Many of the administrators and teachers at these three schools know the research by Oakes and others. But “it’s difficult for school districts to resist the pressure that comes from white, liberal parents with university credentials,” Oakes said. “These parents come with such authority. And it’s hard for parents of color to stand up to the counter-pressure.” Schools in turn often limit themselves to working the edges to address the achievement gap between black and white students, leaving the larger structure intact. “They’re doing the feel-good stuff, but they’re not addressing the political obstacle,” argued UCLA’s Noguera.
This resonates locally, as well, given the pressure to continue to create "gifted programs" without regard to actual impact on student populations.