When secession is considered
The growing and dangerous perception among some that America is a post-racial society is fueling the transition back to separate but equal schools, says Bryan Joffe, project director of education and youth development for the School Superintendents Association.
“Some people would say this case is indicative of a Southern problem, when I think this is a national problem,” he says.
Here are a few tip to help prevent secession:
Be honest. When demographics in a district change or tensions rise, superintendents should promote the benefits of diversity and strengthen bonds between communities, Joffe says.
Seek to understand motivations. Faced with a proposed separation, superintendents can help cooler heads prevail, says Zahava Stadler, manager of policy and research at EdBuild.
To help avoid secession, superintendents should seek to understand the motivation behind efforts to separate—these may include disputes over finances, governance or resource distribution.
Educate legislators. Superintendents should also inform state lawmakers about the higher cost of educating low-income students, and the impact of separation on inequality and diversity, she says.
Jessica Ablamsky is a freelance writer in California.