Hartford, Connecticut is famously becoming the model magnet-school city. The magnets do not hide the goal of integration, though the “emphasis [at magnet fairs] is not on civil rights but on the cornucopia of choices for the white suburban parents that schools need to attract to make integration work.”
Meanwhile*, Kentucky’s House of Representatives passed a Bill prioritizing “neighborhood schools.” This is code, says NAACP branch president Raoul Cunningham, for “the land of alleged separate but equal schools, which was held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954.”
In an opinion he penned in 2008, Jamil Ragland (quoted in the former piece) argued that Hartford’s busing and magnet program ignores the fact that the “most racially isolated group of students in the state is white students, yet there is no call to desegregate [the wealthy, white suburban schools].”
So with many magnet programs doing desegregation work often in the shadows of the amazing magnet opportunities for white/privileged kids and other places doing segregation work in the name of neighborhood schools, we constantly tiptoe around integration for the damn sake of integration. But more than that, the real horror is the perpetual privileging of the privileged…
It really is on us, our responsibility as privileged parents to OPT IN and to talk about it. A lot.
* As a born-Virginian, I do feel the need to point out that while this post seems to suggest otherwise, the states with the most segregated schools are NOT in the South, but rather in the NorthEast. And California, that bluey-blue state of my adulthood, should be ashamed to be the third most segregated state for African-American kids, and the #1 worst for Latinx kids. So…