Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled certain types of racial integration unconstitutional. An article in Sunday's New York Times Magazine, "The Next Kind of Integration," looks at how some schools are adjusting to a class-based system of integration. The story is full of powerful data and information on how integration impacts kids from both low-income and middle class families.
"If Congress were to revise No Child Left Behind to encourage more transfers of poor students to middle-class schools, would poor students drag down their better-off peers? In the end, the prospects of class-based integration will probably rise or fall on the answer to this question. Socioeconomic integration may be good for the have-nots, but if the haves think their kids are paying too great a price, they will kill it off at the polls. Richard Kahlenberg argues that the key is to ensure there is a solidly middle-class majority at as many schools as possible. That majority will then set the tone, he argues. Kahlenberg says that more research is needed to pin down the percentage of middle-class kids that a school needs to have to serve all its students well. Maybe a school can go as high as 50 percent low-income without losing ground."
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