It’s important we start conversations today around integrating Kansas City schools with the same information. School desegregation reached it’s peak in the US in 1988. In the 1987-88 school year, KCPS received a AAA rating from the state, the highest possible. However since Brown v. Board, a series of subsequent court decisions reduced court oversight and the ability of districts to desegregate. Among them: decisions … Continue reading Starting with the same information around integrating Kansas City schools
It is so important for us to think about school choice, privilege, and impact in Kansas City, where we are so full of school options. We have dozens of private, charter, signature, and neighborhood choices. Over 30% of school aged children are white, yet only 10% students enrolled in public schools are white. The zoned areas for our public schools often include diverse neighborhoods, yet … Continue reading School choice, privilege, and impact in Kansas City
A panel took place recently that explored segregation in Kansas City. The guest speakers were Michelle Wimes, Mayor Sly James, Arthur Benson, and Tanner Colby. It’s important that this conversation took place here and that the focus was on Kansas City. Too often, Kansas City avoids this discussion, and would rather assume what is happening across the country is not the same as what is … Continue reading “If you have choice without civil rights policies, it stratifies the system.” – Gary Orfield, the co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA
I recently read a 2002 article from The Pitch that is a sobering history of segregation and desegregation efforts that failed in Kansas City. Articles like this and a recent one from The Brookings Institution have reminded me of the harsh reality that education and social justice advocates are still conflicted as to whether integration should still be the goal. Like the Brown v. Board decision, I believe … Continue reading Is integration what we are still striving for?
When the argument is made that investing in our local schools isn’t a realistic solution, that we should instead continue to invest in new, separate, “better” schools, what does that say of the 26,000 students and their families that have chosen our public schools in Kansas City? Isn’t the education of these students worth investing in? Aren’t these families already invested? And why are our … Continue reading Why isn’t investing in local schools worth it?
This is what is happening here when elected officials and neighborhoods embrace the idea that opening new schools is needed to create more “quality,” “diverse” school choices. Because our city continues to foster the idea that a few integrated schools are better than none, we put roadblocks in the path of a real, comprehensive integration strategy which would bring equity to all our students, not … Continue reading When education advocates believe integrating one school is a solution
“Everything in American education is broken.” This is an argument that many continue to use to support their claim that Kansas City needs more quality school options. But what if the problem is not that we don’t know how to educate our children, but that we have stopped prioritizing the education needs of the Black and Brown children that need the most support? Continue reading Prioritizing the needs of Black and Brown children to make education equitable