National Integration News

There is plenty of evidence and coverage on the persistence of school segregation in the United States. This is a list of some of the many articles to help educate yourself about the important role that individual choices play in the perpetuation of school segregation, and some of the ways cities and states are working to impede or advance the integration progress.

The Century Foundation: The Benefits of Socioeconomically and Racially Integrated Schools and Classrooms
Research shows that racial and socioeconomic diversity in the classroom can provide students with a range of cognitive and social benefits.

Washington Post: The disturbing state of racial diversity in Massachusetts public schools
The state has also seen an increase in the number of racially diverse schools, in which no single racial group exceeds 70 percent of school enrollment and at least 25 percent of students are White. At the same time, however, students of color are increasingly likely to attend schools where more than 90 percent of students are Black or Latino. While some of this has occurred in urban districts, the majority of that increase has happened in the state’s small cities and suburbs, mirroring similar trends across the country. In other words, changing demographics are creating opportunities not just for racial integration, but also for deeper racial isolation. Rather than seize the opportunity to foster inclusion through smart policy, leaders have taken a laissez-faire approach, which we fear will ultimately lead to even higher levels of segregation.

School Integration in Massachusetts: Racial Diversity and State Accountability
In this report, which is designed for both policy leaders and the interested public, we use publicly available data to track demographic trends across the past decade. In doing so, we examine not only the state of school diversity in Massachusetts, but also the role played by existing accountability structure in exacerbating segregation. In light of the findings of this report, we encourage leaders in the Commonwealth to seize the opportunity to promote racial integration as a top policy priority. Many districts with intensely segregated non-white schools have the demographic capacity to foster integration; and as Massachusetts becomes more racially diverse, more and more districts should be able to foster school diversity across the Commonwealth.

LA Times: White progressive parents and the conundrum of privilege
If affluent, white parents hope to raise children who reject racial inequality, simply explaining that fairness and social justice are important values won’t do the trick. Instead, parents need to confront how their own decisions and behaviors reproduce patterns of privilege. They must actually advocate for the well-being, education and happiness of all children, not just their own.

NPR: Try this one trick to improve student outcomes
So, rather than continuing to pound our heads against the wall in finding new ways to make separate but equal work, we could rediscover this other approach that actually is having really strong results.

With critical parents now on board, New York City will move forward with district-wide diversity plan
The new system comes after two years of work by parents, district, and school leaders who landed a state grant to pursue integration strategies in the district — and follows a series of delays and false starts. Advocates had hoped to make these enrollment changes last fall. Advocates say they hope the process there will serve as an example for other districts, as support for integration strategies grows across the city. “This is a great way to show how a true community plan can be led, and fingers crossed can be a model,” Naomi Peña said.

The News & Observer: Why NC Charter Schools Are Richer and Whiter
“Charters have opened the doors to us resegregating our schools,” he said. “At some point, I think we need to have a serious public policy debate about how do we weigh this thing of parental choice, when parental choice allows us to resegregate our schools.”

Good: The sneaky way segregated schools are becoming socially acceptable
The education system in Alabama, like in so many other states, is rigged against a large percentage of families and communities: Those with less money tend to get a worse education. Until these states reform their overall education funding systems, the inequalities and inadequacies that they produce will continue to fuel current racial motivations.

NPR: Everyone pays a hefty price for segregated, study says
There’s a compelling question at the heart of a report released this week by the Metropolitan Planning Council: If more people — especially educated professional white Americans — knew exactly how they are harmed by the country’s pervasive racial segregation, would they be moved to try to decrease it?

Brookings Institution: Convenience plus a conscience: lessons for school integration
Schools remain highly segregated by race and income, and this segregation hinders progress towards greater educational opportunity; school segregation is not only a byproduct of residential segregation, but also a reflection of policy choices; and daily factors such as school schedules and bus times may be as important to the success or failure of integration efforts as ideological persuasion, as a case study of Wake County suggests. Desegregation is a practical matter, as well as a political one.

Center for Research & Evaluation in Social Policy: Four decades of research on the effects of detracking reform: where do we stand?–a systematic review of the evidence
The findings suggest that the detracking reform had appreciable effects on low-ability student achievement and no effects on average and high-ability student achievement. Therefore, detracking should be encouraged, especially in schools where the lower-track classes have been traditionally assigned fewer resources.

