The Integrationists

Diverse Cities Need Diverse Schools. How Do We Get There?

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Illustration by Alex Lukas

Published on Aug 20, 2012

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Nearly three generations after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that separate is not equal, American schools remain bastions of segregation, with the majority of children learning in classrooms predominantly populated by students of their same racial or ethnic background. The trend is particularly in pronounced in cities, where patterns rooted in the suburban flight that followed 1960s desegregation persist and many urban school districts educate a disproportionately poor, African-American student body. Yet as middle-class families return to the neighborhoods that their parents and grandparents left decades ago, the question of integration is again rearing its tricky head. This time, the issue is how do we create schools where inclusion is not a legal mandate, but rather a natural educational priority? Award-winning education writer and author Sarah Carr takes a deep look at this new movement to create schools that are just as diverse as the cities they serve.

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