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Morning Video: Elite Schools Lose Racial Diversity Under Socio-Economic Plan

Elite high schools in Chicago have become substantially less diverse under a family income-based plan designed in part by Richard Kahlenberg to replace the district's longstanding deseg consent decree five years ago. Watch the local public television segment above, or read the Chicago Sun Times story here.


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It's hard to come up with any definition of "diverse" that supports the headline and commentary here. CPS is less than ten percent white; if the top magnet schools are now rising beyond the previous 35% cap, they are gaining, not losing, diversity. In addition, Mr. Kahlenberg's plan may likely have produced greater socioeconomic diversity to pair with the increased racial diversity. Imagine the opposite: Northside College Prep (or one of the other top schools) eliminating all of its white students and being 100% wealthy blacks like the Obamas. Under what definition could that be considered a diverse school?

Mr. Kahlenberg's efforts are rightly directed in another sense, too: we will never approach Dr. King's dream of having children judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, as long as we keep dividing up and counting our populace on the basis of race.

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