Re: Follow-up Thought About Segregated Schools

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I am white parents
But is you learning?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 5:52 AM
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Stupidity being intended to cover people who on some level sincerely believe that the presence of a substantial number of minority kids in a school is evidence that the school is bad enough that going there would be an injury to their own children

This might not be stupid in the sense of wrong. Even if there is evidence that, ceteris paribus, going to integrated schools is better, in the real world ceteris aren't paribus. It's not a ludicrous assumption that schools with lots of minority kids will be worse - not because having minority kids makes a school worse, but because it will be worse funded and worse resourced.

It's like "which of these streets do you think will have more litter and grafitti and broken windows? This one, which has mostly rich white people living on it, or this one, which has mostly poor black people?" Saying "the second one" doesn't mean you're a racist who thinks black people drop litter and vandalise buildings. It means you've been paying attention to the world you live in and you've noticed that rich people get more than their fair share of public resources.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 5:58 AM
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2: Self-fulfilling prophecy. Remember the property tax funding structure - the lack of resources is a direct result of the flight / lack of support by "well-meaning" families like this.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 6:06 AM
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Here's the solution that I came up with last night: The (future progressive Supreme Court?) must legislate that schools (within a district? a state?) must have equality of outcomes. Then the schools can either dump massive resources into the poor schools with high needs kids, or they can shuffle around the populations until the rich kids are well-distributed. Also the court opinion must refer to private schools as a tax on racist people. And also the red states have to throw out their state legislatures.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 6:33 AM
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I know I always say this, but it strikes me as so telling that the specific school system overturned in Brown v. Board of Ed was one where there was only partial segregation and a racially integrated high school where white students who'd had resources throughout their educational careers and black students who'd been deprived throughout were supposedly meant to function as equals except conveniently this meant the average white kids came out ahead. I don't mean to break the analogy ban because I think we have the exact same system today, just implemented differently.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 6:37 AM
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...that schools (within a district? a state?) must have equality of outcomes.

Is that more or less likely to be gamed than equality of resources? And more or less likely to actually be legislated?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 6:37 AM
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6: Gamed? Why would anyone want to game this? Doesn't everyone want all kids to get a good education and be successful?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 6:43 AM
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Actually I guess the question is how do we get all the academic consulting charlatans on board with this? How can we make it work so their cronies get rich? That would solve the problem, and they'll spin the solution anyway.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 6:47 AM
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Is that more or less likely to be gamed than equality of resources? And more or less likely to actually be legislated?

It would never ever happen because your outcome at the end of high school reflects the worth of the person and that's how we verify that dumb and lazy kids were dumb and lazy all along. If you mandate leveling the exit field, then you're practically giving away Cadillacs to future grifters. (The poor kind, not the rich kind.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 6:53 AM
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2: Certainly, #notallwhiteparents. No one's required by their support for integrated schools to send their kid to a school that's actually going to harm the kid, and you can't tell without knowing the details of the individual schools involved when a school is that bad.

