Divided by Design: Race, Neighborhoods, Wealth and Schools

Have You Heard sits down with Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: The Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. It’s a ground-breaking, mind-changing book, and you should read it, but in the meantime, we’ve helpfully distilled Rothstein’s 10 years of work down to 30+ minutes. He blows up the myth that our segregated cities and neighborhoods—and by extension our schools—are the product of millions of private choices. The legacy of the segregation created by federal housing policy remains with us today in the form of a stark racial wealth gap and what Rothstein describes as a “caste system.” And he has little patience for arguments that school choice is the solution to cities and neighborhoods segregated by design. “We’re not going to solve this problem by choosing schools were going to solve this problem by enforcing the neighborhood school concept in integrated neighborhoods.” Full transcript here.

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3 Comments

  1. “We’re not going to solve this problem by choosing schools were going to solve this problem by enforcing the neighborhood school concept in integrated neighborhoods.”

    I think the big problem with enforcing the neighborhood school concept in integrated neighborhoods is that neighborhoods change over time. The relatively wealthy able to outbid the relatively poor in a neighborhood, changing it from an “integrated” neighborhood to a segregated high SES neighborhood. This happened in catchment areas of PS8 and PS321 in Brooklyn. You can see this in my little college town, where the school board effort to balance the SES status of students at the two high schools has been subverted by parents in the community buying into the catchment district that they prefer.

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  2. Hi! I want buy paper version of Richard Rothstein’s book because I don’t like read e-books or listen audio. Is it possible? Where can I do it? I big fan mind-changing literature and I hope, that this book replenish my bookshelf. Anyway, I will write review on my blog https://thesispanda.com/blog.

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