Dutch leaders believe an integration program honed during the American civil rights movement can curb the racial and class divisions rampant in Amsterdam’s classrooms. Waves of immigrants have swept into the Netherlands, but they haven’t always mixed successfully with native Dutch, reports the Christian Science Monitor. “Segregation is a big issue here, and it's getting worse," said one official.
The solution, leaders say, could be the American “controlled choice” model that places students in schools based on parental preferences as well as demographics with an eye to developing an integrated mix. Critics question if the plan, used in Boston and Little Rock, Ark., will work in Amsterdam. It must also get the nod from parents. “We cannot force it on people, but I think it is going to happen," said the official.