Books: What Reformers Can Learn From Integrationists
Today's the day that Sarah Garland's new book, Divided We Fail: The Story of an African American Community That Ended the Era of School Desegregation, finally comes out in bookstores. Get it.
Despite the title, Garland doesn't consider the book anti-desegregation. "I found [desegregation], in the end, still to be a very compelling idea, and argue integrated schools are essential for a successful future. It's the way it was implemented that was often problematic. "
Garland also finds much to compare between deseg efforts and the current reform movement: "As the era of desegregation ended, black communities across the nation were once again facing unilateral school closings and mass firings of black teachers. Many felt disenfranchised, and wondered whether reformers cared about their own vision for their children’s education. Some took to the streets in protest. Others filed lawsuits."
Garland writes for the Hechinger Report and was a Spencer Fellow, too. She grew up in Louisville and experienced school integration efforts there herself, which is more than most education journalists can say about the topics they cover.