Event: Bridging the Divide: School Integration Designs

Event: Bridging the Divide: School Integration Designs


– LPI conducts and communicates independent, high quality research to improve education policy and practice. We’d like to welcome you
to Bridging the Divide, School Integration Designs. Today we’ll hear from expert policymakers, researchers, and practitioners about different integration designs that create high quality, diverse, and democratic systems of public schools with the goal of advancing access to educational opportunity. You all have printed agendas. On the flash drives, you’ll find panelist bios and LPI reports, including two new reports, The Federal Role in School Integration, Brown’s Promise and Present Challenges by Linda Darling-Hammond and Janel George, as well as Sharing the Wealth, How Regional Finance
and Desegregation Plans Can Enhance Educational Equity by John Brittain, Larkin
Willis, and Peter Cookson. We ask that you silence your cell phones as the program will be recorded, and the hashtag for today’s event is diversity, equity, access. It is now my pleasure to introduce Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, the president and CEO of the
Learning Policy Institute. (audience applauding) – Wow, what a crowd, and before nine o’clock. I’m really impressed. (laughing) I’m really impressed. Really I’m going to kick us off by, with great pleasure and privilege, to introduce Congressman Bobby Scott, whose life just became much busier again in recent months. Congressman Scott is the chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor. He is serving his 14th term representing the citizens of Virginia’s
third congressional district. Prior to serving in Congress, he was in the Virginia House of Delegates and in the Senate of Virginia. In 2015 he was one of the
four primary negotiators of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and his intellectual stamp is on many, many parts of this bill, which has really in many
parts of the country created sort of a new framework for approaching the state
responsibility in education, and embedded in the act, which is a surprise to many people, are many things that
I call equity nuggets. There are all kinds of pieces, and I’m looking at John King who’s going to be up here in a few minutes who was responsible with
his predecessor Arne Duncan for many of these as well. The equity nuggets include ways that we ask districts to look at diversity and integration in assignments to look at the kind of money
that is being allocated to different schools and
different districts across states. There are a number of ways
by which the act begins to really make real the idea that we could enable every student to succeed by allocating
equitably resources to their education. He’s a lead sponsor of the Strength in Diversity Act of 2018, which would provide federal
funds to support state and local efforts to improve diversity and eliminate socio-economic
and racial isolation in public schools. He is active in many,
many education arenas, leading the way in which folks are approaching educational opportunity, including the National Council for Educating Black Children, for which he sort of
serves as the intellectual and spiritual leader. I could go on, but we want to hear
from Congressman Scott, and he is on a very tight time frame, so, Bobby Scott, welcome. Thank you so much. (audience applauding) – Thank you, Linda, for
your very kind introduction, and thank you for all of your work over the years on making sure that every student gets
a quality education. I want to thank the
Learning Policy Institute for hosting this conversation and also for the release of your report. I do feel a little awkward here today because of the situation I’m in. It’s kind of like the guy who survived the Johnstown flood many years ago, and he was a young child, and he liked to tell the story about how bad the flood was. Year after year after year, he’d always tell the story, and as he got older and older, there were fewer and fewer people that could actually validate the facts, and he took full advantage of it. The flood got bigger
and bigger and bigger. He finally died an old man and got to the pearly gates and said, “Saint Peter, “I want to tell the
story about this flood,” and Saint Peter said, “Yeah, we’ve been watching you tell “this story over the years. “I tell you what, “we’ll get everybody together, “and you can tell the story once, “and that’s it,” (audience laughing) and so he got everybody together, and the old man got to the podium, and just before he started speaking, Saint Peter said, “Now
when you tell the story “about how big the flood was, “remember that Noah is in the audience.” (audience laughing) So here I am introduced by Linda, and John King is sitting in the front row, and John Brittain is in the next row back, and next person I met was suing the state of New Jersey on integration, and here I am trying to tell my story about school integration, so I’ll do the best I can, but you understand the
parameters I’m working under. (laughing) I want to thank everybody for coming, and then also this report is
going to be extremely timely as we fashion legislation going forward, and I look forward to making sure that we can get as many parts of that report into actual
legislation as possible. Let me begin by just kind of a statement of principles that will guide the Committee on Education and
Labor in the 116th Congress. “Equitable education serves “as a compelling community interest, “and it is the
responsibility of government “to provide universal
high quality education “for all students,” and that’s what we’re
going to be trying to do, and if you agree with that statement, you also have to agree
it is the responsibility of government to remedy the inequalities that persist today because of the legacy of discrimination in housing, education, and economic and criminal
justice policies, and put simply, our government contributed to the racial discrimination, and so our government, local, state, and federal, all must be part of the solution. We know all too well that although many of the overtly discriminatory policies may no longer be on the books, pursuing educational equity requires us to confront the consequences of centuries of structural inequality that
permeate our institutions. Research and evidence clearly shows that racial and socio-economic integration can help close achievement gaps and increase access to quality education. During the 1970s and ’80s as
our schools grew more diverse, the K through 12 ratio
achievement gaps closed more than the 1990s, when the schools began resegregating. It’s past time for Congress to examine integration not only as a moral imperative but also as an evidence based strategy that improves teaching,
learning, and school climate. Unfortunately everybody here is aware of the Government Accountability Office, the GAO study released
about two years ago, which shows that too
many schools in America are still segregated by race and class, and that that segregation is actually getting worse by the year. Over 60 years ago, the Supreme Court struck down
lawful school segregation in the Brown v. Board of Education case. They said in that case that education is perhaps the most important function of state and local government, went on to say that in these days it is doubtful that any child
may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if
denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has
undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms, and so the court concluded that in the field of public education, the doctrine of separate
but equal has no place. Separate educational facilities
are inherently unequal. Now my home state of Virginia
was one of the states, plus the District of Columbia, who were parties to that landmark case. In fact, Virginia’s involvement in Brown v. Board of Education stood out because the original effort was led by a student, Barbara Johns. She was only 16 years of age and emerged to challenge the notion that African Americans should continue to receive separate and unequal
education under the law. She led a walk out of her high school, an all black high school designed for 180 students serving more than 450, and helped trigger a monumental step towards school desegregation. Her story is also includes
the Virginia strategy of massive resistance to the Brown v. Board of Education. Virginia apparently only noticed the part of the decision that said, “Where the state has
undertaken to provide it.” When ordered to integrate, they simply closed the schools and didn’t provide any education at all. That lasted for several years. In fact, in Prince
Edward County, Virginia, from 1959 to ’64, the schools were closed, denying almost a generation
of students their education. During that time, of course, white students were
able to get an education because they had a voucher program to fund white segregated academies, and so that those students
could get an education while the black students were left out, but as we go forward in
recommitting ourselves to fulfilling the vision
set forth in Brown, we must focus on initiatives that truly integrate our schools and ensure that all students have access to equitable education. It means ridding the
federal law of provisions that impede local efforts to integrate public schools, provisions that remind us of an ugly past, so the federal government
must provide support to local and regional leaders who want to do this work, their legislative goals captured in the Strength in Diversity Act. We’ve introduced it several times. The Strength in Diversity Act would provide public school districts with the tools needed to develop voluntary
community driven strategies for promoting racial and socio-economically diverse schools. The bill authorizes funding to support local efforts to
integrate public schools, and it supports communities
that are committed to studying the scope of their challenge and tackling these challenges with innovative, evidence based approaches to address racial isolation in schools. The Strength in Diversity
Act seeks to empower, but not force, school districts to voluntarily craft approaches
to school integration that work best for their communities, and it’s also a small investment in a much larger fight to remedy decades of purposeful action, including actions by
the federal government, that intentionally
segregated our communities and our schools to deny people of color equal opportunity. Simply put, since the
federal government had a role in creating the problem, the federal government has an obligation to help solve the problem, and remedying segregation
in public schools will not be easy. The Supreme Court has not been helpful. In fact, the Supreme Court invalidated at least two plans, one in Kentucky, one in Washington state, that were voluntary plans, and so technical assistance is important so that schools that want to do this can avoid constitutional problems. House Democrats are particularly dedicated to advancing the Strength in Diversity Act in light of the Trump
administration’s pattern of blocking school integration efforts. In fact, one of the first actions of the Secretary of Education was to eliminate the Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities
grant program proposed by the Obama administration. This was a voluntary grant program for school districts to create
locally driven strategies to increase school diversity, improve student achievement in the lowest performing schools. Unfortunately the grant program was not the only effort
of school diversity that has been eliminated in recent years. Just last month, the administration not only acted to impede integration, but this time they rescinded
the Obama era guidance that provided recommendations
to school districts on how to pursue legal and
voluntary integration efforts. While non-binding, the guidance helps school
districts take responsibilities for steps toward full integration, such as adjusting school
citing decisions and admissions to competitive K through
12 schools and programs. The administration is
also dismantling guidance involving discipline and
especially school suspensions. We know that there is racial disparities, and the guidance showed how you can reduce the disparities without
jeopardizing school safety, and that’s another one
that’s in the process of biting the dust. The effort of those actions to undermine the Supreme Court’s holding that school districts
have a compelling interest in seeking diversity and
avoiding racial isolation is the effect of those actions. School districts have
neither the federal support nor the guidance to take steps towards this important objective, and that’s now unfortunately the reality. A refusal to uphold evidence
based constitutional guidance in our school diversity and seek opportunities like
the Opening Doors program are setbacks that not
only allow our system to become more entrenched
in racial isolation, but what’s worse, the discontinuance of these initiatives
has sent a clear signal to states and local districts that the federal
government doesn’t support the hard work of racial integration. As chair of the House Committee
on Education and Labor, we’re going to try to
change that direction. We’re committed to supporting the Strength in Diversity Act and elevating other solutions to combat educational inequity. I will continue to push for
greater investment in education, greater integration of our schools, and a more thoughtful government support and oversight to promote equity, and I vow to fight to
remove longstanding vestiges of discrimination, like prohibition of using
federal funds for integration from the General Education Provisions Act. We know that many of you have joined in the efforts over the
years, successful last year, in removing a similar prohibition from the fiscal year ’19
Labor HHS Appropriations Bill. That provision prohibited
the use of federal funds for the purpose of transportation designed to reduce school segregation. That provision was actually in legislation passed by the Congress every
year up until last year, and thanks for your efforts. We finally removed that vestige of long time opposition
to school integration. Our success in that effort is a sign that the momentum has changed and that you have my
word that we’ll continue to advocate the removal of such policies. One thing we are doing is introducing the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act, which would empower
parents and communities to address racial disparities
in public education, in part by restoring a private right of action to file claims under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act when federally supported programs have disproportionate impact
on communities of color, and so I look forward to working with you as we improve
our educational system and ensure that all of our children, regardless of background, have diverse, safe, healthy, and high quality classrooms in which to learn and
reach their full potential. Thank you, and I look forward to continuing the conversation. (audience applauding) – Thank you for giving us a seed of hope and planting that as you head off to do the important work that the House of Representatives is now deeply engaged in, and we appreciate that very much. Thank you, and I am now also deeply honored to introduce Senator Chris Murphy, who is from the great
state of Connecticut. Senator Murphy is the
member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, where he’s consistently focused on advancing policies that
address educational inequity. He is the lead sponsor of the Strength in Diversity
Act on the Senate side, which is wonderful to see
it moving on both sides. He has worked hard to ensure that the Every Student Succeeds Act preserves its commitment
to student civil rights. He’s been a leader in the Senate on issues such as school discipline issues and meeting the social, emotional, and academic needs of students, another key aspect of an equity agenda, and he is in every important fight in the Senate right up
there front and center, not only in education, but especially in education, to be sure that children are protected, that they are kept safe, that they are encouraged to grow and learn in ways that will produce a better America in the long run. Senator Chris Murphy, thank you so much. (audience applauding) So appreciate you (mumbling). – Well, I thank you very much, Linda. It’s really wonderful to be here with you all just for a few minutes to help you kick off what I hope is going to be a really fantastic day. Great to be here with John and so many of friends who have taught me an enormous amount about this space during my time on the Health, Education, and Labor Committee in
the United States Senate, and I’m really looking forward to the product of your work here today. Very glad to be able to follow my friend, Bobby Scott, on stage. I want to particularly, I know he’s already moved on, but to the extent any of
his team is still here, thank him for a really important hearing that one of his subcommittees
conducted this week on a topic that is also
very near and dear to me, that is, the use of seclusion and restraints on children in schools, in particular disabled children, in particular students of color, and my hope is that legislation that he and I have been working
on together for years in order to put some
guard rails around the use and the overuse of these abusive practices on students is going to be able to move through that committee, shine some light on this issue, and give us a platform by which to try to make the case to move it in the Senate, so thank you to Representative Scott and his team for moving
that forward as well. So I am just so eager
to hear what guidance you’d give us as we move
forward on this conversation in the United States Senate. I’m so proud to have picked
up a piece of legislation that originally came from Secretary King and the Obama administration. This is the Strength in Diversity Act, which provides $120 million to fund voluntary local efforts to increase socio-economic and racial diversity in schools. I come from a state that is one of the most segregated in the nation. The state of Connecticut, while at one point being on the forefront of the movements to diversify schools, you remember the Sheff
vs. O’Neill hearing. I hear John Brittain may
be testifying later today. We were so proud that
we had a Supreme Court that recognized economic segregation as in many ways equally impermissible as racial segregation, and we put ourselves on a path to try to remedy that problem in our state. That pathway has been blocked. Our progress has been stalled, and today we are moving in the wrong direction in our state. More and more students of
color are going to school in majority non-white schools. Our state is not making the progress that we had hoped. I know that Ed Trust just came out with this incredibly important report on the difference in funding that goes to majority white schools and majority non-white schools. We have the same problem in Connecticut. In my old congressional district that is now represented by teacher of the year Jahana Hayes, Danbury is a majority non-white district, and they spend somewhere
around $5,000 a year on students in that district. Cornwall, just up the street, is a majority white district, and they spend about $35,000 per student in that district, and the same story could
be told of communities that are right next to each other like Bridgeport and Westport. The impression in Connecticut is that we spend a lot more money on the non-white school districts. That’s not the reality, as the Ed Trust report shows
for the entire country, and so we have more and more evidence about why it is so important to attack this question
of diversity in schools, and the experience in
Connecticut, of course, is also the experience nationally in terms of the direction
that this issue is heading. Since 1988, the share of intensely segregated non-white schools, these are schools with
only 10 or less percentage of the population being white students, has more than tripled, increasing from 6% of schools in 1988 to 19% of schools today. In Chicago and New York, New York, just down the
street from Connecticut, more than 95% of African American and Latino students are attending
majority poverty schools, of which most schools are
majority minority schools, and so this begs for a
financial commitment. It begs for real leadership
at the federal level. I was so proud to have played a small role in the passage of the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and my narrow window of interest on that piece of legislation
was the civil rights title, of which there was none when the bill came out of the United States Senate. Thanks to Secretary King,
the Obama administration, and a handful of us who demanded that it be included in the final product, we did in fact end up passing
a piece of legislation, and thanks to Bobby Scott, a piece of legislation that did include real requirements for schools to stand up for students of color,
for disabled students, for English language learners, but to me it represented the fact that the federal government is involved in education because of civil rights. There’s not a lot of other reasons for the federal government
