Our guest author today is John B. King Jr., president and CEO of The Education Trust, and former U.S. Secretary of Education during the Obama Administration. This essay was originally published as part of the materials for our June 2017 conversation, "School Integration by Race & Class: A Movement Reborn?" It was also published on the blog of The Education Trust.
Our children live in a more diverse country than ever before. And America is projected to become even more racially and ethnically diverse in the coming decades.
In fact, by some estimates, by 2055, the U.S. will not have a single racial or ethnic majority. This shift in our population will happen in our lifetimes — or, for many of us, at least in our children’s lifetimes. In some communities, this already may be a reality. We also know that today, for the first time, our public schools now serve a majority of students of color.
But despite the increasing diversity of our communities and our nation, our schools are segregated by both race and class.
Indeed, more than 60 years after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision that declared “separate but equal” schools unconstitutional, American public schools in many areas are more segregated now than in previous decades.