But anecdotally, looking at decisions people I know have made, and structurally (i.e., stories like those in the article linked below, where white parents exert political pressure to get poor and minority kids zoned out of previously integrated schools), there are a lot of white parents making those decisions for bad reasons.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 6:53 AM
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must have equality of outcomes
Your average state republican will achieve this by making everyone illiterate. Gilead ahoy.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 6:53 AM
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11 Advantage: No one to read Trump's tweets!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 6:58 AM
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12: Sadly it probably wouldn't be total illiteracy. Literate enough to read a McDonalds menu and Trump's tweets and that's about all.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:00 AM
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Using the analogy ban to forbid comparisons to other examples of the exact same problem would be some Scalia-level bullshit.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:10 AM
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I feel like you can navigate the McDonald's menu strictly using the icons.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:15 AM
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15: One of the girls has a relative who needs pictures on menus and I try to make choices that are subtle about this so it's not a big deal for the relative or all that noticeable to the girls, who might be rude. I am sure this is something that restaurants think about, but I've never heard it discussed openly. (Bob Evans, for instance, is a good choice in general but the pictures don't show all the options for sides.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:20 AM
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I'm not sure that as a rule minority parents necessarily want integrated schools per se -- they want good schools. Eg there's a very good public school near me that's 85% black -- in that case, it's wealthier black parents doing what they can to keep it heavily black and not Latino (white's not really an option). And there are good heavily Latino schools thay are near-100% Latino amd attract Latino parents. My view is that parents generally favor (even of slightly) schools that are (a) good (b) filled with some combo of kids that look a lot like their kids, in that order. Of course because of systematic racism and the class structure of the US many heavily minority schools are not at all "good" but the constituency for integrated schools per se for the sake of being integrated is pretty small, among basically all groups.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:27 AM
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17 is a good perspective, from one of the few parts of the country where "racial minority school" is not in fact synonymous with "poverty-stricken school".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:34 AM
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I mean, we're pretty much boned on this so long as school district funding is coming from approximately the municipality level, right? Funding needs to be distributed equitably at the county or better yet the state level.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:37 AM
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That last is a little weird inside big city school systems. I mean, NYC is one system; there shouldn't, organically, be any inequities of funding. And yet somehow it looks as if there are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:38 AM
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I thought - per the current court case - that the major causes of inequities within a district were that salaries are exempt, and experienced teachers get paid a lot more, and discrepancies in donations and PTA funding.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:43 AM
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17: I think you're right that there is a constituency for good segregated schools, even among minority parents. I think it's very hard to create and maintain schools like that, and that the constituency for them is largely created by the unpleasant dynamic I identified in the post -- to create an integrated school, you really do end up having to evade/persuade/cater to white parents with bad reasons for wanting their kids in a segregated school, and that's an unpleasant position to be in.

It's not that white kids are magic. But the societal correlation between race and poverty is strong enough that it's going to be hard to have a highly segregated school racially that's not also a concentration of poverty. And school systems seem to reliably screw over segregated minority schools even when they're functional; white kids in the school aren't educationally magic, but they seem to function very usefully as human shields against institutional racism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:45 AM
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21: Yeah, all that. When donations are used to fund things that are actually necessary for the school to function, the fact that governmental funding might be equal doesn't make the schools equal. Really, people should only be allowed to raise money for the school system generally rather than for their local school.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:47 AM
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I'm realizing that equality of resources, while necessary, is not sufficient either, because California now has it, more or less, with bump-ups for schools with various reasons for extra need, and poverty and safety and support and all those things still result in a hugely disparate system. Next, I imagine, is getting the basic per-student amount up to something actually adequate, but structural racism pervades in a thousand ways.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 7:55 AM
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8 is sort of brilliantly, cynically neoliberal. We just need to align the profit motives of the grifters who are destroying the public school system with the motives of larger society.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:01 AM
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Yeah, I go back and forth on whether the best and most practical way forward is intense integration because you need white faces to keep the dollars flowing, or whether the model should be "for whatever your marginalized group, your own Georgetown." The real answer is that we probably need both and also that these issues are highly localized -- good but segregated minority schools are differently obtainable or valuable in different areas.

As always the real answer is to make poor people less poor and racist people less racist, but figuring that part out isn't easy


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:02 AM
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Yeah, like trying to get back the old Tammany Hall style corruption, where the public was getting robbed blind but at least you got paved streets and a pretty courthouse out of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:03 AM
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I'm realizing that equality of resources, while necessary, is not sufficient either, because California now has it, more or less, with bump-ups for schools with various reasons for extra need, and poverty and safety and support and all those things still result in a hugely disparate system.

Which is why the problem is poverty and not actually the schools. The schools are just a proxy war because everyone loves meddling and micromanaging the schools, and doing anything that actually deals with the scope of the problem of poverty is politically toxic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:04 AM
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8 is sort of brilliantly, cynically neoliberal. We just need to align the profit motives of the grifters who are destroying the public school system with the motives of larger society.

