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When Rich and Poor Learn Together, Kids Win

With all the roadblocks thrown up by the Supreme Court, should school systems still try to pursue diversity? One district in North Carolina said yes and, as a new study shows, reaped solid rewards for the kids.

After years of progress in reducing racial segregation in schools, North Carolina began to go the other way in the 1990s. A series of Supreme Court decisions had undermined the districts’ ability to assign students to schools based on race. Districts began abandoning their diversity plans in droves and reverting back to a time when your ZIP code was your educational destiny. 

But the Wake County Public School System took a different approach. In place of race-based school assignment policies, it implemented plans that emphasized socioeconomic diversity.