School Integration: Can’t Use Race, What About Income?

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(Newsweek) — School integration has vexed policymakers for more than a half-century. The Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that schools can’t keep kids out based on race, but in 2007 it ruled that schools can’t bring kids together based on race either. After the court struck down two race-based integration schemes in Seattle and Louisville, Ky., attention turned to diversifying schools via students’ household-income levels. Economic integration, a concept first floated by early public-school crusaders like Horace Mann, is a compelling idea with intuitive appeal: reduce the preponderance of high-poverty schools by spreading poor students around.

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