to lay a heavy hand into local education if not for the issue of civil rights. That’s how the federal
government gets originally to the issue of overseeing
federal education, and so we have that title in the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act, but we need to do so much more, and the Strength in
Diversity Act does that by setting up this pool
of federal resources that states who want to do
the right thing can draw upon. A state like Connecticut, who may be cash strapped
to try to do the things that they want to do in order to fulfill the Sheff mandate, now could access that
federal pool of dollars. Connecticut has had a program called the Open Choice program. It’s worked wonders. It has largely stalled, but the data is the data. The students of color who are
in the Open Choice program, students from Hartford or Bridgeport who are going to school in places like Simsbury or Fairfield, are doing better than the students who are not participating in that program, and so in Connecticut, if we had more resources to invest in these kind of programs, we know what the results would be. I appreciate the support that you’re going to lend to this piece
of legislation today, but I also appreciate the fact that you’re going to challenge us to look at this issue
from a holistic basis. This year we are celebrating 50 years of the Fair Housing Act, and it’s an act that is
not working as is intended because today black families
are still getting steered into certain neighborhoods and steered away from other neighborhoods when they choose to buy a house in my state of Connecticut. In fact, there’s a
really interesting op-ed in the Washington Post
from about a year ago of an education writer here in D.C. who moved to Connecticut and was aghast to find how
few integrated neighborhoods were available to him, moving to my state, and how when he did go look for homes in the majority white neighborhoods, he and his husband were
the only black family at the open houses on Saturday and Sunday. That is not by accident. That is on purpose, and it challenges us to think about the issue of racial and
socio-economic segregation not just through the lens of investing in school diversity programs, but by challenging us to breathe new life back into many of the other protections that should exist for families that want the opportunity to live in truly integrated places. The Fair Housing Act is
one of those opportunities. I have so much to learn about this, but I’m so glad that I have so many amazing partners here. You’ve got an amazing, amazing
lineup of speakers today, and so I will do them justice
and get out of the way. Thank you very much, everybody. Have a great day. (audience applauding) – What a start to our day. I want to thank everyone who is here, and certainly thank Chairman
Scott and Senator Murphy, both for their remarks this morning and for their deep and ongoing commitment to advancing equal
educational opportunities for all students. We’ve entitled today’s
gathering Bridging the Divide, School Integration Designs. It is urgent that we bridge the divide not only among us as citizens
of the United States, but that divide between
the established research on the benefits of diverse
learning environments that enable all students
to learn and thrive and the deeply segregated landscape of our nation’s public schools today and the policies that
have been guiding them. As I was reflecting on this
event today last evening, I realized that exactly one year ago today we met in this very room
to launch a conversation on the 50th anniversary of
the Kerner Commission Report, so there’s something symbolic about that. That report was the result
of a commission appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to address the more than 70 cities that experienced civil
unrest in 1967 and ’68. That commission warned that we were moving toward two societies, one white and one black,
separate and unequal, and while that alert did lead to significant civil rights progress during the subsequent decade, we have rapidly reverted to a separate and unequal reality that
is plaguing us today, and I am going to see
if our technology works. This is one of the briefs that was issued on that occasion, Education and the Path to
One Nation, Indivisible, which is part of a volume of reports that were put together by Alan Curtis as a remembrance of the 50 years since and a stocktaking in
many areas of our lives. This issue is very much
in the press right now. This month’s Phi Delta Kappan magazine is about segregation in America’s schools, and I think I saw Josh Starr, the head of Phi Delta Kappa,
somewhere in the room, so he can talk more to you about the many, many angles that that illuminates. Education Week and National Public Radio and others this week carried the story that we heard about with respect to the $23 billion divide between the money spent on
predominantly white schools and predominantly non-white schools. Our timing of these
events seems prescient, but I think this outpouring of concern, which has been largely silent for decades if you think about it, may be a response in part
to the divisive rhetoric that’s been emanating
from the White House, which is rending our nation apart, and these effects of the divide are becoming much more clear to Americans across the country. While we know that integrated schools are not a panacea for the
divisiveness we now experience, we also know that we can
produce significant benefits. For example, from extensive
research over many years, including a amicus brief that was filed in the
Parents Involved case in Seattle that Senator Murphy and Congressman Scott referenced, 550 social scientists
signed on to that brief. Many research reviews have documented that attending integrated
schools contributes to promoting tolerance, developing cross cultural understanding, reducing bias and prejudice, increasing the likelihood that students will live in integrated
neighborhoods as adults and hold jobs in integrated
workplaces later in life, improves academic achievement and critical thinking skills, improves educational attainment, and promotes civic participation in a diverse global economy. In fact, one recent study by economist Rucker Johnson looking at the benefits
of integrated environments for the educational achievement and attainment of African
American students, found huge gains in achievement
and graduation rates for each year that students attended an integrated school with
no detrimental effects on the achievement or
attainment of white students, but simply a strong set of outcomes in closing the opportunity
and achievement gap. We also know that maintaining
productive integrated schools in which all students get
access to quality curriculum and where discrimination is not replicated within the school itself
does not happen by magic. This is a steady work in and of itself. We detail the current
state of school segregation and strategies that have
been used to reverse it in our report released today, which is available on your flash drives, The Federal Role and School Integration, Brown’s Promise and Present Challenges. In that report, we note that
the typical black student is now in a school where almost two out of every three
classmates are low income, nearly double the level in schools of the typical white or Asian student. Another study found that in
Chicago and New York City, more that 95% of African American and Latino, Latina students attending majority poverty schools, most of which are also majority minority. The 2016 Government
Accountability Office GAO report that was referenced earlier calls such schools hyper segregated, describes how they are impacted
by educational inequities, like resource disparities, inexperienced and unqualified educators, high teacher turnover, and fewer educational resources. Meanwhile, another
national study of districts and charters pursuing
socio-economic diversity found that a large
proportion of white students attended overwhelmingly
racially isolated schools. More that a third attended schools that are 90 to 100% white, and as we just heard from Senator Murphy, these schools have much greater resources. The EdBuild study that was reported in the Washington Post which documented that $23 billion gap also details how that is a result not only of local property tax differentials, but inadequate responses from
states to closing the gap. All of these inequalities
have grown much worse over the last several decades. Schools are more segregated by race and class today than they
were in the late 1980s when nearly twice as
many black students were in integrated schools as is true today. There’s been a tendency to believe in these intervening years that there’s nothing we can do about this, that it’s a naturally occurring by-product of families’ housing choices. However, there are in fact many things that have been done that
increase segregation, including housing policy, but also education policy and many things that can be done to reduce segregation and its ill effects, and we’ll talk about them today. One thing that we, this is a chart from one of our studies which just shows the degree of segregation in districts that were under court ordered desegregation plans and how rapidly segregation
decreased under those plans, and, when the plans were lifted, how rapidly segregation returned again, just to point out that policy can make a very marked
and obvious difference. The federal government can
play a significant role in advancing equal
educational opportunity, as we saw in the ’60s and ’70s and more recently when
the Obama administration offered guidance to districts on how to maintain legally
defensible strategies for creating integrated schools, even after the Supreme Court overturned desegregation strategies in Seattle and Louisville. This guidance that the
Trump administration has recently rescinded, along with many other civil rights rules, is really what propelled us to write the report that’s
being released today. State and local governments can also play a significant role, as we reveal in a second
study, Sharing the Wealth, also on your flash drives, where we look at the
outcomes of the Hartford Plan that Senator Murphy talked about, Boston’s Metco Plan,
the Omaha Nebraska Plan, to both share regional wealth among inequitably funded districts and to promote integration
in the school attendance, all of which produced noteworthy outcomes and, in several cases, continue to do so. These multiple pathways
to promote diversity, which we’ll hear about
from today’s speakers, include open enrollment
programs, magnet schools, inter and intra-district choice programs, school and program siting
decisions, and many others. Although the guidance is rescinded, a number of states and districts are still paving the way in exploring multiple pathways to promote diverse learning environments, and we’re going to learn about those and how we can support that ongoing work, and with that, I’m going
to introduce John King, who will be, come on up, John, and let me embarrass you while you’re sitting up here. (laughing) John is currently the president
and CEO of the Ed Trust, a national non-profit organization that seeks to identify and
close educational opportunity and achievement gaps. Immediately prior to that, he was our secretary of education. He implemented Obama’s
Stronger Together Initiative, $120 million proposal in
the president’s budget that incentivized schools to become more socio-economically diverse. Prior to his role as secretary, he was deputy secretary overseeing many of the
policies and programs that have to do with
closing the opportunity gap, and before that, he was New York State
Education Commissioner, where we really began working together on strengthening teaching
in New York state. King began his career as a high school social studies teacher in Puerto Rico and in
Boston, Massachusets, as a middle school principal. He survived that, (laughing) and these roles in hot
seats in the government to continue to lead us in this area of achieving greater equity and closing the opportunity gap, so let’s now welcome John King for a conversation about the federal role in school diversity. (audience applauding) So, John, when you took over as secretary, one of the very first things that you did was put
integration back on the table. It had been off the table. I remember writing you a note about it. It had been off the
table for really decades. What caused you to do that? What were you trying to accomplish there, and what were you able to do? – Well, first, thank you for the opportunity
to join all of you. It’s good to be back here. We were here together a year ago for the Kerner Commission Conversation. It’s really two things. One was personal experience. I had the blessing to go to intentionally integrated
schools in New York City during a period in my life when I lost both of my parents, and school made all the difference, and I went to an elementary school and a middle school that
were diverse by design. It wasn’t called that at the time, but that’s how they were structured. If not for those programs and the teachers that I had there, I don’t think I’d be alive today, so deeply, personally,
I believe in this work, but then, as you pointed out, the evidence is overwhelming that when students have access to racially and socio-economically
diverse schools, the outcomes are better. The academic outcomes are better. Socio-emotional outcomes are better, and ultimately I think
our democracy is stronger. – So both in the context
of that initiative to kind of get people thinking and talking and regulating around integration and the Obama era guidance that has recently been rescinded, tell us a little about
what the federal role can be in this arena. – Yeah, well, look, I agree completely with Senator Murphy. At the end of the day, the responsibility of
the federal government in education is to be
a civil rights agency. That’s what the U.S. Education
Department should be doing. That means a number of things. One is enforcing the law, right? And as you showed in the graph around enforcing desegregation orders, the federal government
can play and did play, certainly in the ’70s up
until the Reagan years, a very important role in enforcing those court ordered
desegregation decisions. The federal government
can provide guidance. That’s what we were trying to do with the school diversity guidance, helping school districts navigate the very unfortunate series
of Supreme Court decisions that have slowed our progress
towards division of Brown. The federal government
can provide resources and incentivize changes in behavior, and that’s what we hope for from the $120 million
Stronger Together effort that now is the Strength
in Diversity Bill. There’s also a moral leadership
role for the department, and that’s one of the ones that makes me the most nervous about where we are today, and you heard about this
from Congressman Scott. The current administration
has not only rolled back the diversity guidance, they’ve rolled back protections against sexual assault in schools. They’ve rolled back guidance around trying to reduce discipline disparities. They have really tried
to dismantle the work of the Office for Civil Rights, trying to reverse what is a
kind of 50, 60 year history of how we think about
civil rights enforcement, where, when we investigate a
case, we look for patterns, and what they’ve essentially
tried to direct investigators in the Office for Civil Rights to do is to not focus on patterns
of civil rights violations but to just treat each
incident in isolation, and that flies in the face of
good civil rights enforcement, and then you’ve got my successor today announcing a federal
tax credit voucher scheme, which in all likelihood
is likely to exacerbate the very segregation that
we’re talking about today, and so that moral leadership
role is so critical, and now we have leadership that is pushing against the priorities that
we’re talking about today. – So with the guidance rescinded, and maybe I’ll just take
a minute to note that this was guidance after parents involved the Seattle case
to outline for districts what is legally defensible strategies for integrating schools. With that guidance gone, what would you advise districts and states that are really concerned
about this to do? – Yeah, well, one important fact is that rescinding the
guidance doesn’t change what the law allows, right, and so everything we said in
the guidance remains true. It may not be up on the
Education Department website, but it remains true, and so– – [Linda] We can circulate it other ways. – That’s exactly right, and so districts and states, I would say, have the responsibility to try to learn from the best practices around the country around school integration. You’re going to describe some today and certainly have tried
to in the LPI Reports. The Century Foundation has done a series of reports profiling strategies ranging from controlled choice plans to cross district plans to the creation of dual language schools or
public Montessori schools or art schools that will attract students from different neighborhoods, so there are a variety of strategies that districts can employ. All the things we
described in the guidance from using race and thinking
about siting decisions and articulation from grade to grade, all that remains true. What we lack, though, I have to say, is the guidance is about what you can do. What we need is more political
will around this, right? It’s about folks stepping up and saying the current
state is not good enough, and I’m encouraged by the places that are doing the right thing, but I don’t think we have the urgency we should as a country frankly. The majority of our kids in
the nation’s public schools are kids of color, and the majority of the kids in the nation’s public
schools are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. The country, our economy, our democracy have no future if we fail to educate low income students
and students of color, so we ought to have tremendous urgency. We ought to have people stepping up in big ways on this issue and saying, how do we think about
housing policy differently? How do we think about
transportation policy differently? How do we think about
education policy differently to give people access to opportunity? So yes, people should
still read the guidance and still do the things we describe there, but we desperately need a movement around educational justice. – Yeah, well said. Well said, so the Every Student Succeeds Act has all these little equity nuggets that I mentioned embedded in it, which I think are not even always known to the state agencies
that enforce the act, and we want to raise those up. One of them requires monitoring
of how well districts are assigning students to both schools and classes in ways that
are not segregated by race, income, or special education status. How might this lever for
integration be lifted up and used by states and
districts and schools? – Well, there’s a number of opportunities. One is greater transparency
around these issues so that there’s a better
public understanding of the degrees of segregation. We know New York well. I think about there are
places in Central Brooklyn where you can go a couple
of blocks from a school that is almost entirely
affluent white students to a school that is almost entirely low income students of color. That’s not by accident. That’s by design. In those neighborhoods, the schools are
significantly more segregated than the housing, so when people say, “Oh,
well, there’s we could do. “This is about choices
people made about housing.” No, that’s in fact not the case. That’s intentional school
assignment policies that create segregation, so just making sure that
that is clear to the public. Then states have the opportunity, both under federal law and state law, to intervene in those situations. There’s also the opportunity in ESSA, it’s worth noting, around
school improvement. Given what we know
about the academic gains that come from integrated schools, states could, and New York is doing this in their ESSA plan, could think about school integration as a school improvement strategy and use school improvement resources to support diversity strategies, whether that’s socio-economic or racial integration strategies. I hope some will, and we certainly at Ed Trust are trying to help advocates understand that that is an important
lever that is available. The other piece is that
states could step up in a more aggressive way to rethink how school assignment is done, not only within districts,
but frankly, across districts. I live in Montgomery County, Maryland. Montgomery County, Maryland has a many decades long history of intentional school diversity, as well as intentional construction of mixed income housing. I contrast Montgomery County
with Long Island, New York, or Westchester County, New York. These are places that
are profoundly segregated where you go a mile and
you go from a district that is all low income students of color to a district that is all
affluent white students. It doesn’t have to be that way. Those districts could be
organized differently, so there really is a
leadership opportunity I think embedded in ESSA and embedded in this moment. – Yeah, that’s a really good example. When we lived in Montgomery County just as they were beginning to do desegregation activities, magnet schools were
