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In Which Mike Petrilli and I Play Debbie and Diane

By Eduwonkette — June 03, 2008 1 min read

Mike Petrilli and I have a friendly off-blog scuffle at least once a week, and here’s our latest quarrel. Over at Flypaper,
Mike wrote, “After arguing about race for forty years, many of which saw an expansion of the achievement gap between white and black students, even the left-left coast is agreeing that student performance is more important than the racial make-up of a classroom.”

Here are my two cents on this false choice: Even if you only care about student achievement, racial composition is important. Put simply, it’s more difficult to attract and retain high-quality teachers in schools that are racially isolated. There are oodles of papers on this topic, but here is a good one. Mike has more to say about this point, so I’ll let him take it from here...

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