First thing I woud like to say is that article on affirmative action was incredible! It is a hard issue to address because we make it hard. What we as Blacks must come to terms with is exactly what you have said. If we want equality, we must first stop accepting the tools separation. Granted, many schools that are primarily Black do not keep up with other schools which poses a set of chellenges of its own. A White child in this school would be expected to attain the standard, but we would not because we are Black. For many this is a good thing, until we stop and look to question if not meeting the standard has actually aiding in the separation. If Blacks are being left behind but not required to meet the standard than we are not really falling behind at all. We are simply achieving what is required of us - LESS! In this case, the standard is being met quite well.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character (Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963). That's the principle that I wish for :-)