being created and so on. Those have gotten more useful. There’s still the challenge
within those schools, and we found it in Westchester County when we moved to New Rochelle of the segregation within schools that is put in place by tracking systems. What is your advice on that? – Well, again, this is a place where leadership is required, a couple observations. One is we know that schools
often set up structures, especially around tracking that deny opportunities systematically to certain groups of students. I think about many districts where the only way you get into the gifted and talented program is
if you show up on Saturday for the special test that
only some people know about. That’s designed to lock some
folks out of opportunity or places where you only
get into the AP class if, yes, you have good grades, and, yes, you do your homework, and, oh, by the way the
teacher has to write you a recommendation and all the issues of implicit bias may appear in that recommendation process, so we know that there are those systems. We have to dismantle those systems. We also know that teachers of color are more likely to refer students of color for advanced coursework. They are less likely to
use exclusionary discipline with students of color. As I mentioned earlier, the majority of our kids in
the nation’s public schools are kids of color and only 18% of our teachers
are teachers of color. We’ve done work at Ed Trust showing, particularly in New
York City, for example, tens of thousands of students of color who go to schools where
they will never see a teacher or principal of color, and so tackling the issue
of teacher diversity I think is also part of how
we create inclusive climates. I think about the work that RIDES is doing at Harvard Ed School, which is about saying we’ve got to not only have schools
that are integrated at the doorway, but they have to be
integrated in the hallway, and we have to be thoughtful about how we create
healthy integrated racially and socio-economically
diverse communities. – You’re actually calling
to mind an amazing teacher who worked in Pelham, New York, Evelyn Jenkins (mumbling). I’m going to call her name. She’s a National Board Certified Teacher, African American, who
single handedly eliminated the tracking system in that school because the thought was
that the students of color could only handle the basic curriculum, not the regions curriculum, and she said, “I will
take all the students. “I will get them through
the regions curriculum. “We will do that in an integrated way,” and it was a small school, but the efforts of someone committed to demonstrating that students can benefit from access to knowledge, and great teachers can
help develop the strategies and pedagogies for that
to happen makes it clear that a part of this process is, in fact, both that commitment and developing that teaching skill that’s
needed to do that job. – So in the context of the work that you’ve been doing since New York, you’ve been all across the country. Are there particular practices that you’ve seen that
you would want to hold up that people should be aware of? – Yeah, well, I’ll start with home ’cause my kids go to
Montgomery County Schools and we’re very happy
with their experience, and I will note that intentionality about housing policy is an important part of this conversation, and thinking about how
you dismantle things like exclusionary zoning or source of the payments for rent, there are places where
they won’t allow you to use the housing voucher, and so that locks certain people out of certain neighborhoods. We ought to change those things, so housing policy, interconnected with education policy. I think about the work
that Louisville, Kentucky, Jefferson County is doing, a commitment to maintain diversity. The story of Kentucky is so fascinating because there are some
folks who like to talk about local control unless
they want to control what people are doing to
do something different, so you’re in a state legislature that actually tried to
override local control in Louisville, Kentucky, to undo school integration in Louisville, but the community and parents organized to resist
that because they wanted to protect school
integration in Louisville. I think that’s a really important story. You know, Cambridge, Massachusets, has this long history
around controlled choice, which I think is a very
promising approach. They use a socio-economic
integration strategy. I know you’ll hear from Mohammad later from San Antonio. I think what San Antonio is doing is brilliant around looking
at the category of students who are free and reduced
price lunch eligible and saying that actually,
within that category, there’s quite a bit of range, from the family that is
just below the threshold and getting reduced price lunch to the family that is in
dire, dire, desperate poverty, making less than $10,000 a year, and what they found in San Antonio is that their schools, yes, that many of their schools were 90% free and reduced price lunch, but still within their schools, some of the schools had the
deepest concentrated poverty, and so they are rethinking their school assignment policies to try to create better
socio-economic integration. The last point I’d make is parents want great opportunities for their kids, and if you poll parents, including white younger parents, they want diverse schools for their kids, and so you think about the
work Century Foundation has done profiling schools. Dual language in D.C., there’s so much demand
for dual language schools, people are worried that
they need to set aside seats for English learners to make sure that the schools actually
stay dual language, or you have an arts school in D.C. that’s fantastic where
people actually who live in the suburbs lie and say they live in the city so they can come to the arts school. We should have more arts schools. To me the answer isn’t
how do we stamp that out. The answer is that’s encouraging. Let’s create more opportunities for people to cross district lines to get access to those opportunities, so if we’re intentional
about designing schools that attract a diverse parent population, I think we really can
make tremendous progress. – Yeah, and I think
you’re putting your finger on something really, really important, which is that we have tended whenever we identify something that is successful to ration it, and when we ration that, whether it’s advanced placement courses, gifted intelligent programs,
dual immersion schools, we then see the power dynamics that cause it to be rationed to those who have the most clout, when we need to take an approach that says, if something’s working, we need to figure out how to expand it. We need to figure out how
to make it more available to more families, whether it’s at the school
level or the program level. Many of the curricula that
are used in track systems, gifted intelligent programs, or advanced courses were never intended to be rationed to only a
small subset of students. They were intended for everyone, and so we need to really
shift the thinking and the training for teachers and leaders to make it possible for that to happen. We’ve looked at countries
around the world, and those that have gained the most on the PISA measures and so on, among the things they’ve done in addition to investing in teaching is de-tracking and making a curriculum, a thinking curriculum
available to all kids, so I think that point about finding what’s worked and expanding it is just really, really critical. I want to give you an opportunity to say whatever it is that I didn’t ask you about as I’m getting the little, hi, sign about us closing this part of the program. – Yeah, I guess the thing I
would challenge all of us to do and a lot of friends in the audience, and we are all often
together at these events, and we’ve got to create a movement. We’ve got to find ways
to persuade the people who don’t come to these
events to agree with us if we’re going to change our reality, and I worry a little bit about a sort of self
congratulatory progressivism that sets in where we sort of come away from an event and we say, “Oh, we went to that
school integration event, “and aren’t we good people
’cause we’re for that?” But the task is to expand
those opportunities for kids, and to do that, we’ve
got to grow the movement. I think about civil rights
organizations in communities. They’re often very
stretched at this moment. They’re trying to resist abusive behavior by ICE at the boarder. They’re trying to resist
violence by police officers against young men. They’re pulled in a million directions, and if we want those
civil rights organizations local level to engage on this issue, we have to help give them capacity and organizing opportunities. I think about parents, who, if they knew what
kinds of opportunities were available in the next town over, maybe there’d be a lot more demand, but oftentimes folks don’t because they don’t see those great things that are happening in those communities, so how do we help organize
parents and mobilize them? How do we help the business community understand the very clear
return on investment case around diverse schools? So the challenge I
would give to all of us, us included, right, is that we have to be out as organizers trying to grow this movement so that we can make progress
and ultimately fulfill the promise of Brown. – Thank you. Let’s thank John King. (audience applauding) I’m now going to welcome our
first panel to the stage, What We’ve Learned and What
Do We Have Yet To Learn? I’d like to introduce Janel George, our senior policy advisor and co-lead of LPI’s Equitable
Resources and Access Team, who will be moderating the panel, and Janel will introduce the panelists. Come on up. (mumbling) – Perfect, well, good morning. – [Audience] Good morning. – Thank you all so much for joining us, and welcome to our first panel, What Have We Learned, What Do We Have Yet To Learn? And I want to start with a quote from a scholar W.E.B. Du Bois. In his 1935 essay, Does a Negro Need Separate Schools, he concluded, and I quote, “Theoretically, the negro needs “neither segregated
schools nor mixed schools. “What he needs is
education with a capital E. “What he must remember is
that there is no magic, “either in mixed schools
or segregated schools,” and as our speakers have noted, integrated schools are not a panacea, but there is rich research demonstrating the benefits of integrated education, and we also know that there
are effective programs that promote integrated schools such as magnet schools, which we’ll hear about
on this first panel, as well as inter-district programs, which we’ll hear about
on the second panel, and our goal with this first panel is really to look at the key goals of integration effort, access to education with a capital E and equitable learning opportunities for students of color, and what we want to do is examine what are the lessons that we’ve learned from these efforts, and again, we recognize that integration is not an end into itself, and we also recognize, as the prior panelists have also noted, that there are a lot of
intersecting policies that impact integration, like discriminatory housing
policies, like poverty. There are so many different issues that actually fuel segregation. And this also means
that there are families who live in neighborhoods where integrated schools are actually not an option for them, and then we also have to recognize that some families choose racially isolated schools as well so that we have a lot of
things to discuss here on our first panel, but let me start with
giving a brief introduction of our panelists. So to my immediate left is Donna Bivens, who is the Education Justice Coordinator with the Boston Busing
Desegregation Project and the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, and she’ll talk about the work that she’s done regarding
desegregation in Boston and also why integration efforts are really critical and important. To her left is Professor Gary Orfield, who is a distinguished research
professor of education, law, political science,
and urban planning, and he is also the co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, and he’ll underscore why integration is essential for educational equity, and to his left is Nicole Dooley, who is policy counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense
and Educational Fund, and she’ll transition us into talking more about specific strategies, and she’ll talk about magnet
schools in particular, and to her left is
Professor Amy Stewart-Wells. She is a professor of
sociology and education at Teachers College at
Columbia University. She is the current president of the American Educational
Research Association, and she’ll talk about the difference between 20th century
approaches to integration and 21st century approaches, and she may also touch on the Reimagining
Education Summer Institute at Teachers College as well, so let’s start with Donna. So you have been working
on desegregation efforts in Boston schools for quite sometime. First of all, actually, we had a interesting conversation, right, about the distinction between integration and desegregation, and sometimes we use these
words interchangeably. So can you talk a little
bit about that distinction between integration and desegregation and then tell us a little bit more about the process and the strategy for the efforts in Boston? – Alright, thank you, Janel. What we did was start a process that really connects with
what the previous speaker was saying about building a movement. We tried to get people involved, trying to get people
involved in organizing in the schools in Boston
to look at the history, so people said, and we took a learning approach, so we really wanted to understand, why is it important to
look at this history? And the word we got back was, definitely, but it has to be grounded
in what’s going on today, and so a lot of the
conflict that was going on was because of things people didn’t know about the history. First of all, people who’d
been through the history, people who were academic
who had the longer history, and so we found that
people had to have a sense of how we got to where we are in order to build that movement, and so every place we looked, whether it was talking to students or to people in the
academy, wherever we went, there’s something that
somebody didn’t know, and so to do that movement building is really about building
a learning process, and one of the things
that we learned in doing that was that some people
were focused on busing. Some people were focused on desegregation, and some people were
focusing on integration, so the framework we came for
is that the larger effort was about quality education for everyone. That was the goal, and it went back to the 1700s in Boston. The strategy at that time
was around desegregation, first with Brown, and then with Boston, it was Morgan v. Hennigan, which was very different, so that was the strategy, and busing, which was the hot topic, was just one of many strategies that were laid out to
bring the integration to bring about the desegregation, and so a lot of the confusion and conflict came from mixing those things up and people saying, “No,
we can’t say busing. “We have to say desegregation,” and actually, Judge Garrity, the judge who did the order, said that this wasn’t
an integration project. This was a desegregation project. He clearly made that distinction. – Interesting, so integration
is really the goal. Desegregation is how you get there. – Well, I think it’s close
to the Du Bois quote, quality education for all– – That’s the goal. – And that involves integration because we’re all together
trying to do this, but, yeah, that was the goal. The strategy was desegregation and integration as they
sort of came together, and I think the quote just sums up so much of what we learned in that process of trying to get people to talk to each other and to learn. Everybody had something to learn. I mean, even just with
what we did here today, there’s so many things percolating for me because I think our project had the chance to listen to so many different voices and read so many different things. Just on a grassroots level, there was already people
trying to learn together. – That’s great. That’s great, and so Professor Orfield, we’ve just heard about
from our prior speakers why integration is important. In your research, you have
said that segregated schools can be viewed as institutions of concentrated disadvantage and that policies that attempt to resolve the achievement gap or opportunity gap would probably fail if the segregation issue
were not addressed. Can you elaborate a
little bit more on that? – Yes, I think it’s really important for us to understand that segregation is a fundamental mechanism
of American society. It is a perfect mechanism for perpetuating inequality
between generations. The basic reality of American society is that African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans have
systematically unequal sets of opportunities and lives at wealth and possibilities and
that schools are supposed to be the way we make up for that since we have the weakest social policies of any modern democracy. The schools though that we give, we give the best schools
to the most privileged kids and the worst schools to
the most disadvantaged kids. Segregation is almost never
segregation just by race. It’s almost always what we call double or triple segregation. The average black or Latino student is in a school that is a school of concentrated, persistent poverty in an isolated neighborhood. It is a school where the parents have less average educational background. It’s a school where there’s more unstable enrollment. There’s more people with housing problems. There’s more children with
developmental disabilities. There’s more children with unfettered chronic health problems. There are less qualified
and less stable faculty. There is a peer group of fellow students who are much less prepared on average, and there’s a curriculum
that’s more limited, either formally more limited or just more limited in reality. If you think about what we know about what accounts for school outcomes, the most important things
are the family background of the kids who come to the school, the quality and experience
of the teachers, the nature of the peer
groups, the fellow students. We’ve known these things for
more than a half century. It’s been consistently shown. These things are all part of segregation. If segregation just had one dimension, it would be simple, and it would be silly
for people to pursue it so intensely because it
would just be sitting next to somebody of a different color, but what you’re really talking about is a fundamentally different
opportunity system, a system where schools
are connected to college, a system where schools have a reputation and can draw and hold excellent faculty, a system where schools get more support from communities because the
community has more to give, and many other dimensions, so this is a very powerful mechanism. If you think about the
civil rights revolution, it was an attack on this mechanism. That was what it was about, and it was not about trivial things. It was about going after a basic structure of American society. Since then, in all of our
conservative administrations, there’s been basically
efforts to restore segregation by changing the courts, by taking away support systems, by consistently attacking the idea, by saying it’s just an
excuse for inequality, and then by trying things
like No Child Left Behind to punish the segregated schools for being unequal rather than dealing with the fundamental mechanism that makes them unequal and perpetuates the inequality
of the students’ lives. – [Janel] That’s a
really interesting point, that this is not just
about having students of color sit next to white students– – Absolutely not. – It is so much more
multidimensional than that– – If you study the opinion of African American
families about this issue, it has never been about
being next to whites. It has been to get into better schools. – [Janel] That’s right. That’s right. – People recognize segregation is such an obvious reality
that the astonishing thing is that mostly we think it’s normal and that we think there’s nothing that can be done about it. – Thank you, and, Nicole, so we heard earlier, particularly from Senator Murphy who mentioned the Sheff
versus O’Neill litigation that LDF had a pretty prominent role in, so we heard a little bit
about magnet programs, and they have been implemented as another desegregation approach. Can you talk a little bit about magnets and why they’re particularly promising as a desegregation strategy? – Definitely, thank you, so magnets started in the early 1970s, and they were explicitly designed to bring about voluntary desegregation while also fostering
innovative school models. It was a way for school districts to choose to allow their students to go to schools outside
of their zoned schools without having busing or other perhaps less popular ways of integration. Today, there are about
3,400 magnet schools across the country, and in more than 600 school districts, in about 34 states enrolling
2.6 million students, so magnets can be based
upon particular themes or courses or subject
areas or career interests. They are supported by
the federal government. Since 1976, the U.S.
