The two paragraphs that include Bloomingdale resident Natalie Hopkinson are copied below.
U.S. Education Secretary John King is calling for programs that largely leave it up to parents to desegregate schools. Will that suffice?
“All of the choice-based reform efforts that they’ve come up with over the last 20 years have been designed to bring back all the white people who left after Brown v. Board. But the irony is that, if [districts] keep relying on choice, they’re going to be set up for failure because white people will not enroll their children in schools unless they’re already [predominantly] white,” said Natalie Hopkinson, a black parent and journalist, referring to extensive research showing privileged, white parents tend to send their kids to schools that they perceive as “high status.” “So the segregation keeps repeating itself as long as you rely on choice as a way to make the change.”
All the trauma caused by busing students across districts and the distinct discomfort with explicitly using race as a metric in public policy have also meant that, once the official mandates started to fade away, politicians stopped making integration a priority. According to Jonathan Kozol, the educator, activist, and author of The Shame of a Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, racial isolation in schools has been addressed “as an injustice that was caused by the particulars of politics and funding practices at local levels, with the moral obligations of the nation as a whole almost entirely shunted out of view.” This pattern continues to this day. As The New York Times’s Nikole Hannah-Jones highlighted on This American Life, the Obama administration could have incentivized desegregation plans through its $4.35 billion Race to the Top grant program. But it didn’t. Historically, policymakers have “made certain choices, and that has been to exclude, marginalize, and under-resource black children,” said Hopkinson, who lives in D.C. “The idea that, all of a sudden, that will naturally be undone is absurd.
Here is the article's video, with Natalie Hopkinson: