Ending Modern Day School Segregation, Part 1

After long decades of silence or backsliding, state legislatures are newly beginning to think about policy solutions to contemporary school segregation. A bill in North Carolina, for example, would require public reporting on levels of segregation at each school, and my home state of Massachusetts is considering a bill that would establish a grant program…

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…

Erika Wilson on Monopolizing Whiteness

What if the equal protection clause wasn’t the primary basis for school integration lawsuits? This week’s guest author – Erika Wilson, a Law Professor at the University of North Carolina – looks at perhaps unintended consequences of our long reliance on equal protection arguments. In a forthcoming paper, she presents an alternative that speaks to…

New Research: Literacy outcomes in segregated schools

I’m excited to feature new guest authors on the blog, with a new study that supports a fundamental pillar of school integration advocacy: segregated schools are bad for student learning. Specifically, the authors re-analyzed all studies, from the last 25 years, that compare English language arts/reading outcomes with school composition (race and SES). They went…

“Safety and Security” in Boston Schools: A History of Police and Repression, Part 3

When I started this series, it was before police shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back, before they tossed water to a white supremacist who had just murdered two protesters. That was only one week ago, but it already feels like forever-ago or, more accurately, feels like a version of this has been happening…

“Safety and Security” in Boston Schools: A History of Police and Repression, Part 2

In part 1, posted last week, Matt Kautz looked at the origins of school policing in Boston: as students peacefully protested conditions in the city’s segregated schools, their dissent was criminalized. That post details efforts by the Boston School Committee, led by Louise Day Hicks, to frame student protest as dangerous, leading to police presence…

“Safety and Security” in Boston Schools: A History of Police and Repression, Part 1

In the discussion about policing following George Floyd’s murder, we’ve learned (or been reminded) that contemporary policing has its roots in the slave patrols of the early 1800’s. It turns out there’s a sort of analogy with schools: instead of maintaining safety, school policing likewise began as an effort to criminalize people of color who…

Suburban Segregation: A tale of two rezonings

I’m excited to feature a post from Dian Mawene, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who recently published new research about a school rezoning effort in a diversifying Wisconsin suburb. Coauthored with Aydin Bal, the piece explores overlapping forms of segregation at the neighborhood, school district and school levels, all of which is…