As we mark the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, we are glad to see renewed interest in the issue of segregation, but discouraged about our societal failure to tackle it. Indeed, we have both recently written about the persistence of racial segregation in our public schools, and about the pernicious effects of associated concentrated poverty. BBA and EPI document the segregation of black and Hispanic children in high-poverty kindergarten classrooms. And Kahlenberg has written about new efforts to reinvigorate Brown by emphasizing socioeconomic integration through public school choice.
Perhaps the saddest aspect of this segregation is the waste of a precious American resource, one that could offer our children an important advantage over their peers in many other countries: diversity. We continue, for the most part, to treat the multiple languages spoken in schools from Los Angeles to Minneapolis as only a challenge for teachers, rather than the learning opportunity it could represent for classmates. We see only deficits for children who grow up in very challenging circumstances, rather than finding creative ways to help them share with their peers the resilience and creativity gained through those experiences.
Read the full article.
TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg makes the case for socioeconomic integration of schools at the K-12 level as part of a forum on economic segregation in schools at New York University’s Furman Center. Read Kahlenberg’s full post, and check out the other entries in the series.
TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg is quoted in a New York Times article on magnet schools and their effect on racial and socioeconomic diversity. Read the full article at the New York Times.
Most K-12 education reforms are about trying to make "separate but equal" schools for rich and poor work well. The results of these efforts have been discouraging. The Century Foundation looks at ways to integrate public schools by economic status through public school choice. At the higher education level, we examine ways to open the doors of selective and non-selective institutions to students of modest means.
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