School District Defends Blacks Only Field Trip

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DETROIT — A school district in Michigan is defending its intentions after a field trip by African-American elementary students drew complaints from excluded children and their parents.

Officials said Wednesday that 30 students from Dicken Elementary School in Ann Arbor met last week with an African-American rocket scientist at the University of Michigan. It was part of a larger effort to help close persistent test-score gaps between black and white students.

District spokeswoman Liz Margolis says the students were booed by others when they returned, and Principal Mike Madison admonished those children for their response. Madison told parents in a letter that the activity could have been approached better but the goal was positive.

Officials will also discuss the matter at a parent-teacher meeting Thursday.

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