Department of Education has provided grants to
local education agencies to establish and operate magnet schools for the purpose of desegregating. The law says, “Magnet schools
are a significant part “of the nation’s effort to
achieve voluntary desegregation “in our nation’s schools,” so that program, the Magnet
Schools Assistance Program, is currently funded at
$92 million annually. So one really good example
of this is in Connecticut, and Senator Murphy kind of
stole my thunder a little bit, but in 1989, students and their families filed Sheff versus O’Neill, arguing that students in
Hartford public schools were receiving an education that was lesser than the education being received by students in the neighboring
suburban school districts, so as part of the remedy, the Connecticut Supreme
Court required the state to provide integrated and substantially equal
educational opportunities to all students regardless of race. Part of this resulted in the establishment of magnet schools to provide
high quality education where students of different races and of different
socio-economic backgrounds can learn together across district lines. They also implemented
the Open Choice program, which Senator Murphy mentioned, where students from
Hartford could go to school in the suburbs and students from the suburbs could
go to school in Hartford. Today, the state has created over 40 inter-district magnet schools in Hartford and the suburbs, and about 20,000 students
attend the Open Choice or magnet schools, and studies have shown that the magnet and Open Choice program
students out perform Hartford students attending
traditional public schools, and more than 45% of
Hartford’s black students and Latinx students attend schools in reduced isolation settings. – Interesting, and also interesting how, given the content of the
curriculum in magnets, so whether it’s a theme based or other very rich content in it, which again shows that the goal is definitely desegregation but also access to these richer
educational opportunities– – Providing quality educational services at the same time as providing an integrated setting for students. – Right, thank you, so Amy, you have written that we need to question our
assumptions about how race, ethnicity, and culture shape the way we define good students or good schools or good communities, and so how does this perspective inform a 21st century approach
to school integration? – Well, the thing that I’ve been watching as a researcher but
also as a policy analyst is just how the discourse
around desegregation or integration has changed, and so if we look back to
the 20th century after Brown, there was a lot of focus on implementing, focus on student assignment, focus on segregation measures, and then the outcomes of desegregation, many of which were very positive as we’ve been talking about today, but they weren’t all positive, and now, what we’re seeing as we’re moving into 21st century, we’re seeing the 20th century
policies being dismantled, and we start to really
question that history and think about how we
want to move forward, and important themes that
are emerging is, one, the historical work on (mumbling)
segregated black schools, the work of Vanessa Siddle Walker, which shows a lot of strengths and assets within those schools and the teaching practices being used within those schools and how we could think about bringing some of that forward in terms of creating 21st century citizens because there’s a lot of powerful pedagogy that was happening in
many of those spaces. The other thing is the
research that showed some of the social and emotional harms that were inflicted on students of color within desegregated schools, and I think we need to be very honest and open about that, and we need to recognize
the harm that was done and really think about why that happened and the extent to which
desegregation was more of an assimilationist project and not a meaningful integration project. The other thing is some work that we’ve been doing on Long Island and in New York City, and others are doing too is focusing on the processes by which
re-segregation occurs, so in other words, the way
in which school reputations are developed and the way in which schools are defined as good and bad, which then allows particularly
white affluent parents to make choices other than desegregated or racially diverse schools, and some of the work we’ve seen, we’ve been watching the
changing demographics of the suburbs, the changing demographics of the cities and gentrifying areas and wondering why there aren’t more stable and strong, diverse schools in those spaces, and we’ve found that actually, the research shows that the most affluent, well educated white parents are, A, more likely to say they
want integrated schools, and, B, less likely to
choose those schools, and a lot of that, yeah, so I’ve been interviewing
a lot of those parents because I think we ought to
really face that contradiction, and a lot of it has to do with just how we start to
racialize school reputation, okay, so we’re thinking about good schools as predominantly white schools, higher status schools, at least a lot of parents do
when they’re making choices, and then their networks reinforce that, their social networks. So our research on Long Island showed that when you control a lot of variables on school quality and
neighborhood quality, you found that the
percentage of black students in the school could change property values by as much as $50,000 in
terms of housing choices, and that’s controlling for
test scores and outcomes, so clearly, race matters
in how we understand good and bad schools, and so the work that
we’ve been trying to do is both building on that
historical perspective of how do we frame desegregation in the 20th century and how
might we want to reframe it in the 21st century, as well as trying to change
minds around reputation and its relationship to race and redefining what good schools are, so we’ve been doing that in two ways at Teachers College. One, through a summer professional
development institute, which is for teachers and principals, we had 500 people there last summer. It’s just growing and growing leaps. We’ve had people from Finland come, which is amazing ’cause supposedly, we’re supposed to think that Finland has the most amazing schools, and now they want to know what we’re doing around racial literacy, culturally relevant pedagogy, developing ethnic studies curriculums that give teachers some content to think about culturally relevant and culturally sustaining practices. We’re talking about culturally sustaining leadership practices within schools, and we’re giving teachers and principals professional
development credits to come and learn this in the summer from some amazing educators
from all over the country, so we’ve also developed an advanced online certificate program for educators who want to
earn an advanced certificate in teaching and learning in
racially diverse schools. The other project we’re doing is called The Public Good, which relates to this Reimagining Education Summer Institute, and that is doing research on schools that are changing demographically to try to find ways to
support and sustain diversity. A lot of the work is
focused on the white parents and recognizing white privilege and how that frames their
way of understanding whether they want to change
a school or fix a school, and also seeing the assets, particularly in the gentrifying areas, where you have schools
that have been black and Latino historically and have many powerful forms
of expressing community and care within those schools, or they have certain curricular programs that are very strong, and that they’re very proud of, and so without writing off those schools and the assets within those schools and those communities, helping white parents understand that you’re joining a community, and you can be a part of that community, and you can bring resources
to that community for sure. But you’re not trying to fix something that other people have
cared about for many years, so that’s the work of
The Public Good project, so we’re trying to support
and sustain diversity at a much deeper level, working with professional development, with teachers in those schools, as well as really engaging parents and thinking of strategic communication. How are we defining good schools? How are we thinking about good schools within the school choice process? – Wow, that’s great. That’s great. There’s a lot there, and it is interesting how we racialize school reputations, and you also raised a very salient point that we can’t ignore the impact of school desegregation and the children who are
directly involved in that. I remember going to a
lecture by Minnijean Brown, who was one of the Little Rock Nine who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, and she said, “The trauma of
Central lives in my body,” and it was just so telling, that impact all these years later that that had on her, so thank you, and thanks
to all of our panelists, and so why don’t we open it up now for questions and answers. I see a question right (laughing). – Thank you. I’m Gary Stein. I’m a retired justice in the
New Jersey Supreme Court, and I’m chair of the non-profit that filed suit last May against the state of New Jersey, which has among the most
segregated schools in the country, and with the collective
wisdom in this room, it’s extraordinary to have a chance to talk to all of you about our problem, but I want to sound an alarm, which is that the collective wisdom doesn’t quite offer a remediation model for us in New Jersey. We’ve been in settlement negotiations with the state since September, but I can’t tell you how difficult it is being aware of the
virtue of magnet schools and having talked to the Metco program about inter-district choice and knowing the options, I can’t tell you how hard it is to actually implement
a remediation program in the context of a state wide lawsuit. For example, we confront squarely the question ’cause we have 250,000 black and Latino children in New Jersey that attend schools that
are more than 90% non-white, we squarely confront the question that it’s going to take 15,
20 years to desegregate, and what happens to the inner-city schools and to the children left behind during the desegregation process? How do we make sure that in
the process of desegregating, we’re not doing harm to children? What do we do with the fact that we have 85 charter
schools in New Jersey, most of which are segregated by race? Some are doing well. Some are not doing well, but they have to desegregate because the New Jersey Supreme Court has held that de facto
public school segregation in New Jersey violates
the state constitution, so we have the ideal legal
situation to desegregate, and yet the implementation and the remediation is a struggle. We’re working very hard on it. We have a diverse Board of Trustees with vast experience in the field, but I can only tell you that the Learning Policy Institute, the Education Trust people who have worked in this
field so diligently and so successfully for decades need to be aware that on the ground, the remediation issue is complicated, and it’s hard to get consensus among the people that agree with us, much less consensus
with the state officials who, for the first time, history of the state education department, are being called to account and told that they have to
desegregate the public schools, and their question is, “How?” So I invite any of the panel members to give me their perspective. Professor Orfield has
been a wonderful resource to whom I’m so deeply grateful. I’ve spoken to Professor
Wells about choice, but this is hard, and I would just sound the alarm for the whole industry
that’s focused so well on this subject that the remediation issue on the ground ain’t easy. – (laughing) Thank you. Thank you. – I’ve been involved in dozens of these cases over 40 years, so I’ve watched what’s happened in cities, and I’ve watched what’s
happened with these things. People who think there’s ever
going to be consensus are wrong. It’s a complicated issue, and we’re talking now not about systemic remedies but by trying to change different sorts of choice patterns, which are complex, and we’re also talking about situation where there’s lots of vested interests, and there’s no way
everybody’s going to be happy, especially at the beginning, so you have to make some hard decisions. Now the people in central cities believe that if you don’t desegregate, they’ll be better off sometimes. We’ve had that experience in many places. The reality is that the places that never desegregated,
Chicago, for example, except for some magnet schools, Detroit, which is a classic
case, they didn’t flourish. They continued to decay and
become more disadvantaged. It’s not that there’s a
really good alternative by just letting things go. Now people have to have the
courage to take some steps. The great thing about desegregation is that it’s very hard to start it, but it’s very well accepted
when it’s done well. Everybody likes it, and you ask black parents, white parents, Asian parents, all groups, Latino parents, they like it, and particularly if there’s
a good educational advantage that comes with it, it’s quite clear, so the real trick about doing these things is getting going, getting started, getting some living examples on the ground and addressing the serious issues that Amy and others here have talked about as seriously as you can and recognizing that nothing
will always be accepted and popular with everyone. There has to be some
courage and some leadership. What we’ve been doing
now for the last 50 years as the dominant method of federal policy, for example, has been to try to make separate schools equal. That’s what the Elementary
Secondary Education Act Title One was about. We spent hundreds of billions of dollars now trying to do that, and what we’re trying to do when we do that is trying to replace some of the things that already exist in middle class schools that have worked fine
as a pathway to college but where we don’t let
students of color get in because we have no mechanisms to make them accessible from the segregated neighborhood patterns that we have and the city boundary lines, so we have to think about having courage to get something going and admitting that it’s not going to be magical. Everybody’s not going
to be perfectly happy. You can include subsidies
for central cities. You certainly can
disproportionately locate magnet schools in them, but you can’t ever make everyone happy, and every time that I’ve seen a place where they tried to work until there was consensus, they never got anything done, and what happened was that the enemies began to pick at it and to
mobilize against it over time. The important thing is to get something that makes sense going and to make it better and to have examples on the ground of schools where people from every background want to get in and where they all benefit. – [Janel] Great, and Donna,
from your experience, do you want to comment on that, and then Amy as well? – Yeah, I think that it’s
a very complex question because a lot of our work in Boston looking at our history was looking at what happened to the people that went through that process, and we started with those people, so they had issues
around criminal justice. They had issues around mass
incarceration, I should say. They had issues around addiction. They were the people
for whom it didn’t work, and people really criticized us for starting with that group, but our work as an organization
was with that group, and so I think that looking
at the systemic reality and the complexity of the systemic reality that we’re dealing with, you really have to do two things. You have to have places where
you’re learning together, where you acknowledge that
nobody knows everything and we all have something to learn, and I think that’s what our project had the luxury in some ways of doing, just hearing people say
what their reality is, but then you have to get grounded in what’s your work to do, and our work again was we started with criminal records reform, and that was our constituency, and so we had to take what we learned and figure out how to use
that for that constituency, so now we’re more focused on things like really looking at poverty, whereas our organization, Union of Minority Neighborhoods, had been more focused on racism, and I don’t say race. I say racism because I think we get a little confused when we keep saying,
let’s talk about race, and we know that it’s a construct, so let’s talk about racism, which is really hard
in Boston, I would add, and then let’s think
about how we’re thinking about poverty because we’re
really trying to think about, okay, we started out doing this. What’s poverty have to do with it? And it’s not that people live in poverty. Poverty is a condition. People have poverty, and more and more people
are having poverty in different areas of their life because, as people pointed out, of the way the country’s going in terms of holding on to our
founding understandings of who belonged, so you really have to find
ways to listen to everyone and to find out what your work is to do. – Thank you, and Amy? – I would just add that the key thing is to start to look at the
state accountability system and start to broaden definitions
of good and bad schools to include racially diverse schools and some sorts of incentives for schools that meet that accountability mark, and then at the school
and the district level, you really need to be working on professional development,
engaging parents, and strategic communication
around the goodness of diverse schools and
diverse learning environment, so those are the three
areas we’ve been working on, and we have started to see some success. The professional development part is really important because teachers have to really understand
culturally relevant practices and think about how those connect to their content areas, start to help students
develop more ethnic studies kind of curriculum that can
be woven into that curriculum. It starts to broaden our understanding of smart students and
good schools in a way that’s very powerful and palpable and very important to the next generation of children that we’re educating. – One of the interesting things is that there’s a lot of
people in the education world who want to address this issue, and there’s no resources given to them. When we had the Federal
Desegregation Assistance Program, which was the largest federal program canceled in education by President Reagan, there were hundreds of districts who voluntarily wanted money
to make desegregation better. It was a very popular program, and there was evidence that
it was creating benefits, substantial benefits,
and it was eliminated. We haven’t had any
significant federal money for desegregation now since 1981. We have a little grant
programs occasionally, and there’s lots of response to them, but we don’t do that. We don’t put that money out there. There would be a response. – Right, and that’s part of this divide that we’re talking about bridging, right? How do you get the
resources, the information, the evidence based
strategies to the people who are being directly impacted, who really do have the will
to advance desegregation? Other questions? – Hello, (mumbling). I work in education, live here in D.C. My question is it’s more, segregation? What if it is more intentional than the way we talk about it? What if we deliberately create choices that separate kids and deliberately create discipline systems that separate kids and deliberately create
accountability systems that say that a white school is good and a black school is bad? And I read Orfield’s paper
about our city, about D.C. You had dared to use the
term apartheid schools, but you brought numbers behind it, and even though you
brought numbers and facts, some local leaders said, “We disagree,” without bringing different
numbers to dispute it, and so my question is, should we talk about policy
drivers of segregations, or should we rather work on measuring it, characterizing it, revealing
the intentions behind it? Are we still in the step of acknowledging that it exists rather than
thinking of how it happens? – Great question. – It’s a really question easily answered. Both, we have to do both of those things. – All of the above. – Here in D.C., all of my
children started school in a previously 100% African American and 100% poor school on Capitol Hill. I now have grandchildren in that school. It was integrated by
organizing the neighborhood, and it’s been an asset to
the community ever since. We’re going to be releasing a report in a couple weeks on the possibilities that are created by
gentrification in New York City. There’s a lot of change going
on in our big cities now that create new opportunities. There’s a lot of change
going on in our suburbs, which some of which are re-segregating, some of which are diversifying, that offer us opportunities and incentives for educators to address these issues if we give them a framework
