Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief, talks about America's unequal education system with journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. How much progress has been really made since Brown v. Board of Education in giving black kids access to equal schooling as white kids? Far from enough, Hannah-Jones has found. And she has some concrete—but difficult—ideas for fixing it.
This may be my favorite interview of the series so far. There’s so much to unpack here that the discussion should probably have gone on for a few more hours. The differences in how this issue differ in various parts of the country make it a difficult problem to handle.
My initial inclination is that one cannot (easily) have a government take over of private schools. To equal the playing field however, one could completely defund private schools and force them to live on their own steam. This would potentially free up a pocket of money that could go to improving better integrated and un-gerrymandered schools. I suspect the economic forces would help level the playing fields, though a tremendous amount of work would still be required as follow up.
I’ll have to revisit the issue, but I have a feeling that the public good built into public schools and hospitals creates a different “market” than the traditional capitalistic ones because the root of these institutions is to build a “public good” which is hampered by the infrastructure costs of otherwise allowing directly competitive forces to create an equal access market.
I do find it interesting that in the Los Angeles area I have the option of almost 20+ potential schools while when I lived in Georgia and South Carolina there was really only ever one real option (without a tremendous amount of travel) for school choice.
I love Nikole Hannah-Jones‘s perspective and want to read more of her material. Fortunately she’s got a really interesting looking website, which should make doing so a whole lot easier. I hope others do as well as this short interview barely scratches the surface of what looks like some awesome thought.