Economic School Integration Update
by Richard Kahlenberg
Yesterday, Matt Yglesias at the Center for American Progress and I sparred about whether socioeconomic school integration could in fact work on a widespread level. Yglesias supports the idea of integrating schools but thinks there are important demographic limitations to making the idea work. (His post is here; my response is here).
Last night, Yglesias responded to my response by suggesting there wasn’t much of a disagreement, which I find odd. I read him as suggesting that socioeconomic integration, to be successful, requires that low-income students be given a chance to attend schools that are 20% low-income or below, which is “literally impossible” given that roughly 40% of students are low-income nationwide. My reading of the evidence is that students will usually benefit from moving from a 50%-100% low-income school to one that is below 50%.
I think that’s a big difference.