and some resources, but there’s no simple magic bullet. – [Janel] Does anyone
else want to (mumbling)? – Yeah, I agree that
there’s no magic bullet. In fact, quite the opposite. As we learn more about this history, about where we were, we really start looking more
at thinking systemically, and what does that mean? And one of the things that came up for me, even with the title, is that bridging the, what’s the– – The divide. – The divide is not a thing
you do once and for all. It’s a pattern, and as we look at patterns, instead of thinking that we’re
going to take care of this, we can move together to
get closer to something that we want to happen because the system, it is
intentional about this, is very powerful, and it has a lot of power right now, but if you step back, we’re all in it, and so how do we address the patterns that we’re seeing and not fool ourselves into thinking that anybody’s going to actually solve
this any time soon? I was looking at, there was a new film about Howard Thurman, and I don’t know. Howard Thurman was a theologian mystic, and there’s a beautiful film
that was on PBS about him, and one thing that someone
said at the screening of it was that Howard
Thurman had said to him, now this is somebody who
brought nonviolent resistance to the United States where he said, “All social patterns “are temporary and brief. “Go deep,” and I think that’s what
we’re having to do, and a lot of times we get pulled in a million directions. How do we go deep? (mumbling) – I did just want to add with that comment about
the accountability system and the choice system. I mean, there are definitely moments when you think this is the new Jim Crow of education, right? And these policies that the district and the schools need to respond to are driving them away
from doing this good work, and that is definitely true, but I also think there are enough people on the ground and educators who are really interested in pushing back and redefining, and we’ve seen some movement. Massachusetts is now piloting a new accountability system
that would include more of what parents actually say they care about in education, which includes inter-group relations and diversity and
intercultural understanding, so I think we have to
highlight these places where the good work’s happening, and then use some strategic communications to say we are redefining
what good schools are for our children in the 21st century, and segregation is not on that list, so. – [Janel] Great. – Good morning. I’m Stephan Turnipseed. I work in the education industry, and I also live in Alabama, so that’ll give you kind
of an interesting backdrop. The question, I agree with
everything you’ve said about shining a light, finding where the good work is done. I work with school systems all around who are asking the question. The challenge I have personally, and I think we have in many of us who work in this field, is where do we go find that stuff? We come to these things, and we listen to the work
that you guys have done, and we take copious notes, and we go out and try to find it. Well, when you go to the state that’s doing the good work, it’s really hard to find it. It’s really hard to find
who’s in charge of that, and so is there some mechanism
that exists out there where we could, say, point to a school district and say, look, go here. Here’s a list of exemplars that are doing good work in this area. We know you want to do it. Let us help you. – Great question. Why don’t we start with Donna, and then we’ll go down. – Yeah, I think that’s a
really important thing, and, again, with the wealth gap and the controlling the reality of what we’re seeing gap, who sees what from what
perspective in the room, I just think of a room as a system, so the person standing back there is seeing something very different from the person sitting up here, right? And so I think it’s not sort of a question as maybe a, what next? First of all, having some time to really delve into that question and to figure out
together what could we do, how are we seeing this, what could we do, and then to take it to our
different places, you know? So even some of our
ways of doing this work, I’m sure there are others, but even just having speakers. Are there other ways that we can share information, fertilize? And I mean, there’s some wonderful things happening in that area, but as you said, sometimes we don’t know where it is. Sometimes the people doing it don’t have a lot of resources. I was listening to Jitu Brown
in Chicago the other day, and they’re brilliant in
looking at the system, but again, it’s a pattern. What are we trying to do? What sense do we make? What do we see? What sense do we make of it? And what can we do to go the next step? That’s all we can do, I think. – Amy, did you want, and Nicole? – Yes, I think that’s
a really good question, and we are working on
disseminating some of the work from the summer institute, so now that we have a
advanced certificate program, we have the participants are
doing culminating projects around things they’re
implementing in their schools. There are a lot of examples
in our summer institute of good teaching practice within racially diverse schools, good leadership strategy, so I would encourage
you to come to New York in the middle of July. It’s a lot of fun, and also, we have hired
a new social media person who will be working on disseminating some of those best practices. The other thing I’m working on for AERA is a film that actually highlights this important work
going on in Massachusetts and in California around ethnic studies and what that means to students so that we can see really solid examples, places doing different
approaches to discipline, and how all that connects
to really help us dismantle segregation
because we’re rethinking what education is. We’re re-imagining the whole enterprise in a way in which segregation
does not make sense because we’ve created a system in which segregation legitimizes and reproduces the exact mechanisms we’re using within education, so. – One of the things that
we really need to do, and state departments of
education should do this, is communicate and exchange good examples. Some of them used to do that, and they’ve stopped. That’s really valuable professional work that could be done easily
with one or two people in each state department. It would just say, “If you really want to take
your board to someplace “so it’s going on nearby, “here’s where you go.” That would be a very good thing for people who are creative to start doing. You can go to those
wonderful regional magnets in Connecticut. You’d be very happy. In Alabama, you used to have
all these magnet schools that were integrated, and now they’re all testing students and excluding students
on the basis of a test. Compare the past to the
present of your own schools. That would be a good lesson for the state, it seems to me. – [Janel] And Nicole. – I was just going to
recommend putting you back to LPI ’cause they’ve also
done a bunch of research on schools and districts
that are looking more deeply and broadly at the
competencies that students need and they get through high
quality K-12 teaching and learning. – Could I just add another problem here, sticky issue, whatever, is that there’s so much information, and sometimes you almost
have information overload to understand how big this is. Like even today I’m checking off things. Oh yeah, there’s that. There’s that, that, that, and there’s some place
you hold it in your head and in your heart hopefully, but how do you narrow
down what’s yours to do? And what can move it for you? And how do we help each other to do that? ‘Cause I know there’s just
so much you can learn. – And the only thing I would add is also who the information is going to. I know that LDF works with the dignity in schools campaign, which includes parents and teachers. Teachers are phenomenal advocates for a lot of these policies as well, but ensuring that that
information gets in their hands, but also in the hands of
parents who can’t come to a 9:00 to 12:00 forum during the day because they’re working and
supporting their families, but being able to disseminate the research and share it is another really,
really important component. I think we have time
for one more question. – (mumbling) Do I get the mic ’cause I was standing close to the mic? Lee Teitel, the director at Harvard Grad School of Education Reimagining Integration, Diverse and Equitable Schools project, and I wanted to connect a couple of dots. I wanted to just embrace
the way Donna was talking about the importance of the difference between desegregation and integration, and one of the things that
we have found real helpful in the schools that we’ve approached and the districts that we work with is how to actually name that, and we talk about the ABCDs, the notion that we want
high academics for all kids, a sense of belongingness, so you don’t have to check
your culture at the door. C is commitment to understanding and dismantling racism because if we don’t do that, the schools are just
recapitulating the past, and D is appreciation of diversity. And we find that very quick
description is helpful in identifying and helping people identify what their sense of purpose is, and I also wanted to build
on something that Gary said ’cause Gary talked about
how when you do this well, people want it, and we don’t do it well that much, and one of the things that we
find helpful to think about, and I invite everyone
here who particularly would come to a policy conference to think about the connections
between three things, policy, practices, and perceptions. And as I think many of us would agree, we’ve done desegregation
pretty poorly as a country in the last 60 years, so the perception is pretty negative of desegregated schools, and that leads and kind of develops a negative loop for policy, right? Because policymakers
listen to the perceptions of their constituents. At least, that’s the way
it’s supposed to work, and what we’ve been focusing on is how do you focus on practices? Like how do we get schools to do it well, and how do we find the
schools that are doing it well and amplify those voices
to give those examples? And we’re trying to create a positive loop where more people will
be able to identify that. And last is, just in response
to the last question, we’ve also been trying
to organize resources, and please send them
our way on our website that are organized around the ABCDs, so you can click on our website, click on A, academics, B, belonging, and get case examples and articles that are written about that, some of them written by the people here, so thank you for pulling this together, and thank you for bringing
that voice forward. – Thank you so much. Any concluding comments, thoughts from our panelists as we wrap up? – I’d just like to respond to one thing. We didn’t do desegregation badly. It was a big advantage. We didn’t do it well enough. If you compare it to segregation, it was much better than segregation. If you compare it to
what we could have done, it wasn’t nearly enough, but we knew what needed to
be done back in the 1970s. It was cut off politically. – [Janel] That’s right. – The resources were cut away. There was a lot of
really good research done about how to make desegregated
schools integrated, and then we just defunded and denied it, and we began to have governments that systematically attacked it, like the Reagan administration and the Bush administrations and so forth. We need to recognize that we actually made big improvements during the civil rights era. We didn’t go far enough, and it was cut short. It needs to be started again, needs to be started again in the context of a four raced society rather than a biracial concept. Those of us in California
know that very well, and also it’s not that complicated. It’s really complicated to get it started, but we know how to do it much better. We just need to put the resources and policy behind it. – That’s great. Any other concluding thoughts, Amy? – I would just like to
say we also really need to listen to the educators this time. I feel like when we did, thank you. (audience applauding) When we did desegregation
in the 20th century, we kind of acted like, oh, that will just happen
if we move kids around, and educators who have
been working on this at the classroom level in terms of developing curriculum and strategies, they are the wisest
people on how we do this, and that’s why I do invite
you all to D.C. in July because you’ll hear
from a lot of great ones all over the country who are doing it and have a lot of great ideas and are networking with each other, so. – Thank you. Thank you. Nicole. – I was just going to add, and you mentioned this
a little bit earlier, and Secretary King mentioned it. I think in addition to like
putting in place policies to promote desegregation and integration, we have to keep in mind through every step of the process the implicit biases
that may work themselves even into the solutions ’cause a lot of the prior solutions may have been kind of, what’s the word? Like there was a hole in
the bottom of the boat, that kind of a concept
where it was good in theory, but implicit biases within the system kind of dragged it down, so we want to make sure
that moving forward we don’t have that problem happen again. – And Donna. – Yeah, I’d just like
to add to what Amy says, that we need to listen to a lot of people and realize that wisdom about what we’re experiencing rests in a lot of different places, with students, with
parents, with educators, with people in the
academy, with activists. We really have to listen to each other. – Thank you, and please join me in
thanking our first panel. Thank you all so much. (audience applauding) – [Donna] Thank you. You’re so good. – [Janel] There’s so much there. – [Gary] It’s so nice to see you. – [Woman] It’s so good to see you. – So it’s my pleasure, as we
introduce our second panel, I would like to introduce the
moderator, Peter Cookson, Jr. I have the pleasure of working with him as a co-lead on LPI’s equitable resources and access team. He is a professor of sociology
at Georgetown University. He also co-leads a national poverty study, which is a joint research
project at Stanford, John Hopkins, and the American
Institutes of Research, where he founded the equity project. He is the author of 16 books, I don’t know when he
finds time to do all this, and numerous articles and reports on educational equity, including the new report that’s available on your flash drive, Sharing the Wealth, How Regional Finance
and Desegregation Plans Can Enhance Educational Equity, coauthored by John Brittain, who’s also on the panel
here, and Larkin Willis, so at this time, let’s
welcome our second panel. (audience applauding) – Thank you, Janel, and thanks to the first
panel, which was fantastic. It’s a great segue to what
we’re going to be talking about in a few minutes, and also to this fantastic film and all those young people
who are putting their lives and souls and hearts on the line to do what we’re just
talking about here today, so what a great way to talk about it. This whole meeting is
called Bridging the Divide, School Integration Designs, and so on this panel what
we’re going to look at are some school integration designs that have been tested. Some of them may open up possibilities and opportunities to build
a public school system that is both diverse,
excellent, and also democratic because that’s also a big part of this. We want schools that are based in the idea of democracy,
particularly at this time, so we’re going to have
a great conversation. We have some wonderful panelists. We’re going to leave plenty of time for a little Q and A at the end of this. So also, I know it was
probably just mentioned before, but we do have a hashtag called diversity, equity, and access if you want to do something with that. (laughing) – Well, I know most of
these folks pretty well. They’re a pretty fantastic group. I’m going to introduce them a little bit. It’s in your program, so you’ll be able to read more about them. Sitting right here is Dean John Brittain, who is the acting dean of the University of District Columbia David A. Clark School of Law and accomplished civil rights attorney. That’s an understatement. John has been in the civil rights movement for his many young years. He’ll address why regional
integration plans, John was the first author of the book that Larkin and myself,
Sharing the Wealth, that we have, are important, particularly given some of the challenges that we’ve highlighted, but I think also we should
give John the chance to talk a little bit more
widely too a little bit because of his extensive background and his continuing
commitment to this issue. Sitting next to John is Rick Kahlenberg, also a friend of mine, who is director of K-12
equity and senior fellow at the Century Foundation. Probably a lot of you know Rick’s work. Rick is internationally recognized for his contributions to many things, but relevant to this discussion today, the implementation of
socioeconomic integration and its relationship
to racial integration, Rick has quite a bit of experience looking at various plans, and so he’s going to give
us some examples today, which I think will be
really useful for us. Sitting next to Rick
is Mohammed Chowdhury, chief innovation officer. Many of you probably also
know Mohammed’s work, chief innovation officer for the San Antonio
Independent School District. Mohammed will address
his groundbreaking work in San Antonio with control choice and the next steps we need to be taking to make integration work for all students. I should say that the
last time he was here he gave a really inspired speech. I’m hoping that you’ll
be able to do that again, but also we did have a conversation about what happens after
the school bell rings, and I think we’ve been
talking about that as well. There’s both between school segregation, but there’s also within
school segregation, and we need to address both those issues, and sitting next to Mohammed is the Honorable Judith Johnson. She is New York State Education Department Board of Regents, and she also has an incredibly distinguished career in education, particularly in New York
and Westchester County, and has been on the
forefront of this struggle for her whole career. She’s going to bring
us all home by focusing on the centrality of equity and creating school systems
that serve all students, and she asked if she could use the podium, so to look at her notes and
that would be fantastic, so we’re all set. Let’s start with John. – [John] Thank you very much. Good morning, everyone. – [Crowd] Morning. – Because segregation is more prevalent across districts than within districts, the most effective approaches
for school diversity and equity are across the
district boundary lines. Roadblocks will be inevitable, as we’ve heard from Senator
Murphy this morning, so for these efforts to succeed, policymakers must make
an authentic commitment implementing inter-district
school desegregation plans. They must be persistent and practice ongoing problem solving. The key to promoting the
educational advantages of school integration is the remedy, not the liability, the cause of the extreme racial isolation of school children by race, ethnicity, and family income. The report released today, Sharing Wealth by LPI, examines three inter-district
desegregation plans and how they’ve been designed,
financed, and implemented. It assesses the evidence of their success as measured by student achievement data and other meaningful
academic and social outcomes. Drawing on the evidence from three inter-district
desegregation plans in Boston, Massachusetts,
Hartford, Connecticut, and Omaha, Nebraska, we identify several potential
strategies for legislators and policymakers who are committed to the principle of justice
that are at the heart of the Brown decision. The landmark Sheff versus O’Neill desegregation integration case decided by the Connecticut Supreme Court in 1996, as Senator Murphy mentioned this morning, was the first case to hold that the district boundary line between urban and suburban schools was the cause of the
unconstitutional racial isolation in the schools. In addition, the court
in (mumbling) case found that de facto segregation
was unconstitutional, thus avoiding the virtually
impossible standard of proving intent. The court ordered the state
to cure this segregation. Nicole Dooley from the Legal Defense Fund in the first panel described the multitude of voluntary remedies such as
inter-district school choice, transfers, magnet schools, both within intra-district
and inter-district and more, and that is the setup for
this conversation today on the wealth between
low performing schools, high performing schools, schools with high
concentrations of poverty and low achievement and blending it across district lines with more advantaged schools. – Alright, thank you so much. That’s a great way to
start the conversation. We’ll come back to that because we’ll loop back to it. Rick, tell us a little bit
