Resegregating America.

Reading between the lines.
May 11 2004 11:33 AM

Post-Brown Schooldays

The new way to integrate—by class, not race.

(Continued from Page 1)

Significantly, Clotfelter notes, the Wake economic plan has also produced a fair amount of racial diversity. Whereas Winston-Salem/Forsyth has seen the share of intensely segregated minority schools rise from none in 1994 to 22 percent by 2002, Wake doesn't have a single such school. Economic-integration plans indirectly promote racial diversity because African-Americans are not only more likely to be low income than whites, they are far more likely to attend schools with concentrated poverty. As the Harvard Civil Rights Project has found, 15 percent of intensely segregated white schools (90 percent-100 percent white) were high-poverty schools in 2000, but 86 percent of intensely segregated black and Latino schools were high-poverty.

As both Kluger and Clotfelter observe, this racial contact is important in its own right. If we think about schools broadly, as institutions that train not only workers who need cognitive skills but tolerant citizens who aspire to live in a unified democracy, then racial separation is intolerable. Kluger quotes the words of Marshall in his dissent in the Milliken case: "Unless our children begin to learn together, there is little hope that our people will ever learn to live together."


Conservatives often discount these broader, "softer" issues of citizenship and moral intelligence. They are wrong to do so. But even on the "hard" terms they endorse—academic achievement—the evidence is clear that educating poor and middle-class children separately perpetuates failure. The integration ideal of Brown—no longer just black and white, but multiracial in character, and now in some communities centered around the broader idea of economic class—must be pursued if we want to achieve the promise laid down 50 years ago: "The opportunity of an education … where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms."


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

U.S. Begins Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059


Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

How in the World Did Turkey Just Get 46 Hostages Back From ISIS?

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.