Did you just reinvent capitalism?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:05 AM
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No, she disrupted capitalism.

How is it this thread is now more depressing than the one about the 49 people getting shot dead?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:08 AM
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Which is why the problem is poverty and not actually the schools.

School resources aren't nothing, but yes.

It's always frustrating at a local level because the locus for big redistributive policy that might do something about this is the national level. Here in Oaktown, the prevailing leftiness makes that observation a get-out-of-responsibility-free card for politicians.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:09 AM
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28: Well, it's poverty, but it is also the schools.

If you could wave a wand and make all the schools in the US as racially and economically integrated as practically possible given the currently existing geographical constraints (not counting political boundaries as constraints, just travel time to schools), that wouldn't fix anything about poverty or residential segregation, but it would still make a huge positive difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:09 AM
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30: Because that thread somehow got hijacked into talking about the historical development of regional US rail networks. Because Unfogged.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:12 AM
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30: I'm very good at what I do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:12 AM
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21: Yeah, all that. When donations are used to fund things that are actually necessary for the school to function, the fact that governmental funding might be equal doesn't make the schools equal. Really, people should only be allowed to raise money for the school system generally rather than for their local school.

But even with that, what is the "school system generally"? The county school system? The state? Not the school district. In most places a single school district is not going to include both very wealthy areas and very poor areas, like NYC. There's 500 school districts in Pennsylvania. I would guess most have one high school.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:15 AM
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This doesn't get me to any policy ideas, or solutions

It's hopeless. My kids go to terrific public schools that are majority minority solely because the other white people send their kids elsewhere. (The very expensive nearby Catholic school is the chief alternative. I am, myself, a product of Catholic school, and I promise you, my kids will never attend one.)

I take ajay's point in 2, but I'll add that this concern is frequently overblown - indeed, constantly overblown where I live. The local integrated high school, for instance, has test scores that are significantly lower than those of Lily-White Neighboring District High, but it turns out that the white kids perform the same in both schools. White privilege is durable.

It's all win-win for me. I get to be a sanctimonious liberal while sacrificing nothing.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:15 AM
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If you could wave a wand and make all the schools in the US as racially and economically integrated as practically possible given the currently existing geographical constraints (not counting political boundaries as constraints, just travel time to schools), that wouldn't fix anything about poverty or residential segregation, but it would still make a huge positive difference.

Well yes, but it's also possible that the only way to equalize the schools is to address the underlying poverty. As in, it's possible that we currently have (many, not all) excellent schools serving very poor students and getting measured on milestones they can't possibly achieve.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:15 AM
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And in fact, both 36 and 37 describe our local school system as well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:17 AM
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It's all win-win for me. I get to be a sanctimonious liberal while sacrificing nothing.

Yeah. I'm smug about my kids' majority/minority schools, but literally the only thing I have to be smug about is having failed to cut off my nose to spite my face.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:19 AM
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35: Right. What I'm talking about is literally a big deal in NYC and other big-city systems (which means that it's a big deal for a fairly large percentage of students nationally, of course), but doesn't work at all the same way in areas where the school districts are the level at which the segregation happens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:21 AM
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29: I kind of think that the flaw in neoliberalism isn't the too-pure-for-this-earth critique that profit motive is involved, but that it's just displaced central planning: you still have (ideally) technocrats* identifying the preferred societal output, and then trying to create mechanisms to make the market produce them. IMO you need to distinguish between public goods, that are provided directly by gov't through progressive taxation, and, whatever you'd call the other kind (regulated goods?), where tax policy + regulation push the market in a desired direction.

To pick an easy example, we don't know how to make the market provide generous retirement benefits, but doing it through Social Security is dead easy (as a practical matter, if not a political one). On the flip side, I know not everyone here agrees on this, but a carbon tax/cap & trade is going to be a lot more effective than identifying every source of carbon in the economy and incentivizing this one while punishing that, etc. Wages are a middle case, with gov't providing a floor and the market (with strong labor) doing the rest; assigning wage rates for each job in the economy would be madness, and only slightly less mad would be trying to incentivize firms to pay rates in a certain way (beyond confiscatory taxes at the top to push the money downwards).

