Why Suburbs Need Integration Plans
Why suburban schools need a plan
We are a predominantly suburban nation, with suburbia considered the center of our society and politics for decades. Decades ago, suburbs resisted helping the cities in crafting solutions associated with racial change, but now suburban communities face similar challenges. Already, most students of color in many metropolitan areas attend school in the suburbs. Presidential-election campaigns focus on residents of middle-class suburbs, but civil rights policy—such as the housing integration effort proposed by Mitt Romney's father during the Nixon administration —directed at the suburbs and their schools has been long absent.
As we write in a just-published book on the subject, millions of African-American and Latino families have moved to the suburbs, and neighborhood and school segregation by race and class is rapidly on the rise. This suburban racial transformation is multiracial: In the period from 1999-2000 to 2006-07, Latinos accounted for more than 70 percent of the growth of the nation's suburban enrollment, while the percentage of suburban whites declined...
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