Monday, August 5, 2019

On desegregation

I've had a running list of articles and such to share around desegregation, which after that late June exchange at the Democratic presidential debates has suddenly become a hot topic. I've just finished reading Professor Ansley Erickson's Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits (see tweet thread here) about the desegregation of the Nashville schools and that interaction with the larger city of Nashville and surrounding county. I'd highly recommend it; I found a lot to be learned in overlaps with larger national policies or in reflection on more local ones. Next, as I mentioned in my last post on this topic, I'm reading Professor Rucker Johnson's Children of the Dream: Why Integration Works.
As the experience of Senator Kamala Harris was in Berkeley, this piece on Berkeley's history and current status on desegregation is worth considering. Unlike many other places, Berkeley has shifted, but not given up on desegregating its school system, even as both the city and the system of laws has changed.
The 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Milliken v. Bradley was two weeks ago, and there was quite a bit on how this decision, which found that, in essence, the districts surrounding Detroit could not be made to be part of its desegregation, shaped the landscape of schools today. I recommend this piece from Professor Jon Hale and this lengthy piece that aired on NPR stations.
Earlier last month, the Washington Post published this piece on how desegregation became the third rail of Democratic politics. The question of de jure versus de facto segregation is likewise taken up in Erickson's book.
And to tie this back around to the still looming issue here in Massachusetts, which of course is not only in Massachusetts, Ed Build published a tool that walks through district lines and funding which I highly recommend. You can read some of what one discovers from it here.

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