Debate Over Diversity

Racial separation in public elementary and secondary schools is at levels not seen since the 1960s. Meanwhile, progress for nonwhite students has slowed after rapid gains during the 1970s and 1980s, when schools were more integrated. Does school diversity make a difference in outcomes for students? Are the benefits of integrated schools worth the trade-offs? The Hechinger Report has partnered with The Atlantic in several stories that look at the debates over racial diversity and integration at the K-12 and college levels.

OPINION: Separating ‘gifted’ children hasn’t led to better achievement

The inherent dangers in telling students that their abilities are fixed

The children of children who went to desegregated schools reap benefits, too, study finds

Two generations show better outcomes from integrated schools

Say it in any language you want — Latinos need a voice in the U.S. education debate

In this photo taken May 22, 2010, Brownie Sibrian, soon to graduate from Whittier College, gives a valedictory speech at a Latino pre-graduation celebration, sponsored by the Latino…

Black math scores lag the most in segregated schools

But study finds greatest black-white achievement gaps inside the typical school, not between black and white schools

Q&A: One school’s alternative to race-based affirmative action yielding more diversity

The Supreme Court ruled in June that the nation’s courts must strictly scrutinize race-based affirmative action plans at universities and colleges, a decision that could prompt a gradual retreat from…

End of desegregation offers lessons for current education reformers

After half a century, America’s efforts to end segregation seem to be winding down. In the years after Brown v. Board of Education, 755 school districts were under desegregation orders. A…


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Will the Supreme Court strike down affirmative action in education once and for all?

In 2008, two young women with similar academic records applied to the University of Texas at Austin for spots in the freshman class. One of the women, Abigail Fisher,…

Rich kid, poor kid: How mixed neighborhoods could save America’s schools

Children at Charles Drew, a charter school in a recently integrated Atlanta neighborhood (Photo by Sarah Garland) During the half century that Theresa Cartwright has lived…

In Memphis classrooms, the ghost of segregation lingers on

Samantha Crawford, an 18-year-old high-school senior, doesn’t like to use the word “ghetto” to describe her neighborhood in the center of Memphis, Tennessee, but she can’t think of a…