving door that led to
18 superintendents in 30 years.
Whipple praised the district for its attempts to meet federal
court orders since a lawsuit was filed in 1977 seeking to desegre-
gate the district through an exchange of students on both sides
of the state line.
* Charles Wise is currently a professor of Public Affairs at Indiana University.
Professor Wise is the former director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. De-
partment of Justice. In addition, he has been awarded the Mosher Award for Best
Academic Article in Public Administration Review three times. He is also the former
president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administra-
tion. Professor Wise received his Ph.D. in Political Science at Indiana University in
1972.
Robert Christensen is a Research Associate for the Institute for the Study of Gov-
ernment and the Nonprofit Sector. Mr. Christensen is a Ph.D. Candidate (2005) in
the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. He received
his J.D. in 2000 from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University,
and his M.P.A. in 2000 from the George W. Romney Institute of Public Management,
Bringham Young University.

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