Commentary, Education

The one report about North Carolina public policy that you must read this week

In case you missed it on Friday or only skimmed the headline, you really owe it to yourself to read through education policy analyst Kris Nordstrom’s new, excellent and very important report on school segregation in North Carolina, “Stymied by Segregation: How Integration Can Transform North Carolina Schools and the Lives of Its Students.”

With just a modest investment of time, you’ll get an excellent grasp of:

  • the history of segregation and desegregation in North Carolina,
  • the negative impacts of segregation,
  • the benefits of integration,
  • a damning assessment of what’s been taking place in recent years, and
  • a series of highly practical recommendations for federal and state education leaders, school district leaders, charter and public school leaders and parents and community leaders as to what they should do next.

Here’s the excellent conclusion:

“The benefits of integrated schools are numerous. Integrated schools lift the performance Black and Lantinx students, as well as students from low-income families. Higher-income and white students attending integrated schools become less prejudiced and enhance their capacity for working with others. In short, all students, and society at large, benefit from an integrated school system that improves all students’ opportunities for success.

The data in this report clearly demonstrate that leaders at all levels of society can do more to create an inclusive, integrated system of public schools. The state’s public schools are becoming increasingly segregated by income, and while the trends in racial school segregation in North Carolina are mixed, the overall level of racial segregation remains far too high.

The good news is that integrating our schools is an incredibly low-cost proposition. North Carolina could create a much fairer, inclusive, and integrated system of schools by spending just slightly more on student transportation and demonstrating a modicum of political will. In the end, failure to integrate schools is the much more expensive proposition—financially and morally.”

Click here to read the entire report. You won’t regret it.

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