Dallas Black Blog

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What’s Next for Public Education?

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Wednesday, July 25, 2007

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Gary Orfield & Susan Eaton

The Civil Rights Project, Harvard University After years of progress following the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision to desegregate public schools, segregation rates in our schools have been rising across the country. Incredibly enough, the Bush Administration is asking the Supreme Court this year to forbid school districts to take voluntary action to foster desegregation.

Why should we care? For one thing, desegregated schooling has clear educational benefits—reduced prejudice, improved cross-racial cooperation, increased life chances for African-American students, and in some cases, higher achievement, especially among younger children. Despite it not being a priority of our elected leaders, teachers can play a vital role in promoting desegregation. If they are lucky enough to teach in diverse classrooms, they can engage students in discussions about race and inequality and speak publicly about the benefits of racial diversity. Teachers must be leaders in the struggle for an integrated society. The future of a healthy multiracial society is at stake.

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