*as opposed to mindless ideologues


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:21 AM
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I strongly suspect the dynamic plays out very differently in more-racist vs. less-racist regions of the country. When a majority of your fellow citizens are open racists,* things get ugly.

*Not that they would personally frame it that way, of course.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:27 AM
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22 relates to a point TNC raises all the time, which is that whites self-segregate by class in a way that blacks generally don't/can't: a UMC white may literally not know socially a single poor person, whereas blacks who can say the same hardly exist.

Point being that, with very very few exceptions, an all-black* school will have economic diversity absent from a plurality of all-white* schools. Which seems relevant somehow.

*in both cases, obviously meaning "nearly-all-". My sense is that most all-white schools are going to tend towards economic homogeneity, John Hughes movies aside.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:27 AM
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30: I'm very good at what I do.

Yes, Logan.

I'll add that this concern is frequently overblown - indeed, constantly overblown where I live.

I don't have much of a sense of the politics around school segregation (having gone to school in an overwhelmingly white district), but if we're talking about people's irrationality about schools, should we also talk about the fact that people consistently talk about US schools as if their getting worse and on the verge of failure, and that just isn't true. I wonder if people would feel less anxiety and be more open to changes in the schools if they believed that schools were doing fairly well overall.

it turns out that the white kids perform the same in both schools. White privilege is durable.

I will, again, link to Kevin Drum quoting M. Night Shyamalan:

And what's interesting is, we always think about Finland, right? Well, Finland, obviously, is mainly white kids, right? They teach their white kids really well. But guess what, we teach our white kids even better. We beat everyone. Our white kids are getting taught the best public-school education on the planet. Those are the facts.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:31 AM
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Point being that, with very very few exceptions, an all-black* school will have economic diversity absent from a plurality of all-white* schools.

I think this is true for segregated all-black schools with any substantial number of middle-class students, but that it is probably not hard to find concentrations of poverty intense enough to fill a segregated school with students who are also all poor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:32 AM
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*in both cases, obviously meaning "nearly-all-". My sense is that most all-white schools are going to tend towards economic homogeneity, John Hughes movies aside.

My all-white public schools were pretty economically diverse. It was a small town, not a suburb. The rich were less afraid to send their kids there because the poor kids were also white.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:33 AM
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but if we're talking about people's irrationality about schools, should we also talk about the fact that people consistently talk about US schools as if their getting worse and on the verge of failure, and that just isn't true. I wonder if people would feel less anxiety and be more open to changes in the schools if they believed that schools were doing fairly well overall.

Yes! That is a huge, huge issue. It makes white people feel justified in the racist decisionmaking I'm complaining about, and it's also the driving force behind the education-reform grifters. If US public schools are a terrifying mess, generally, then we have to give lots of money to anyone who says they can fix anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:35 AM
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Here's (maybe) an interesting question about this dynamic: which comes first, status anxiety about the kids, or racism?

That is: as I've mentioned many times before, my HS GF went to a different HS, one that was always listed as one of the top ones in the state. That HS, as was mine, was effectively all-white. Theirs was a distinct, but small, step up socio-economically*, but broadly comparable in terms of facilities. resources, etc. Anyway, I'm not at all convinced one whit that anybody got a better education at hers vs. mine. However, one was clearly supposed to be superior, and countless home purchases were driven by this supposed disparity.

So this is the same dynamic described in the OP, but without race, and without strong class markers. So were all the parents who had to send Heather to one RHS over the other borrowing that sort of anxiety from America's racial school dynamic, or is that truly a universal?

I mean, it's obviously universal on some level; it's probably inherent to the species. But the specific dynamic, where it's an unthinking, unexamined assumption that obviously you should send your kid to one school and not the other, feels so familiar, like Americans are just trained to make that assumption, whether race is involved or not.

