This Atlantic article by George Joseph explores the way to make more equalized public schools across D.C. (and look at that, none of Betsy Devos’s choices actually work). Joseph explore something we’ve been exploring all semester: housing. It turns out that a lot of the education is segregated because the housing near the schools is largely segregated (surprise, surprise).
As it turns out, charter and private school vouchers actually statistically encourage segregation because while the vouchers cover some cost, many African American families in D.C. still can’t afford the additional costs that come with a private or charter school (think books, uniforms, or transportation).
Gary Orfield, another collaborator and expert on these studies states “To achieving lasting diversity, you need to have recruitment across racial and ethnic lines, free transportation, a strongly appealing and distinctive curriculum, admission to all groups of students, integrated faculties, etc.” These are things largely not offered at charter schools (or often even at public schools).
I think Orfield and Joseph bring a new rhetoric to the table. People rarely discuss the interconnection of cities, yet we see it again and again. I think this says something about our politics (why do more people not inform themselves on education?) and the human want to simplify topics by categorizing problems. But all in all we have to remember, a mountain (of issues with city life)is formed by more than a single stone.