A Short History (and the future) of School Desegregation

The Guardian asked me to respond to a British educator's public comments in favor of American style school busing. I hope the piece is a good overview of the history of school desegregation efforts, as well as the movement's future. This is all very timely in the American context, as well; the latest report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA shows deepening school segregation, especially for Latino children in the South and West. Nationwide, 43 percent of Latino kids and 38 percent of black kids attend schools where less than 10 percent of the study body is white.

In the Guardian essay, I discuss how various school choice and zoning policies–quite different from traditional "busing"–can help alleviate these trends. I'd only add that integrated schools can present thorny social justice challenges in terms of curricular tracking; many of the academic and social benefits of integration are lost if individual classrooms (ex; the Advanced Placement track) remain mostly middle class or white. I've addressed these issues at length here, here, and here.

Read the Guardian piece.

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