Chalkbeat: How two Manhattan moms are trying to convince their peers that integration is good for all
As support among local advocates and officials builds for policies to help desegregate New York City schools, two Manhattan moms say mixing students of different ability levels is a key part of the equation.

National Assessment of Educational Progress: School Composition and Black White Achievement Gap
The Black–White achievement gap has often been studied,but its relationship to school composition has generally not been explored. The demographic makeup of public schools is of particular interest, given recent concerns about the growing resegregation of schools. This report explored eighth-grade achievement as it relates to the percentage of students in the school who were Black,1
1 The category Black includes students who identified as “Black or African American.” or the density of Black students, to contribute to the understanding
of the Black–White student achievement gap.

The Atlantic: Louisville: the city that believed in desegregation
Integration isn’t easy, but Louisville, Kentucky has decided it’s worth it.

The Century Foundation: Louisville, Kentucky: A Reflection on School Integration.
Louisville’s history is unique, in that it is one of the only districts that has maintained a staunch commitment to integration over the last fifty years.

The Atlantic: The new champions of school integration
The Department of Education killed a federal program supporting diversity efforts, but the fight to desegregate the nation’s classroom is far from over.

The Atlantic: The privilege of school choice
Last year, a contentious zone change in New York City forced well-off parents to decide whether or not to integrate a high-poverty school. The exact-same scenario had played out a half-century earlier during the city’s brief attempt at school desegregation.

Education Post: Battling segregation is going to take a combination of parents and policy
There’s two parts to fighting segregation. There are the private choices we can make as individuals—as parents—about where we live and where we send our kids to school. And there are the public policies that we can advocate for our representatives and school district leaders to create.

Frontline: The return of school segregation in eight charts
It was 1954 when the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that separate but equal schools were unconstitutional. The landmark decision put an end to legal segregation, but 60 years later, racial divides are back on the rise inside America’s public school classrooms.So what happened? Changing demographics is one factor at play, while another has been a string of controversial court rulings that have made it easier for states to win release from federal integration orders. For many school districts, this has meant a return to levels of integration last seen during the Johnson administration.

Chalkbeat: my neighbors told the New York Times that going to our local school is “malpractice.” We picked it anyway.
We enrolled my daughter in the public school across the street. I am not going to pretend to know I have made the right decision. No one making a match for a four-year-old should have the hubris to believe they know for sure. And I recognize that I hold a tremendous amount of privilege to have the certainty of a private school Plan B if anything, including supplementary Jewish education, isn’t working right for our child. One thing I am pretty confident about? I’ve spent more time inside P.S. 145 than the finance lawyer who was recently quoted in the New York Times as saying, “I feel like it would almost be malpractice to send my kids to school” there.

NPR:  The evidence that white children benefit from integrated schools
The tacit assumption was that sending children to a majority-minority school would entail a sacrifice, one that pits their own children against their (presumably) progressive ideals.But there’s plenty of evidence that suggests the opposite: White students might actually benefit from a more diverse environment. Here are three reasons why.

NY Times: Family by family, how School segregation still happens
She said that most of all, they had wanted to find the school that was the best fit for their son. But she said she was also aware that decisions like theirs have an impact on whether schools thrive, or do not. In other words, the decision is more than just a personal one. “Putting our child there, we’re investing our time in a school,” Ms. Shneyer said. “Where do we want to do that?”

Chalkbeat: Half a century after integrating a New Orleans school, Ruby Bridges says America is headed in the wrong direction
What do you think it will take for us as a nation to move toward school integration again? “Wanting to — that’s it. You really have to want to. Because there’s no laws that we need to change anymore. You just have to want to. We’ve got to go back to thinking morally and being responsible for one another — the whole village coming together for our children.”

Chicago Reporter: School choice is a scam in segregated neighborhoods
According to the United Nations, America currently ranks 17th in the world in education. But when you remove the results of children living in poverty, we jump to No. 2. It is obvious we know how to educate children. We simply refuse to educate the poor, the black and the brown.