about what you’ve been doing in terms of both socioeconomic integration as well as some of the
racial elements to it. – Yeah, glad to, and great to be with all of you here, and thank you, Peter and Linda and Janel and everyone at LPI for hosting
this great conversation, so I think socioeconomic integration, that is, bringing kids of different economic groups together, is kind of one of the rare growth spots for school integration. When I started studying
this issue back in 1996, there were two school districts in the whole country that
looked at conscious efforts to bring children of
different classes together, Lacrosse, Wisconsin, and McKinney, Texas. They educated about 30,000 students, and today there are more
than 100 school districts and charter schools that are seeking
socioeconomic integration, in part for legal reasons and in part for educational reasons, so many of you have heard of
the Parents Involved decision. It’s been referenced here. It was a terrible decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007 which suggested that voluntary
racial integration programs in Louisville and Seattle
were unconstitutional. They were struck down, and many people worried that that would be the end
of school integration. In fact, we’ve seen a lot
of good hearted people committed to school diversity who want racial integration not give up, and instead shifted the basis of integration programs with an emphasis on socioeconomic status, and Janel’s report points
out there are still ways you can use race, not at the individual level so much, but at the geographic level, and that’s important to do, but many of these districts now are really focusing on
socioeconomic status. That’s important in part because a well designed socioeconomic integration program will produce
racial diversity as well, given the unfortunate overlap between race and class
in American society, and so we’ve seen in a number of districts where they’ve adopted
socioeconomic integration programs. They’ve gotten a substantial amount of racial integration as well, and that’s incredibly important for all the reasons that Amy Stuart Wells and others have pointed out. In essence, diversity makes us smarter, and so having that racial
integration that flows from socioeconomic
integration is important for students of all backgrounds. It benefits everyone, but the socioeconomic integration movement is not just a clever way of kind of getting around the
supreme court decision in Parents Involved. There’s also an educational rationale for it independently of the racial impact. We know that there were racial
school integration programs that did not result in
socioeconomic integration, so in places like Louisville, there was one school, the Roosevelt Perry Elementary School. It was 50% African American, 50% white, and it was 100% poor, and the school was one
that really struggled because the evidence
has suggested for years that concentrations of
poverty are bad for kids, and so for that basic educational reason, it’s important as well to
integrate socioeconomically. There are a growing number of districts that are pursuing this policy. I’ve worked with John and
our friend Michael Alves in Charlotte, North Carolina, in Pasadena, and some other places to promote socioeconomic diversity. You’ll hear from Mohammed about his amazing work in San Antonio and before that in Dallas, and in New York State, Judith and I were talking
about this earlier. There is an effort now in
New York City to integrate. I’m part of a school
diversity advisory group. – [Peter] Maybe we can come back to that. That would be fascinating. Would that be okay? – Sure. – [Peter] That’d be fantastic. Yeah, I think that’s going to be, we’ll do a little round here. That’d be good. Thank you, Rick. That’s fantastic. Mohammed, you’ve done
so much in both Dallas as well as San Antonio, and you’ve been a leader in this field. What are the next things that we need to think about in order
to make this really real in terms of bridging the
divide in San Antonio, but also maybe reflect a
little bit more generally? – Yeah, so I think once
you get all the colors and numbers in the building, it does not stop there. In fact, you could make things worse if you get that wrong, and you have to design
guardrails and conditions to be able to hold fire
to the feet of the people who are running these schools and the people who are designing systems to preserve these kinds of schools. I had been fortunate to be entrusted to not only oversee our
diverse by design initiative, but also design it, but also supervise the principals, so it’s kind of like a
perfect set of conditions, so I’ll fall on my sword if need be, as I told our superintendent. So our schools that are diverse
by design in San Antonio when they’re fully grown out, we’ll have about 8,000 kids attending them in a 50,000 student district in a city that has 17 school districts that they could completely redo it and achieve a type of
integration at scale, but they won’t because
people are scared and racist. It’s both of those. Let’s call it what it is, and with all of that, once they’re in, so let’s just talk about
what happens in the building ’cause I could go off in different places, but the thing I would say
is there are several things. My diverse by design schools, they’re their own
professional learning network. We have a program that we have designed and pulled resources
from teaching tolerance and other places in the work that Amy is doing in New York to look at what it looks like to create integrated relationships at the parent level, right? So then that ripples into
integrated play dates. How they construct their PTAs matters, so they hold seats. They make sure the most active, loudest social capitol parent whose child is gifted is not the one running things, and they push back, and when they say the
bad ones need to get out, they say, “No, there’s no
such thing as bad ones,” and so if you want to be here, that’s what that means. Also, these schools do
not academically screen, and in my enrollment process, I also on top of my block methodology, which tries to define
socioeconomic capitol at the closest level, we also look at risk factors, which unfortunately in this country because of decades of
segregation by design, government sponsored
tracks with race and class, so I also achieve racial integration through the block methodology, but also through giving my students who are attending segregated,
struggling schools, the highest weight. Those kids have the best shot, so oftentimes a family tells me, “How do you get in? “How do you get in the system?” Attend a struggling, segregated school, and I will give you the highest weight. Do it. If you do that, you can
come to this school, but you know what? If you do that, you’re probably turn
around that school too with your power, so it’s a lot of that. It’s a lot of pulling them together. It’s a lot of courage. I also have performance
agreements with these schools. I am an educator by heart. I believe in autonomy, so they have performance contracts. We do it in LA. They have pilot schools in Dallas. We call them transformation
schools in Dallas. We’ve embraced the in district
charter governance model, so in the performance contract, there is a closing the gap domain that looks at the subgroup performance, and that matters as well, so I going to stop there, yeah. – [Peter] We’ll come back to all this. That’s fantastic. Thank you. Judith, you and I have had
a couple of conversations about the role of equity in all of this, and you have such a broad experience, not just as a region, but as a superintendent
and teacher and so forth. Why don’t you kind of
take us home a little bit around this issue of equity and what this really
means in this context? – Thank you very much. I actually asked Peter was he sure that he wanted me to sit on this panel. (audience laughing) First of all, the Board of Regents is the official policy
making board for education for the state of New York. Its history goes back to the late 1800s. Alexander Hamilton was the first president of the New York State
Board of Regents, 1800s. The first African American
to sit on that board was Dr. Kenneth Clark in the 1960s. (mumbling) Took us some while to get
the black voice to the table. Throughout that time, however, New York has had a history, and I don’t know if Gary
is still in the room, of having more segregated schools than any other state in the union, and that’s hard for me to share with you because we are the most diverse state. I would think California’s
probably as diverse at this point and maybe Texas, so I put the three of us in that category, and we have great potential in terms of our universities and our colleges, so why do we have a performance achievement gap issue that, and I will go to my notes. I think I’m going to shorten this so that we can engage in the conversation. The districts in New York state perpetuate segregated schools, and it’s based on where
you live, your zip code, your family income, the ability or the absence of discretionary income to continuously educate your children, the education of your parents, and the opportunities
to learn in the schools, and I’m talking about my
home state of New York, so in 2017 the chancellor decided to form an equity task group to look at the issues of equity in New York state, and here’s where I’m
going to shorten this. We were looking at the issues of equity not to desegregate our schools. I’ll talk a little bit
about what that looks like, but because the huge achievement gap between children of poverty and children who did not come
out of poverty was so vast, and 49% of the children in
New York state at this point, 49% of our poor children, if you use a standardized
test as a measure, are not reading at a level of
proficiency in New York state, that spends the second
most dollars on children than any other state in the union with one exception, New Jersey. So there’s a concern if
in eight or nine years we don’t turn around this achievement gap, we don’t have a robust workforce for the state of New York, and it’s a little difficult for people to project down the road and recognize that the absence of a robust workforce means a reduction in revenue from taxes, which means a reduction
in the state budget, and we really do need
to get that story home as quickly as possible. I’m going to give you one other issue, and then I’m going to stop. I can see Peter looking at me. – [Peter] No, I’m listening. (laughing) – So what happened with this formation of this equity task force, which is a work group
of the Board of Regents? We decided to look at several areas, culturally responsive
sustaining school environments, the achievement gap, the pathways to high school graduation. Depending on what school
and what district you’re in, there are multiple
pathways or few pathways. We collect some data that tells us that children of color who attend largely white
schools graduated 90% level. Children of color attending
segregated schools, racially and economically
segregated schools, 73% of them graduate. That’s huge when you
translate that into numbers. More importantly, translate
that into human life and the contributions that
we’re never going to get from these young people because we failed to educate
them to high standards, so what did the Board
of Regents get stuck on? And that’s where I want to share with you ’cause I’m interested
in your observations, so if you’re going to have a work group that looks at equity, then there ought to be
a definition of equity, would you think? So let me give you the
definition and the challenge and the two words that stand out, must or should, must or should. Equity means the learning
needs of every student are supported and met in an environment where all students are valued, respected, and see themselves as
experiencing academic success without regard to differences in age, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation,
disability, native language, national origin, or citizenship status. It’s the next sentence. We believe that every child should have equitable access
to learning opportunities. There can be no educational excellence without educational equity. The debate at this point
at the Board of Regents is must versus should, and we cannot move forward until that decision has been made, and I will tell you that it
is both legal and contentious. I know that John is sitting on this panel, so John, this is what I’ve been told, that if we make it a must, we’ll be subject to lawsuits. Well, here’s the concern I have. Lawsuits seem to be the
only way we get justice. (audience laughing and applauding) I know of no moral will
that has translated into positive human behavior, so I’m ready for the lawsuits
at the Board of Regents. I made sure I had personal insurance, but we’re covered. We really are. I think (laughing), I think that we now have to worry about must versus should. There is not an appetite
for integrating our schools in this country at this time. That is the problem. – [John] Well, if I may
answer your question– – [Peter] Yeah, (mumbling), yeah, yeah. – I think it’s a kind of dichotomy. As I said earlier, there is the requirement
to find liability. That’s what a lawsuit does. However, history has shown the courts are reluctant to create a remedy, at least in the last 20 to 25 years, and so they refer the
case back to the state to formulate a remedy. Well, that’s like giving
the fox the control over guarding the hens, and it creates long standing, long running entanglement
between the plaintiffs, who are seeking equal
educational opportunities and the state, which is in charge of education, so I hypothesize that today
the most successful remedies are double voluntary. They’re voluntary that the state or the local education
authority is willing to devise a remedy to promote school diversity and integration, and families volunteer to participate in these remedies. That seems to be the
most successful method, and we need the carrots and the other incentives to induce school authorities to do that. The inter-district remedy, that’s between districts, as featured in this new
report on shared wealth, is one of the successful devices in the examples where
we have documented it. Nevertheless, they are voluntary. The courts have largely, as Gary Orfield has traced
in all of his studies, abandoned school integration, except to find liability
under certain circumstances, but to largely punt on the remedy, so we have to be more creative. We have to be more interactive, and we have to promote voluntary methods. – [Judith] Let me respond to that. – Please do. – I would think that what we need to do on the equity issue is to ensure that all students are in schools that are adequately
funded to give them access to the same educational programs, that if now, I will just tell you, as this work unfolded, we’ve had panels speaking to the board, and one of the panels, Matt
Gonzales from Appleseed, which is an outstanding organization for teaching young children
to be social advocates, brought five students,
high school seniors, to meet with the Board
of Regents in the summer, and they were powerful, but there was one young man who brought everything to a halt. He said, “I am preparing to go “to a state university in September. “I have never been in a
classroom with a white student.” He has gone through 12 years
of New York City education. He has never been in that classroom, and he said, “I’m not exactly sure “how I’m going to handle that,” and he said, “I’m not sure I’m prepared “to compete with that.” So I am suggesting the
funding is the route, that what we need to do is if you can have five opportunities for an AP physics class because there were five sections and it fits your schedule in a high wealth school district, then we ought to have five
AP classes to pick from in a low wealth district. Do you get the gist of
what I’m trying to say? If you visit some schools, I’m going to talk about
some outstanding schools that are confounding this that are doing a good job. If you visit a school where the make a space technology unit consumes three quarters of a floor, giving kids the opportunity
to be innovative and creative with technology, and it’s a high wealth school district down the road from where
Bill and Hillary live, then why isn’t that make
a space funded 10 miles down the road in a school district that’s largely enrolled by poor kids? – [Peter] Those are
really powerful points, and that was really a powerful story. I’d like to bring Rick and Mohammed into the conversation a little bit too. Let’s go to this. Rick is also an attorney, you may or may not know, so we don’t want to get in
all the legal pieces of it. – I went to law school. I did not take the bar exam. (laughing) – [Peter] Alright. – [John] He really is a lawyer (mumbling). – But seriously, Rick, I think Judith really
framed this really well, the should versus must, and then talking about the future. Can you talk a little bit about how you see the future, and then, Mohammed, could you, well, I’m saying beyond San Antonio, but using what you know about San Antonio ’cause I think it would be interesting to have this conversation being pulled together a little bit to
look to what can we do? What are some of the
processes and procedures and policies and maybe legal devices that we might be able to have that could actually make a difference? And we have four people that really know and understand this problem, so, Rick, why don’t you
also jump into this? – Yeah, let me say a couple of things. One is, I think, Judith,
you’re absolutely right. The resources are incredibly important, and we know from that EdBuild study that the resources are
inequitably distributed between African American
and other people of color and whites in our system. Having said that, the Plessy approach, let’s pour equal resources
into segregated schools, has been tried and tried and tried, and first of all we never do end up getting equal resources when
the schools are separate, and secondly, there are
disadvantages imposed by segregation apart from
a per pupil spending. There was an interesting study that the Century Foundation published back in 2010 by Heather Schwartz from the Rand Corporation, and there was kind of a perfect
experiment, if you will, of what will really help
low income students? Montgomery County had two strategies. One was to pour extra resources,
$2,000 extra per pupil, into the higher poverty
schools in Montgomery County, and that had some benefits. They found that money matters and that there were some
positive results from that. On the other hand, because as Secretary King mentioned, Montgomery County has a second strategy of inclusionary zoning
in the housing policy, you ended up with a number
of low income families who had the chance to go to economically and racially integrated schools, and it was a social scientist’s dream in the sense that basically these students were randomly assigned
to public housing units either in the part of the county where they spend more per pupil or the part of the county where they spend less per pupil, but they’re economically
racially integrated, and it turned out that in
the first couple of years, it didn’t matter that much. Over time, the students who went to the economically integrated schools far outperformed the low income students who went to higher poverty schools, so these are all students
in public housing, all disadvantaged students, primarily African American students. Those who went to integrated schools got a much better education, so that’s why, even though it’s much
more politically difficult to promote socioeconomic
and racial integration, that’s why I still cling to that idea because we know that Brown had it right. Separate is inherently unequal. – That’s such an interesting data point about the integration of
the schools and diversity of the schools, and just
being sort of left brained, even if you look at achievement, so to speak, the difference it can make, that’s a huge data point. Mohammed, where do you want to take us to? – It’s become a tagline of mine, and the journalist in the
city have picked up on it, so while we continue to figure out how to do high poverty,
segregated schools well, we need to stop recreating them, right? It is damn hard to do this well. I can tell you as a teacher. I’m in Los Angeles, in
south LA, in northeast LA, and I was a damn good teacher, and I was also a damn
good social worker too at the same time ’cause
that’s what I needed to be, to be able to close
the gap for those kids. In Dallas we have our Accelerating Campus
Excellence Initiative turning around southern Dallas schools, students living in abject poverty and outperforming Highland Park, the little donut with million dollar homes inside the district. It is damn hard, extended school day, master teachers where test scores is part of the equation, to remind my union friends ’cause I need to find the best teacher, and that matters, and also wrap around services
with limited property wealth that we generate compared to Highland park because of racist policies