*I'd bet that the top 30% of each school were roughly indistinguishable on wealth/income, but that the bottom 70% diverged significantly, with bottom 10-20% of our school below just about anyone at theirs


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:37 AM
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To be fair, the education-reform grifters are not trying to radically reform the white schools. Except by introducing lots of new standardized tests.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:38 AM
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41: I am also not opposed to using the profit motive in theory, although I get skeptical in practice. I agree with it being quasi-central planning, but hopefully they would need to be less wise than they'd need to be to implement real central planning well.

And yes, with rampant racism, it's all pretty much GIGO unless we get some amazing structural reforms. Unified districts are necessary but, as LB says, not sufficient.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:39 AM
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45: Oh yeah, duh, I thought that but didn't say it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:45 AM
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people who on some level sincerely believe that the presence of a substantial number of minority kids in a school is evidence that the school is bad enough that going there would be an injury to their own children. It's hard to judge someone who's just trying to protect their own children on the basis of their sincere beliefs about the world, right?

As written, nothing to disagree with. But I think this elides something important-- schools exist which have bad staff (indifferent or hostile to kids that need any kind of attention) and schools exist which have many bad students (physical attacks at the extreme, disruptive to other kids' learning more typically). Trying to keep a kid out of a school that has either problem does not necessarily imply racism or stupidity.

In both my US experience and my kids' experience, there are good public socioeconomically and racially integrated schools in the district. There are also a few schools that are just a whole lot worse. I don't have a solution for how to make those better quickly, but those schools are part of the problem. Resources play into it, and changing funding so that say Baltimore PS could get some of someone else's local taxes would be great.

I guess I'm pushing back at the idea that all white parents are horrible-- the integrated schools that work well seem to me like places that are genuinely positive about diversity. Kids play with each other, parents talk to each other (at least when the kids are younger). I agree that the aggregate parent behavior that includes racism and status anxiety is pretty bad, and the workarounds are depressing. But in fact, I see schools that seem positive as well as schools that seem pretty broken for two generations now. Maybe NYC is different.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:48 AM
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It was a small town, not a suburb.

Yeah, this is part of why I chose "plurality", although even then with some doubts. I guess I don't have a good sense of how many places have A. a single HS, B. the gamut of SES, and C. almost no white people. I think that's rare in the suburbs, but no clear sense about small towns and rural areas. I imagine--and it is uninformed imagination--that the HS in central NE where kids ride the bus 45 minutes from remote farms has few, if any kids of the 1%. Like, maybe one actual percent, which isn't real diversity, just tokenism in the other direction.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:50 AM
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schools exist which have bad staff (indifferent or hostile to kids that need any kind of attention) and schools exist which have many bad students (physical attacks at the extreme, disruptive to other kids' learning more typically). Trying to keep a kid out of a school that has either problem does not necessarily imply racism or stupidity.

This is true, but as with the point raised in 44 (and echoed in 48), it's linked to the fact that parents are terrible decision-makers about schools, and tend to rely on hermeneutics having to do with class and race, which exacerbate problems because (full circle!) incentives are wrong. That is, if there are 3 mostly-black schools in part of a district, the odds are that at least one of them is performing well enough that most white kids would suffer no loss form attending. That school, and its teachers and administrators, should be "rewarded" with an influx of white kids bearing funding, but instead the white parents will avoid all three like the plague.

Or, as one of my professors taught, "The problem with studying rational decision-making in [education] is that humans are not rational decision-makers."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 8:56 AM
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Oops, just read ajay's 2. Nice choice of quote material there.

One more polyanna remark-- about three months ago, my workplace email discussion alias (mostly PhDs or programmers, lots of recent immigrants) had a vigorous discussion about choosing high schools on the basis of aggregate test score. There was a fairly broad consensus for looking beyond mean test scores, which in practice means consensus for choosing integration.

