How ‘Nice White Parents’ illustrates a powerful way of covering school inequality

Alexander Russo:

Over the few days, the political right has been in an uproar over Nice White Parents, the Chana Joffe-Walt-reported and -hosted podcast that premiers today, via Serial and the New York Times.

“Disintegrationists are now claiming that if you are a good parent who wants to educate your child in the best possible way, you are inherently racist because you are exacerbating racial inequality,” tweeted Ben Shapiro. “This holds only if you are white.”

The response is perhaps understandable, given the show’s inflammatory name given to the series and and promotional copy blaring that “if you want to understand what’s wrong with our public education system, you have to look at what is arguably the most powerful force in our schools: White parents.”

However, it’s progressive parents who should feel targeted. They’re the ones being scrutinized here. To understand why American schools are so broken and uneven, as Joffe-Walt reports it, we have to look closely at the beneficiaries of the system, those who make and shape the rules, whose preferences influence policy and worry politicians — and those who have the option to move or pay for private school if they are not pleased.

In big cities like New York City, the “nice white parents” are likely to be liberal.

Taxpayers have funded Madison’s K-12 school district well above most other public schools. Yet, we recently expanded our least diverse schools – despite space in nearby facilities.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration