The Poynter Institute and the Education Writers Association are hosting a day of learning and dialogue today for journalists on the topic of segregation.
The legal, political and social forces at work on the quality of education are varied and complex. White flight to more affluent suburban schools made integration less likely. Black parents grew weary of seeing their children bear the burden of busing.
Discarding court-ordered busing as a remedy – along with the development of magnet schools, fundamental schools, charter schools, and vouchers – has left certain public schools in jeopardy, especially in the poorest neighborhoods. A combination of poverty and segregation has had devastating results. Students perform terribly on state assessments. The achievement gap between white and black children grows. Few remedies seem to work.
To help journalists who cover education, we have created an intensive, one-day workshop. It is designed to guide reporters in their coverage of schools that provide separate and unequal education for students of color in their communities.
According to an agenda for the workshop, keynote speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones will speak about the re-segregation of schools. The agenda explains “Her most challenging question is whether there is any method of reform that works – other than school integration.”
Here are some Education Next resources that investigate whether integration is the only, or even the best, solution:
• “Desegregation Since the Coleman Report,” by Steve Rivkin, which examines the evidence on the racial composition of schools and student learning.
• A review of a book by Jim Ryan, “Whatever Happened to Integration?” written by Nathan Glazer.
• “Does Expanding School Choice Increase Segregation,” by Matt Chingos
• A review of a book by Richard Kahlenberg and Halley Potter, “Criticizing Charter Schools for Lacking Diversity and Unions Misses the Point, by Nelson Smith.
• “Is Desegregation Dead?” a debate between Steve Rivkin and Susan Eaton.
— Education Next