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When White Parents Won’t Integrate Public Schools

Can a grassroots movement succeed where policy has failed?  
relates to When White Parents Won’t Integrate Public Schools
Morry Gash/AP

In an interview with Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg last month, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones talked about how liberal-leaning white Americans may claim to believe in racial equality and integration, but they act in ways that maintain inequality and segregation. Case in point: where they send their kids to school.

In many U.S. cities, enrollment in urban public schools is dominated by kids from lower-income households, often black and Latino. More affluent white urbanites who’ve moved to gentrifying city neighborhoods often send their children to private or charter schools, because of fears about underperforming local public schools—and the predominantly non-white kids who attend them. “If you could just get white liberals to live their values,” Hannah-Jones said, “you could have a significant amount of integration.”