Status anxiety is really expensive and pretty unpleasant, I don't believe that it is an inevitable outcome.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 9:03 AM
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That school, and its teachers and administrators, should be "rewarded" with an influx of white kids bearing funding, but instead the white parents will avoid all three like the plague.

There are counterexamples both in the place I grew up (Evanston) and where I live now, where the positive outcome has actually happened. Where I live now, majority minority means central american with some african american, with not much by way of gangs as far as I can tell.

Maybe both are exceptional fringe cases that require some hard-to-duplicate magic; perhaps I personally am unknowingly one of the seven pillars of wisdom and radiate good karma for others in this life.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 9:11 AM
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Well, certainly there are counterexamples -- as I drone on about endlessly and irritatingly, the schools my kids go to are some. (I think? They look genuinely integrated, rather than the sort of carefully managed unthreatening diversity Hannah-Jones was reasonably complaining about, to me. But possibly I'm wrong about that.) But the amount of highly segregated schools out there suggests that yeah, the counterexamples are unusual.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 9:22 AM
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Status anxiety is really expensive and pretty unpleasant,

I constantly marvel at this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 9:24 AM
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At the risk of derailing, there's apparently a fringe Jewish tradition that there are actually 36 rather than 7 hidden righteous ones.

Can anyone address how flaky is taking the existence of lamedvavniks half-seriously to practicing jews? Minimizing mysticism, it's a metaphor praising humility and good works.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 9:39 AM
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Practicing jews makes perfect jews.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 9:49 AM
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I was wondering about chiming in with an anecdote - my experience as a parent (whose kids are about to start their own families) - when I saw lw @ 56.

My kids' first school was in Evanston. They were so young at the time, and we had no expectation of remaining as long as we did, that we paid no attention to schools in our housing decision. Three years later, our oldest was ready for kindergarten. The neighborhood school was 75% black, & 55% on subsidized meals. Junior faculty at Northwestern who lived in Chicago were privately advised to skip over Evanston entirely when they bought a house, and move at least up to Wilmette, because of "the schools". The neighborhood school remains in our memory as the best that our kids went to.

The principal was one of two black women principals in Evanston's schools; I don't understand much about leadership or exactly what principals do, but whatever it is, she was on top of it; the school was phenomenal and my kids gained a lot and did not suffer at all for going there (my neighbor had 3 older kids all of whom went to that school and graduated from ETHS, and the 2 who were academically inclined went to elite private universities). There were about 50 white UMC families in the school, and almost all of us were passionately in love with the school. SFAIC tell, if only for political purposes, the principal catered to us; I heard critical comments of her only from a few black parents.

The school began to decline when the school board forced the principal to retire and replaced her with a white man who had plenty of central school board administrative experience but little or no in-school experience: it did this as part of an effort to attract white parents and change the reputation of the school as too-black. We moved from Chicagoland a couple of years after this change, and I don't know what has happened to Evanston schools.

Anyway, it is a complicated problem. I re-engaged politically because with the relatively high concentration of poverty - there was pretty much a class gradient as you moved from south to north in Evanston -- the schools on the south side should have gotten more resources/student. The school board was big on (ineffectual) ways to encourage integration but was never willing to worry about that land on just focus more resources where they were needed.


Posted by: marcel proust | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 9:59 AM
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At the bottom of 61, "land" s/b "and"


Posted by: marcel proust | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 10:01 AM
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Just catching up on the thread, but this has been on my mind lately, even though it's a couple years down the road. Options here are:
a) majority-Hispanic public school; white kids overwhelmingly Mormon (risk of social isolation for non-LDS kids.)
b) public charter school which is de facto private school for faculty brats
c) private Catholic school.

