New Research: School Rezoning Processes & Outcomes

This post is written by Andrene J. Castro & Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, each professors in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Along with Kimberly Bridges, Shenita E. Williams, and Mitchell Perry, they’ve been engaged in a larger project researching school rezoning across Virginia between 2019 and 2021. The summary below offers key findings from…

#KnowBetterDoBetter, Part III: A conversation among White parents, advocates, & educators about school integration

Penn State’s Center for Education and Civil Rights (home of this blog) recently hosted a conversation between Genevieve Siegel-Hawley & Courtney Martin about their two fantastic books: Genevieve’s “A Single Garment” & Courtney’s “Learning in Public.” It was a great conversation- sort of like friends reconnecting over a meal and some drinks (full video here).…

(In)visibility in a new land

This post is written by Maraki Shimelis Kebede, an education researcher currently based in Montreal, Canada. Maraki received her Ph.D. from the Department of Education Policy Studies at Penn State University, where she studied the experiences  of  minoritized  and  immigrant  students  as well as  educational equity  in  international  development  efforts. Maraki also served as a…

What do you think of SchoolSparrow? Part 2

In part 1 of this post, I looked at SchoolSparrow.com, an equity-oriented school ratings site that is positioned as an alternative to GreatSchools.org. In the lead up to its national launch, I had an email conversation with the founder, Tom Brown, where I outlined some mixed feelings about the site. As I say in part…

#KnowBetterDoBetter, Part II: A conversation among White parents, advocates, & educators about school integration

This guest post is written by Katie Dulaney, a former middle school teacher in North Carolina. Katie is currently an advanced doctoral candidate in the Department of Education Policy Studies at Penn State University, where she studies how school districts instill and nurture commitments to equity.   This post is part two in a three-part…

What do you think of SchoolSparrow? Part 1

If you’ve followed the debate about GreatSchools.org ratings, you might have also heard about SchoolSparrow.com. Positioned as an equity-oriented alternative school rating site, SchoolSparrow started about ten years ago in Chicagoland, and it went national in 2021. On its website, you can search for your own school/the schools in your town, and you can read…

#KnowBetterDoBetter: A conversation among White parents, advocates & educators about school integration

This guest post is written by Karen Babbs Hollett, a former teacher, instructional leader, and director at a state department of education. Karen is currently an advanced doctoral candidate in the Department of Education Policy Studies at Penn State University, where she studies issues of racial equity in early care and education (ECE) policy. Following…

Hate incidents in “good” schools

Things aren’t looking good in Massachusetts’ suburban schools these days. Last month, the Boston Globe released a series of articles on a culture of racism and homophobia on the Danvers High School hockey team. On “hard R Fridays,” students on the all-white team shouted the n-word in team huddles. When one player refused, others welted…

New Research: Benefits for white students in integrated schools

This may seem obvious, but I’m stunned by it every time: white students are the most segregated group in American k-12 schools, by a lot. And, it’s basically been that way forever.  Here’s a chart from the “Harming Our Common Future” report, released by the UCLA Civil Rights Project and Penn State’s Center for Education…

Nice white parents in Nashville

I’ve had a lot of conversations recently about Serial’s Nice White Parents podcast. And, understandably so- it’s a remarkably engaging story about something felt by most people (everyone?) but rarely discussed in such a public kind of way. It’s made my day job a little easier- instead of going through some convoluted explanation about contemporary…