Newsletter #189: The Case for Integration

Most Americans say they want their children to attend a racially diverse school. But in reality, schools are more segregated now than they were in the 1950s. This week’s lead article argues that we must renew our commitment to desegregate schools in order to achieve equitable outcomes for young people and to save our democracy. But the second article emphasizes the gap between what we say we want in theory and what we actually do in real life. If you have time, please read both, hit reply, and share your thoughts!

Pop-Up Article Club #3 was a huge success! Eight great loyal readers gathered last weekend at The Highlighter Retreat Center to discuss an outstanding article — live and in person. Plus there was food, beverage, good conversation, and deep listening. Interested in meeting new people and deepening our reading community? Be on the lookout for another live event next month. Or tell me!

The Case for Integration

Sixty-five years after Brown v. Board of Education, our schools remain separate and unequal. Pedro Noguera writes, “Is integrated schooling in the United States a goal still worth pursuing?” By asking this question, Prof. Noguera recognizes that school desegregation is no longer a shared goal among educational leaders. Abandoning integration, however, would worsen socioeconomic and political divisions and would prevent efforts to build a prosperous, multiracial society. Most interesting to me is Prof. Noguera’s reliance on his life story in order to further his argument. He clearly benefited from integration. It’s captivating and poignant — but unfortunately, it seems a little generational now, a bit out of reach. (18 min)

+ Read more about integration in San AntonioMilwaukee, and Longview.

White Parents Want Integrated Schools (But Not When Their Kids Are Involved)

By no means should white parents feel pressure to send their kid to any specific school. But what if you’re a champion of integration? Joe Weedon has long advocated for neighborhood schools in Washington D.C., but now that his daughter is ready for high school, he’s hesitant. “Malia can’t change generations of segregation on her own. I can’t put that on the shoulders of my 14-year-old.” (12 min) (Thanks to Anne for submitting this article.)

+ Want to see what I thought? Read this article with my annotations! (There are some feelings.)

+ For more on why white parents won’t choose Black schools, check out this article from Issue #15.

Yoshi, who belongs to loyal reader Summer, prefers to do his reflection by the sea. Want your pet to appear in The Highlighter?

Running Out of Teachers in Rural USA

April means peak hiring season across the country as school districts vie for qualified teachers. We’ve heard about (and many of us have experienced firsthand) the challenges of finding great Math and science teachers in urban areas. But the situation in rural areas is even worse. This short film takes you to Shelby, Montana, a 3-hour drive to the nearest Costco, where shooting gophers is a pastime, and where some years, superintendent Elliott Crump receives no applications for open positions. (9 min)

Mansplaining Gentrification

The latest trend in gentrification is the rise of “self-aware gentrifiers,” usually white men, who explain “how to properly gentrify” by mitigating their harmful impact on the community. Alissa Walker is having none of this foolishness. She notes the long history of male dominance in urbanist action, calls for more women mayors, and has some advice: “When somebody who experiences injustice and oppression speaks about how to change it, sit down and listen to them.” (17 min) (Thanks to Jessica for submitting this article.)

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