Discussing Brown v. Board on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry
Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, segregation remains in some public schools. ProPublica’s Nikole Hannah-Jones, The Advancement Project’s Judith Browne Dianis, Julian Vasquez Helig from the Educational Policy and Planning Program at the University of Texas, The Century Foundation’s Halley Potter and MSNBC.com’s Trymaine Lee join Melissa Harris-Perry to discuss.
The first segment of the show What’s causing racial segregation in schools? was based ProPublica’s Nikole Hannah-Jones piece on the purposeful and recent resegregation of Tuscaloosa’s schools from the view of city residents. You can read the entire ProPublica article here.
See the YouTube video below for the first segment of the show.
My comment in the first segment at about 6:15 was based on our research on triple segregation of immigrant students in Texas that we conducted last year that I discussed in the posts Expansive School Segregation in Texas: Predicts Accountability Rating and Breaking News: School Segregation Study Strikes A Nerve
The second segment on the MHP show was 60 years after Brown v. Board, inequality in America’s birthplace grows. Trymaine Lee wrote:
In the six decades since the Supreme Court found that segregated schools were unconstitutional and inherently unequal in the landmark 1954 ruling of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, classrooms in many of America’s hometowns have undoubtedly grown diverse in previously unthinkable ways. The white and colored-only signs that had been affixed above water fountains and public accommodations have long since been knocked down. Black and white professional athletes play alongside one another. And a country that had once barred African-Americans from voting elected a black man as president. But while the Supreme Court’s striking of school segregation changed the social and political dynamics of schooling America’s children, it’s arguable that 60 years later, students in public schools in all corners of the country are more segregated now than they were a generation ago – in some cases, more so than when the court decided Brown.
Click on photo below to run the video
My comment in the second segment of MHP referenced my interviews with students begins at 4:14. I discussed that students are well aware that the United States has purposefully structured the school system to benefit the rich while under-resourcing minority-serving schools.
The third and final segment of MHP’s Segregation Nation discussed:
Public school closings in Chicago, New Orleans and New Jersey are subjects of federal complaints filed this week that claim because African American students are disproportionately impacted, the closings violate the Civil Rights Act.
Click photo below for the video
My comment begins at about 4:48 and focused on how what we used to call discrimination is now being framed as Civil Rights. My main point was that we used to discuss the fact that tests were racially discriminatory due to their design and purposefully sorted students into ability tracks. Decades ago, the disparate impact of high-stakes tests on minority students was even challenged in Debra P v. Turlington at the US Supreme Court. The courts told us at the time that high-stakes test would “eradicate” racism (more on this in a post later in the week). Now we talk about tests not as purposeful discrimination and sorting of students, but that the “achievement gap” is a Civil Rights issue (See the post Walking Away From High Stakes Tests, A Noble Lie). The purposeful sorting and discriminatory design has been pushed to the side by “reformers.” Vouchers of course came to prominence after Brown so that Whites in the South could with “all deliberate slowness” resist integration of schools, now we are calling vouchers Civil Rights. We know from data and the predominance of the peer reviewed research literature that charters, on average, are more segregated and perform worse than traditional public schools. In the past we would have called that discriminatory, now we call charters Civil Rights. And finally, Teach For America, which sends uncertified teachers with only five weeks of training to temporarily teach poor whites and minorities in our toughest schools… we are now calling that Civil Rights too.
For all of Cloaking Inequity’s posts on segregation click here.
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Click here Cloaking Inequity’s posts on segregation