None of the options are stellar. Good educations can be had at all of them, and I'm not too worried as the kids can always do early college courses if they outpace high school. Leaning a) at the moment.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 10:23 AM
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Status anxiety is why I could never really live on the East Coast, or at least much of the Mid-Atlantic seaboard. Going to college there, I realized there was the fundamental premise that the goal in one's life should be to be a hedge fund manager or corporate lawyer at the right firm, and afford all the material possessions to broadcast your success to everyone else. Life was this narrow track to a narrow idea of success where any misstep could permanently derail oneself towards a life of misery and self loathing in the lower middle class. From birth onwards, the wrong stroller could set off a chain of events that led one to attending Tufts or (gasp) UMass instead of Harvard, and thus ruining one's life. Even people who actively rejected the system still seemed to be immersed in the system where status, wealth, and power were the default purposes of life. Everyone was judging everyone else and trying to suss out where they stood in subtle ways, and it was depressing and exhausting in a way I haven't experienced until I moved to rural China, which was psychologically exhausting in a different-but-not-totally unrelated way.

Growing up around hippies, the idea was that life itself was an unpredictable series of experiences, and you never knew where something would take you. There was always time to live in a yurt somewhere for a few years and contemplate the meaning of life before getting a career, and white and blue collar jobs were interchangeable. You could work in a cannery for a few years and then become an electrical engineer, only to leave it and subsistence farm in your cob house. There was no need to be anxious about something, because you could get to a destination through a million different paths. There were endless chances to remake yourself or start over. This isn't as true as it used to be, but I think it's still far more true than the first idea, where your life is set on a trajectory at age 2, and one can only fall off but never get back on.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 10:29 AM
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61. Oakton, Dawes, Central, or Washington? Southside represent, as the kids say. I think my life and the town would be quite different if there had been two high schools.

where your life is set on a trajectory at age 2, before birth and one can only fall off but never get back on.
Buttercup, have you met religion at all?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 11:52 AM
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65

Only the "God in his infinite grace forgives all sins" type. We actually learned how to sign 'kumbaya' in ASL in Sunday school. So...no.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 12:26 PM
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It's possible that 64.1 doesn't describe every (white) community on the Mid-Atlantic seaboard.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 12:27 PM
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68

Delaware seems very relaxed by the sea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 12:30 PM
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I can see the ocean from my window. That's how dedicated I am to researching this question.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 12:32 PM
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65: Oakton under Clare (sp?) Pate.

(I thought I posted this about 10 min. ago, but don't see it).


Posted by: marcel proust | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 12:38 PM
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68: Oh hey, while you're there, would you mind incorporating some stuff for me?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 1:20 PM
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I'm incorporating crab cakes into my colon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 2:34 PM
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68: Well, they do refer to the southern half of that state as "lower, slower."


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 4:05 PM
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Hey, same as that part if the colon.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 4:44 PM
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The waitress was talking about her five-year-old son's scratch ticket habit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-14-16 5:33 PM
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Posted by: Maanikamili | Link to this comment | 06-15-16 5:50 AM
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Periodically, comically for young people in matching red swimsuits run up the beach. I assume this is David Hasselhauf cosplay.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-15-16 7:34 AM
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It may not generalize, but 64.1 certainly captures the worldview I acquired growing up in [very UMC suburb of Boston]. Obviously culture and worldviews are never so monolithic or mechanically transmitted, but boy howdy did it fuck me up. On the other hand, my older sister is far more emotionally well-adjusted while also being a very successful scientist.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-15-16 8:17 AM
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That's a really rare combination in my experience.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-15-16 8:20 AM
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Horseshoe crabs aren't endangered, are they? Some people are "rescuing" one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-15-16 8:23 AM
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Exit, seaward, minus a bit of fishing net.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-15-16 8:28 AM
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It is really a great and useful piece of info. I'm glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.


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I know you're just a spammer, Obat Tuba Falopi, but you've the best pseud I've seen here since Wry Cooter.*

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Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-25-17 1:44 AM
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I know you're just a spammer, Obat Tuba Falopi, but you've the best pseud I've seen here since Wry Cooter.*

*Which is still available, should anyone want it.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-25-17 1:44 AM
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Total band name, no?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-25-17 4:06 AM
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