of red lining to this day, and then we need to stop recreating them, so it goes back to, to
me, you have to do both. The power structures of this country lie with a single race, and it has from colonization
through Jim Crow through red lining to today. They cannot be comfortable
with their power. They have to share it. They have to give it up, and so you have to go to school with brown children as well, so you have to be able
to disrupt the lines and figure out how to do high poverty, segregated schools well, right? But I feel sorry for the kids, the young boys at
Charlottesville who march. They have lived in a disadvantaged life, not seeing what America’s
going to look like and become, so separate, but equal
is not going to work if we want America to survive. I’ll just stop there. – The challenge is getting
America to understand this. (audience applauding) In New York state, the way the school
districts are constructed, their geographic lines, we would need to have legislation passed so that we no longer collected
school property taxes by where you live, but we collected them at the state level and distributed them evenly. – [Peter] This is really an equity. The financial equity
piece of this is huge. Did you want to– – Yeah, the only thing I want to add is the problem is racist, self proclaimed progressive, liberals, and everyone else wants segregation too. That’s the problem too, right? It’s not a red or blue thing. My self proclaimed progressive
friends like it too, and so that’s a problem, right? But I’d love to see teachers and unions marching in collective bargaining that integration is part of the deal. I’d like to see that. I’d like to see the Venn diagram of all my friends who are marching in LA, who I was a union chapter
chair in my school, so I supported their march, but I’d love to see the Venn diagram between supporting utilities march and repealing Prop 13. I’d like to see that as well, but I would love to see
collective bargaining that says integration
is part of the equation. Then you’ll see the
legislators in California bend, which has the perfect sea of blue, by the way, and is segregated. – Yes, we must always point out, though, we’re gathered here today
to promote the educational and social values of school
diversity and integration. Nevertheless, the majority
schools are still segregated and low performing, and we can’t leave them out, so we’re like two wings on a bird of a plane flying in unison, trying to improve education. It’s not necessarily either, or, but we try and move people more towards the integration
side of the needle. – Alright, let’s– – Can I just say one thing? I see that we’ve taken over, so I’ll jump in too. (audience laughing) Mohammed, your point about the teacher collective bargaining is brilliant. I think that’s a
wonderful idea to build it into the contract. A lot of teacher unions are now bargaining for the collective good,
the common ground– – I hope Randy tweets it out right now. – And you know– – Randi Weingarten, head of the union. – Remember I was mentioning
Lacrosse, Wisconsin, the small community in the middle of, well, I don’t want to say
the middle of nowhere, but the middle of Wisconsin, that it was the teachers
who pushed for integration. They went to the principals, who went to the superintendent, who went to the school board, and the teachers said, “We
can’t do our jobs right “when there are concentrations of poverty “in certain schools that are overwhelming “to us as educators, “and these other schools
have seas of wealth,” so there’s real potential there. I think we ought to work on that together. – Okay, Rick, I’m going to
use my gavel here, alright. (laughing) Alright, this has been fantastic, and now we’re going to
open it up for a Q and A, and please, we’ve got
some mics around the room. This is a pretty dynamic and fired up group of folks to have here, so let’s have some
questions from the audience. – Hi, Valerie Brema, I’m working with
intentionally diverse schools in Los Angeles, and I appreciate all these comments, and the piece about the union really is triggering for me being in Los Angeles with everything that’s been going on. Los Angeles is at a real
pivot point right now, where they’re looking
at pushing down a path of unified enrollment, possible district restructuring. That’s all been sidelined by fiscal cliffs and strikes and whatnot, but there’s a lot of
opportunity for leadership around this issue, and there’s also a lot of
silence in Los Angeles. I wish we were debating, should or must. It’s like the topic’s
not even on the table as far as I can tell, and so my question is, like what’s the tipping point? How do we spark the dialogue about this in districts where they
feel like we’re broke? We got to fix that first, right? They think of achieving integrated schools as a luxury once you’ve
dealt with the big stuff, but I know San Antonio doesn’t have a easy fiscal profile either. I know San Antonio, New York hasn’t had any of this easy, and they’ve still tackled it, so I’m trying to understand, like how do you get there as a system where this becomes
important enough to people that they understand the interconnection between why we face a fiscal cliff due to declining enrollment and the need to integrate
schools, for example? – [Peter] Anybody want to grab that? – I think it’s just you got to keep going. Can’t stop. If you believe in it, and you believe at its core it is going to help us move the needle on a lot of things in our country, and I believe that to the
core till the day I die, then I’m going to keep doing it, even if that means I created, I started with one in Dallas. I started with one school in Dallas, and then when they went to go, and then now there’s seven of them, and when they went to go undo it ’cause the real estate agents were mad that they weren’t zoned to
the million dollar housing in the East Dallas, those parents said, “Hell no. “Do not touch our schools,” so I was like, mission accomplished. I’m good there, so I can
leave now, and so yes. Do we have a lot of bottom 5% of schools in San Antonio in a highly
segregated environment? Yes, we do, and we have to figure that out, and we have to figure out how to get the best teachers in there, the best curriculum, and equalize as much as possible, but we also know that we have to disrupt the lines as well because disrupting the
lines will also benefit these kids as well, and so you can’t just get comfortable, so it can start with one. It can totally start with one. You should get Alex (mumbling) in a room and ask him too how he feels about that. If the west LA parents will open up their lines and borders to the kids ’cause that area can achieve perfectly balanced
schools if they wanted to, but you have west LA charters now that are low poverty
and highly affluent too. Why are they opting out, right? So that’s the problem as well too, so there’s a lot– – Can I just add to this? You mentioned organizing teachers. We need to start in this country by recognizing the value of our teachers, the dignity that they bring to it, so they can feel empowered
to take these statements. They’re fighting for
their economic survival instead of fighting for kids because we don’t value what they bring to the classroom and to
our country as a democracy, so the first thing we need to do is start a campaign to
talk about the importance of classroom teachers in the lives and sustaining our democracy. – [Peter] Yes, absolutely. If you go into a school
that’s a high poverty, the teachers who don’t get paid very much are buying food for the children and all sorts of stuff. Rick, you wanted to jump
in here a little bit. – Yeah, I think, and I agree with what
Muhammad and Judith have said. The other thing I’d suggest is, I guess it’s piggy backing
on your point, Mohammed. A problem can seem so overwhelming in a community like Los Angeles. That’s what New York faced. I remember talking to Joel Klein about integration in New York. He said, “Integration in New York, “there’s no way we could do that “given the demographics,” but what our school
diversity advisory committee in New York City is doing now is saying, “Okay, maybe we cannot integrate “every New York City school tomorrow, “but within New York City, “there are 32 community school districts. “In nine of them, the
demographics are diverse enough “to create the possibility of economically “and racially integrated schools,” and some people on our committee said, “Well, that’s only nine of 32 districts. “We can’t offer a partial solution.” Those nine districts, community school districts, educate 300,000 students, right? I mean, that would be the
fifth largest school district in the country if we made progress there, and the theory of change is that if you can create high quality integrated schools in
those nine districts, then it’s possible that more people from all backgrounds will participate in the public schools, and you could widen the circle. It’s not inevitable that half of white people in New York City are going to go to private school, which is the case today, so I think starting small, as Mohammed has, and then building out is the way to kind of
address the naysayers who say we can’t fix it all, and therefore we shouldn’t
make any progress at all. – [Peter] Good point. We have some other questions. Other comments or questions? – Hi, I’m Karen Dolan from the Institute for Policy Studies. Thank you so much for
your presentations today, and the whole morning
has been really great. I’m wondering, we haven’t
talked a lot about it, but I’m wondering about your thoughts about not just school discipline but the school, to prison pipeline, and especially with regard to now this move to have more SROs in schools, and we haven’t really talked about restorative justice this morning and the way in which black and brown, disabled, trans, we haven’t talked very much
about trans students either, are really targeted, so not only within segregated schools, but when schools are, in integrated schools, it’s still those students that are going to be
targeted for expulsion, suspension, referral to the
criminal justice system, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on that. – I would like to start that one because just last month, the Board of Regents
did pass a resolution, unanimously passed a resolution, rejecting the current secretary
of education’s decision to eliminate the guidance. – Guidance policy. – We restored the guidance for New York and are investing in retraining
of classroom teachers because you can’t just restore it and say it will be without giving teachers the knowledge and the skills they need, but we made a very deliberate effort that we’ve got to cut short this school to prison pipeline, and one of the ways to do that is to help students acquire the knowledge and skills they need to successfully work through all of the
challenges that they face and the traumas that they face, and let’s be realistic. A lot of this behavior comes from frustration and
the absence of support, but we can help them work through that in ways that don’t have them ending up before a judge and having
them sent off to a jail, so that was an intentional decision at the state level to reject
what DeVos has set out and to make it a policy that all school districts must, yeah. – [Peter] John, did you
want to jump in on that? – I just want to second that, that in this era of the
Trump administration with Ms. DeVos or Mr. Carson, we must look to our states and our local for more remedies and creativity to promote equality and
education in particular. – I think the question having to do with in school sort of segregation along all kinds of lines is a powerful one. We’re talking about the
future that really needs to be more developed. There are folks who have written about it, but if we don’t deal
with the within school, we may not get to where we want to go in terms of the diversity
and the effects of diversity. We’ve got a few more minutes for Q and A. We have some questions or thoughts? – Hi, thank you. My name is Robin Ince. I’m with the National Urban League. My question is for Mohammed, and you may have touched on this. I’m curious to know
what conditions existed in San Antonio to make possible
what you’ve accomplished, so what were the conditions, and what was it that moved
the will for this to happen? – A bold superintendent first, that was important. I have a very unified board, as they say, but in Dallas, I had a swing board, also a bold superintendent. It was nine members by
four on most nights, and in San Antonio, it’s been seven, zero for many votes, so that’s important. That matters. They have to want it. If they don’t want it, I probably would have
been fired the first week, or as soon as I said the word segregation. When I saw Pedro Martinez, who grew up in Chicago and was CFO under Arnie
Duncan who knew this well, and when I interviewed, I asked them, are we going to do choice well? Are we going to do choice equitably? Or are we going to let
the free market decide? Look at the magnets. They’re all over the place right now. I want to unify enrollment. I want to do controlled choice. I want you to live in abject poverty, attending a struggling school, and if you want a choice out, you have the best shot in
getting into a new seat that is integrated, if you want it, and so they all said yes, so that was very important as well. It’s an urban city with affluence all around it every day. It’s gentrifying. Hopefully San Antonio,
the mantra in San Antonia, it’s always been slow to develop. Austin happened. Houston happened, Dallas, so hopefully they can get that right. The mayor can pay it on
and inclusive San Antonio, so like quickly crash the
housing task force as well ’cause they got to get that right as well, so those matter, right? We have a policy task force who oversee our attendance zones. We have an enrollment office under a person who’s
obsessive about integration, and so that helps as well, and then we offer choice as well, so with all of those conditions,
we were able to do it, so we offer open enrollment opportunities. Even before charters,
magnets have existed, but now we’re also talking
about magnets segregating and re-segregating, right? I mean, think about that, and then we have attendance
zones, of course, the hardest one to do. There’s 17 different school districts. There’s people talking about it, and there’s a lot of energy. I don’t have the non-profit power, and waves, and student activists
like New York does or LA. I really don’t in San Antonia, but there are a lot of
people who want it, right? And I’ll just give one other piece. When I launched the brand new school, I learned in Dallas three
conditions had to be true. One, you needed an attractive instructional model and location. You needed things that
tap into deeper learning. The peer affect doesn’t work if you don’t have like
a deeper learning model, everything from Montessori to a language, project
based learning, et cetera. Obviously, no selective
admissions and no tracking, and you got to preserve that into policy. Location matter. As much as my progressive families want to believe that they believe
in equal opportunity, they won’t make the jump
at that Montessori school in a segregated neighborhood
with higher crime rates, but when I put it in
the center of the city, where it’s gentrifying, and the organic coffee
shops are propping up, they’ll make the jump. If anything, they’ll fight
me for wanting more seats. They won’t have it. They can get up to 50%, but on most days, I give more seats to the economically
disadvantaged students, so my schools are 60 and above. The second piece is transportation. To the greatest extent possible, choice without
transportation is not choice for our families, so push the city to give free transportation
to high school students, develop a hub system. Figure it out as much as you can, and the third one is, you got to control for it. You got to design for it. If you want to do a 50, 50, do a language school where they’re merging bilingual students being half of the school, then they get the seats. Control choice. You have to design for it, and I believe they
provided federal guidance. One of the ones that has not been revoked, it’s still published on the site. I hope I just didn’t ruin that, (audience laughing) but that matters. Texas doesn’t have anything against it or anything for it, so recently the charter
office had told me, “Well, I don’t know if you can do this.” I said, I can. I can do this, and I actually have a
purple backing to do this, believe it or not. That’s been very interesting as someone coming from California, Los Angeles, and the commissioner of the
Texas State of Education was my former board member in Dallas, so I use that card as much as I can to as well push for this work, so lot of different conditions, right? But you can approach in
many different ways– – Mohammed mentioned the
New York City students, and Amy, Amy is part of this school diversity
advisory group with me, and I know both of us have
been incredibly impressed by the student activism in New York City. You know, we had a chancellor
under Mayor De Blasio, Carmen Farina, who was not committed– – Nope. – To school integration. She talked about creating
pen pals, you know, between different communities. – Eight visits. – That was her version of integration. We now have a chancellor,
Richard Carranza, who is deeply committed to integration, is talking about segregation, naming it, and Mohammed and I were
talking about this beforehand. What enables that transformation
within two chancellors? Well, one has to do with
whether the person is a leader and feels it, but also having that
strong student support, activism from the community, makes an enormous difference. – You know, I think we’ve
pretty much run out of time. I want to thank the panel and give them big round of applause. Thank you all. (audience applauding) (mumbling) Alright, going to go to our next event, so that’d be great. Thank you. – Was a pleasure seeing you, sir. Good seeing you. Good seeing you. – I was in Houston trying to get the same thing started with (mumbling), and I was the dean of the
school of law (mumbling). – Is this the way? Okay. – A lot of work to do. (mumbling) First African American
superintendent (mumbling). – Hello, everybody. Is this on? Great. I have the very, very, very deep pleasure to introduce to you our next speaker. I’m fumbling around a little here. There are few people as young as our next speaker who has made as a huge impact on the policy and
intellectual life of America, really, as Professor
Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Want to introduce him, he’s one of America’s
leading public intellectuals on civil rights and the
American American experience. He is a professor of history, race, and public policy at the
Harvard Kennedy School, and he is a Suzanne Young
Murray Professor at Radcliffe. His scholarship examines
the broad intersections of race, democracy and equality, and criminal justice in
modern U.S. urban history. His book, The Commendation of Blackness, Race, Crime, and The Making
of The Urban Modern America, won the 2011 John Hope
Franklin Best Book Award. He has previously served as a director of the Schomburg Center for
Research in Black Culture, and the nation’s leading library and archive of global black history and was an associate professor
at Indiana University. In 2017, he won the
Distinguished Service medal from Columbia University’s
Teachers College, Professor Muhammad. (audience applauding) – Good afternoon, or close
to good afternoon, everyone. I want to thank Linda Darling Hammond, Learning Policy Institute, Janel George, all the people who helped
make today possible and for inviting me into the room. Until Mohammed spoke, I thought I might be
the only troublemaker, but I now know I’m in good company, and so I’m grateful for this, so I’m going to work from my laptop, in part because I have taken the assignment here of closing remarks to try to digest some of what I’ve heard today, and I’m going to be faithful to that, but I also have a few
things to share of my own. So again, I want to thank everyone for the contribution to today’s event. I’ve learned a lot, so I want to set the context
of who I am and my work because this is important. I’m not probably the most
common kind of interlocutor or contributor to such conversations, and I think for me it’s hopeful that, one, historians, in the
big age sense of things, are becoming part of these conversations, but also I heard so many amazing comments about the intersections of
many sectors of our society that impinge and shape
educational outcomes, and to me, that is also
an incredibly fruitful and generative direction
for the kinds of outcomes that we want to see happening, so what happens elsewhere
in our society matters, and I pay close attention to that. It’s also true that I do
teach education students. In a class that I teach
at Harvard, actually, all my classes, education students show up from the Harvard Graduate
School of Education, for the most part. They’re usually about a
