Back in 2006, I had the chance to see Jonathan Kozol when he visited Seattle touring his new book, The Shame of the Nation. The country, he said, had more educational racial segregation in 2006 than it did in 1968, when his first book, Death at an Early Age came out.
While the US rejected the doctrine of “separate but equal” in the landmark 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, racial segregation in schools continues to be a fact of life. It almost never comes up. That’s the reason that the This American Life episodes, linked below, are so relevant. Integrating schools has been shown to be one of the most effective way to close the educational outcome gap between students of different races; it is also one of the only options for school reform not on the table.
As the beginning of school rises up on the horizon, these radio shows couldn’t be more timely. They are required listening for anyone who cares about race, class, education, and the future of the American democratic experiment.
The Problem We All Live With – Episode 1
The Problem We All Live With – Episode 2
After that somber note, here’s news on Math for Love in September. Our Sunday class registration is open for K-8th grade; Prime Climb has won another award (it’s fourth!); we’ve wrapped up our work on the Seattle Summer Staircase—a fantastic project once again—and got a brief vacation before this year kicks off. We’ll be running professional development with more schools than ever this year, as well as expanding our partnerships with libraries, pre-Ks, and possibly embarking on some new, exciting partnerships (more on these later).
We’ll have lots more news to share as the year progresses. Here’s a little inspiration for the beginning of the school year that made me smile.