NPR on Seg… Busing, Voluntary Integration

by Courtney | October 10, 2016

NPR’s All Things Considered had a week of segregated-schools talk…  All of this is worth a listen…

Listen· 11:17

This piece follows a Black family whose children attend wealthy, suburban white schools (part of a 50 year program where Black and Latino students voluntarily bus into white/wealthy/suburban schools – unidirectional integration).

Very compelling, hearing the kids’ voices… and what this means for them because, yes, their sons are “shouldering the work of this voluntary integration program.”  (I sort of –differently but sort of – know what this feels like… at least as a mother of kid doing another version of this work, too)…

Why Busing Didn’t End School Segregation

Listen· 9:52

From Matt Delmont “Unfortunately, it’s the case across the country that white parents simply don’t want to send their kids to schools that have large numbers of African-American or Latino students… even if they consider themselves to be liberal and might say in theory or in the abstract that they’re in favor of integration, when push comes to shove and they have these integration programs, they almost consistently oppose them…”

While the numbers bear this out, there are also many parents who DO see the many benefits of voluntary integration, of sending their kids to “poor” or majority not-just-like-me schools, of rejecting white-middle-class-segregated schools. Colleen said it best the other day: School Integration is the new “buying local.”

White House Calls On Schools To Establish Voluntary Integration Programs

Listen· 4:18
 Interview with John King (Ed Sec’y) about school integration initiative…

Talking about the “Stronger Together” bill, backed by the White House, that would invest 120 million dollars to establish voluntary integration programs that use income rather than race

“We have heard a lot of enthusiasm for the idea of locally led initiatives to create diverse schools. … There are affluent and white parents who do want diverse schools…”
We will be a stronger country if our students have the opportunity to have diverse experiences in school.

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