Monday, October 5, 2015

Racially Integrated Schools

I'm embarrassed to say that I just now got around to listening to the This American Life episodes about the importance of racially integrating our schools called, "The Problem We All Live with" (Part One and Part Two).

Here's the synopsis:

Right now, all sorts of people are trying to rethink and reinvent education, to get poor minority kids performing as well as white kids. But there's one thing nobody tries anymore, despite lots of evidence that it works: desegregation. Nikole Hannah-Jones looks at a district that, not long ago, accidentally launched a desegregation program. First of a two-part series.

I started my career working with nearly 100% children from low-income backgrounds. At the time, I believed that the best way to bring about equity and social justice for all was to serve as many underserved children as possible. 

As I grew and evolved as an educator, however, I came to realize that homogenous schools--even high-performing ones--are a "separate but equal" strategy. And "separate but equal" can never truly be equal. 

I also realized that if we want to dismantle racism and bring about social and racial equity in our world, diverse children need to learn alongside each other. They need to learn to navigate lines of difference and to appreciate and celebrate their differences. That is why Magnolia Montessori For All is an incredibly diverse school. I feel so fortunate that my own sons get to learn from children and families that are different from our own. 

If you haven't already listened to the series (at least episode one) please do it! It's really, really good.

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