fifth of the students, and, frankly, as someone who mostly has been training people
to become historians and now training people to think about racism and inequality
and policy making, I’m learning a lot from them as well, so what you hear from
me is also a consequence of the lessons that I’ve
learned from the students, many of whom are practitioners. They’ve been in various educational, doing various forms of
educational work for a long time. One of the things that
they’ve taught me is that they were educated in segregated schools. These are adults, 20 somethings, 30, 40, somethings, and they are 90% white. They also didn’t question
their right to the quality and exceptional educations that they received as students, who now getting graduate
degrees in a policy school, are at Harvard University. They were also educated that America is an exceptional nation and mostly gets it right, and so their sense of the deficits that exist in our society are
the deficits of the students that they are taught to save, and so they also have to come to terms with the fact that they’ve been taught to be white saviors, that part of their obligation
as well educated people is to give back in this
way, to fix broken people. They also don’t know much
about race or racism. They walk in the door thinking they do, to some degree, also curious
about what they don’t know, and walking out more or less pissed (audience laughing) that we failed them, that we failed them as educators, as a society, as people who profess to be the greatest nation in the world and its caretakers, have failed them in understanding the precise history of this country, and not the one that
fuels our civic myths, and for my black students, many of them still
report getting to Harvard in spite of teachers and guidance counselors in public schools who track them or want to track them into community schools or lesser schools than they had their sights set on. This is just a little
bit of what I’ve learned from those students, but I think all of it
helps us collectively today face squarely the facts before us. One of the history lessons
that I teach my students, this is my contribution in a sense, is I tell them a lot more about the story of Kenneth and Mamie Clark for whom we are here today in part based on the
theme of this conference, and yet I worry that in the
abstraction of who they were and what they did, we lose a little bit more
of what they learned, and so if part of my job as a historian is to keep the knowledge that
we’ve gained in circulation, to help redistribute it in ways that we may not make the same mistakes as those who’ve come before us make. I’ll share with you a few
highlights from that work, and so you know about Nimbyism, not in my backyard-ism, but Clark, in many ways, coined what we might call,
not on my child-ism, Nomcism. He didn’t write this, of course, but I think it’s one way of thinking about some of the common
themes we’ve heard today. In the work that I think is most telling of how we have lost some of the central messages of Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s body of work, comes from Dark Ghetto, published in 1965. We talk about Brown. We’ve dissected Brown, and certainly many commentators over the last 40 and 50 years have looked and assessed Brown, but Clark left us, himself, a message after looking at the dismal results of what Brown had produced by 1965, as well as anticipating
much of the struggles against busing and the
desegregation that was to come. He had already anticipated
a lot of the challenges that we saw in the 1970s, some of which were overcome, some of which have now been erased. He says in Dark Ghetto that the middle and upper class parents
who defend their decision for private schools with the plea, quote, “I won’t sacrifice my child,” gives perhaps less weight
to their child’s resilience than the evidence would support, and certainly less
weight to the importance of democratically based education that the times demand, but such arguments have little weight when parents fear for
their child’s future, and I think when he notes
democratically based education, he reminds us that in 1965, what was most important was not the simple need
for literacy or numeracy, but that what goes on in
our classrooms ensures that our democratic
institutions will survive. That’s a message that never
left for the most part that generation of thinkers and most certainly did not impact much of the conversation
about what was going on. It translated into integration, and we’ve heard so many
versions of that today, so let’s think about that
democratically based education in broader terms, as the broader context of my remarks. I think it’s also important to note that Clark was very clear. For black children, schools hurt them, that their IQ scores, by the standards of testing at that time, went down the longer they went in school, and Clark called this. He said that the
justification for these things were poor children can’t learn like their middle class peers. He said that people defended this, that culturally deprived children come from incurious homes. This was the attack on black families, and he said, of course if people said, “These children have
psychological problems,” he said all of these amounted to what he described as an alibi
for educational neglect. Now I call this the
problem of damaged imagery because we’ve taken the
evidence of the disadvantage, as Professor Orfield described earlier, not as an invitation
to rewire our society, but as a way of doubling
down on the notion that we’ve got to fix those kids, but Clark was very clear there was nothing ever wrong with those kids. He made it painfully clear because the problem
was that the assumption that something was wrong with them, the notion of damage to them, would be the key ingredient to ensuring that they would have poor
schooling experiences. I’ll just use his words specifically. Children who are treated as if they are uneducable almost invariably become uneducable. Children are, quote, “not
fooled by the various euphemisms “educators use to disguise
educational snobbery.” He also noted they react negatively and hostilely and aggressively to the educational process. They hate teachers. They hate school. They hate anything that seems to impose upon them this denigration because they are not being
respected as human beings, because they are sacrificed in a machinery of efficiency
and expendability, because their dignity and potential as human beings are being obscured and ignored in terms of
educationally relevant factors, their manners, their speech, their dress, or parent disinterest. So I challenge my students, and I challenge all of you to think about how relevant it was before we got to
desegregation court orders, that someone who had dedicated, he and his partner, their lives to pointing
out these problems, so let me reframe this. John King said earlier that we
lack not guidance or wisdom, but political will and folks stepping up, that we need an educational
justice movement, and I want to endorse that 100%, but I also want to say
we haven’t been honest about the complicity of
both the Obama ministration, as well as various other
education reformers, who have not been committed to that work, so we have to match our
talk with our actual action, and there’s a huge gap
between those two things. I also want to insist, something that we didn’t hear today, is that segregation damages white people. I heard someone earlier refer to schools of mostly whites as racially isolated. If segregation is a problem, it works in both directions. We’re used to a long
list of citing evidence of the damage that black
people have experienced, but we don’t study nor talk enough about how segregation
harms white people. It makes them feel privileged. It encourages their blind spots. It limits their moral imagination. It mis-educates and poorly educates them, and this may sound divisive, but it seems to me, how else can we face squarely the facts that face us in this moment. Before Trump, we had
the largest penal system the world had ever known. Before Trump, the overwhelming
evidence of resegregation was already presented before us. Trump is a symptom, not a cause, (mumbling) and part of what the
Southern Poverty Law Center has been teaching us, and I’m grateful for Amy Stuart Wells, using the work and
everything she described about the importance of racial
and historical literacy. They tell us that if we were to learn something about Brown, oh my gosh, we’ve done a terrible job. When the Southern
Poverty Law Center looked at every state in the country to determine how much civil rights history they were teaching, they found that 35 states, by any stretch of the imagination, were doing a very poor job, 16 of which required no teaching of civil rights history. Then when they did a sample of 12,000 high school
students to determine whether or not they could
answer the question, what was Brown versus Board of Education and why is it important, only 2% could answer
those questions correctly, so if we believed in the
promise of Brown collectively, then of course we would
teach that to Brown, but the truth is that we didn’t. We know that to be the case, but here is where the opportunity lies. If we can focus on something that we might call civics education of a 21st century kind, then we can begin to rebuild citizens who value these things
because we’ve been doing just the opposite. It’s also important for
me to note that diversity, I have serious concerns with the way in which diversity
functions in our language and the way that we try
to communicate our values. Diversity, for the most
part, as far as I can tell, is a mask for reinforcing white privilege. It helps people, white people, for the most part still in
decision making positions, decide who they like to be around, but that’s not democratically
based education. All the evidence that
diversity makes us smarter is not going to change things if white people don’t believe
it and don’t act on it, other than the cosmetic diversity that comes with living in (mumbling) or various newly gentrified
parts of the United States. White affluent parents who like diversity are still counting how many black bodies are in the classroom with their kids to determine how good the classroom is. Part of this is because, one, they have never had to listen very hard to understand the stakes of what it means to give up some of that privilege, and if you don’t believe the degree to which that racism is real, or the anti-blackness of even
liberal and moderate parents, one doesn’t have to stretch very hard to hear conversations about meritocracy, about excellence, or to even hear again the reinforcing cycles or feedback of the damage of black children. If a child coming from a
broken home has these problems, why should I subject my child to that, even if I believe that the right kinds of black and brown children
should be in this school? So we have to address that squarely. It’s also true that the language of the achievement gap has
been weaponized against us. As much as it has become a source, and a useful source for
pointing out the failures that exist systemically, it also essentially reinforces the myth of black inferiority. It’s still very much with us
in tracking to one degree, and Trump’s notion of low IQs, which he has so freely disseminated in his political rhetoric, but his free use of low IQ rhetoric comes squarely out of
the ongoing conversations about the skills gap that
exists amongst black people. When I talk to some of my
economics colleagues at Harvard, they don’t think racism
is really a problem. The problem is skills. If the problem is skills, then the problem is squarely back on those who lack the skills. Racism is completely abstracted, or historical, or nonexistent, so let’s think about what it means to change the standards
of achievement gap. First of all, we have to acknowledge that whiteness cannot be the uniform basis for how we measure how
other people are doing. This is exactly what Credo does at Stanford University
when it tries to measure what traditional public
school’s white students are doing versus the charter schools. Well, it completely says no matter what white kids are doing in school, they’re the norm, and we have to figure out
how everyone else is doing. That’s a form of white supremacy baked into the very standards of evidence that we use to move the needle. Let me just remind you,
all of you know this, 2017 NAP scores fourth grade math. Only 51% of all white
students achieved proficiency. In reading, only 47% of all white students achieved proficiency. Now, we often compare in
affluent school districts, 85, 90% achieve mid level versus barely proficient for
black and brown students, but we never talk
nationally about the fact that barely half of all
white children in America in the aggregate are
proficient in reading and math, so why would we assume then that what’s going on with white people is the standard by which we should close the achievement gap? That doesn’t even deal
with the baked in racism that exists amongst white
children who are reinforcing, retrenching, and
reproducing the very notions of white supremacy that
are animating our politics in this country today. This is not just an old people problem. This is also a young people problem. The consequences of 50
years of desegregation, segregation, and resegregation also means that black teachers have been purged from our nation’s classrooms, something that we haven’t talked about. Why would we expect black
teachers to be purged from our nation’s classroom? Because if the assumption
is that black people on average have lower IQs, or are not as smart, or
come from broken homes, why would I, as a white parent, want my students to be
subject to white teachers? The irony of this, of course, is that the more that we’ve invested in white teachers through TFA and other programs that basically
encourage white saviors, like the kind of students that I teach, to go into the classroom
to save black kids is the more that we in the end reinforce the very forms of implicit bias that social psychologists now, as Mahzarin Banaji, one of the creators of the
IAT test are Harvard told me, we have 5,000 audit study tests. We need no more tests to know that white people have anti-black racism, as well as black people, and so we’re not having a conversation about implicit biased among teachers like we are about police officers, so that’s another area that would as far as I’m concerned
shift the burden away from the damage of
black and brown children to the damage that a poor or mis-educated white teaching force brings into the classroom, some of the work that Amy
Stewart Wells is doing also. Okay, so how did we get here? We got here through a
civil rights revolution, as Gary Orfield described. There was an attack on the structure. I’m almost done. Since then, there has been a deliberate, consistent effort to attack
the civil rights movement, as Professor Orfield said, but I want to remind you
that the relationship of that attack on the
civil rights movement is also a relationship that
runs through everything else, so let’s connect the dots. Let’s connect the dots
between Milton Friedmans, the University of Chicago economist, who essentially has established 40 years of economic policy where
morality has no place in the market place, also was one of the earlier advocates for school vouchers and choice, which of course when he went into the Reagan administration, then adopted as a plan that by any stretch of the imagination was an effort to kill public education because if the government was the problem and public education was one
of the biggest expenditures and footprint of the government, the goal was to get rid
of public education. Let’s make no mistake about it. Now of course black
conservatives joined into this. I won’t go into the details, but I want to remind
you that the discourses that that kind of conservative attack on the civil rights movement took place in that moment has affected all of us. It isn’t just in the
minds of conservatives, so when we start conversations about broken black families, we have accepted the terms of the conservative
revolution about why it is that there is a, quote,
unquote, achievement gap, in the first place. We are still not talking about the damage that it does to our society, so I will close with saying that when the former New Jersey justice described the problem
that New Jersey faces, my wife, as an elected school board member in an integrated community of
South Orange and Maplewood, I live with the challenges that she faces that effect that community
every single day, as our kitchen table conversation, I’ll admit the fact
that we didn’t give him a good answer directly, and I think that part of the answer, both in terms of what
Mohammed talked about, in terms of collective
bargaining agreements, is a step in that direction. I think that I heard legislation to stop using property
taxes from Judith Johnson is a wonderful step in that direction. I think a lot of the design
plans that are working, I would argue at the margins, which is not to say that
they’re not meaningful, and they shouldn’t pilot us
towards something better, is productive, but I will say to the justice and to all the rest of us, if we don’t reframe this
not as a civil rights issue, which is how Senator Murphy, as well as Congressman Scott did, I think we have to reframe
this as a democracy problem. This is about a country that is teetering on the brink of destroying itself, and Trump did not get elected on the basis of an argument of a big tent. He got elected on the very
same exclusionary policies that the Republican
party has been advancing with far softer and more gentler language for almost 50 years. He got in office from a
majority white electorate, a majority white electorate, a majority white electorate, on the basis of various
prescriptive forms of racism. More of it, an insistence, and a retreat against the notion that diversity is a good idea, against the notion that
together we are stronger. Now we can play the game of
simply arguing politically that that’s not our values, and therefore we all
believe the same thing, but we don’t. We’ve lost those arguments. We’ve been losing those arguments, so the way to correct
that is to be intentional, to be explicit about the fact that we had this problem. We have this problem, and we’re going to fix this problem, which is not fixing the achievement gap. We should expect more of white people, of their children, of their
attitudes, of their beliefs, and in the process, my guess is if we can
center black humanity better in all of this work, we will be a better nation forward because if we remember the legacy of black contributions
to American democracy, if we remember what the
slaves accomplished, we’d know that the 14th Amendment, the basis of all our equal protections, the basis for every claim of civil rights, it did not come from on high. It did not come from a
kind of thoughtful moment of moderates and liberals
getting together. It came from the fact that black people forced the nation to reconcile its beliefs and ideals with the reality, and everyone, everyone, everyone has benefited from that, so if we believe in that, then we cannot tell black children that simply being literate and numerically smart is good enough. We have to tell them that
you are part of a story alongside white allies who helped to make America
truly great in the first place, and if we want to keep it that way, that story can no longer be optional. Thank you. (audience applauding) – Well, I don’t know quite what we can do to end it on that. That was fantastic. It was also just a very
deep learning experience, so thank you very much. Patrick Shields, who’s
the executive director of Learning Policy Institute
with more than 25 years of doing large social science research, is going to wrap it up. – Yeah, yeah, we can’t do much. In fact, if I could cede my five minutes back to Professor Mohammed, I would like to hear some more from you. Thank you very much. You know, we were concerned
when we put together this program that, you know, we looked at the data, and Linda showed that
chart before resegregation, and Gary talked about what’s happening. We have the New Jersey case about the difficulty
of implementing things, and we thought it might be
a little bit of a downer, but I really have been invigorated today, not only by the sort of concrete examples of controlled choice
and introducing choice, but also sort of the thoughtful remarks that Professor Mohammed just made about sort of trying to rethink basically how we take this on as
a matter of the values of a democracy in our society, and not just a matter of our schools and who sits next to who in the classroom. So with that, I’d like to
thank you all for coming, to remind you that these
reports are on our website, learningpolicyinstitue.org, that you can find easily, and thank you, and we’ll be continuing
in this series of events. (audience applauding)

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