Giving Compass' Take:

• The Othering & Belonging Institute analyzes the pervasive injustices of continuously reinforced re-segregation and tracking policies in schools

• How do educators implicitly maintain the effects of these policies? What will it take for us to actually deconstruct these injustices in our education systems?

• Read about the discrimination inherent in schools' gifted programs.

Many students of color, low-income students, immigrant students, including English-language learners have minimal access to high quality learning environments. Structurally, access to these schools and classrooms is impeded by patterns of re-segregation and tracking. Racial, socioeconomic, and linguistic segregation in schools have long been documented. Even more alarming socioeconomic and linguistic segregation has risen in recent years, especially for Latino students. The high levels of segregation are exacerbated by within school tracking practices, which reproduce inequality along racial and class lines, providing some students with rigorous instruction, and others with much lower quality “drill and kill” types of instruction.

While there are efforts to transform these structural practices, these systems are deeply entrenched and are often met with fierce resistance. For instance, Michael J. Dumas, a Race, Diversity, and Educational Policy Cluster member and Professor of Education, described the long and systematic political efforts of Seattle’s more affluent, white community to delegitimize and dismantle the city’s school desegregation efforts. Noting how both class and race were invoked in their efforts, he suggests that middle-class and affluent White Seattleites used the language of rights and justice alongside structural mechanisms like school choice to preserve their own privilege and reproduce inequities. Efforts to minimize tracking practices are also met with resistance. For example, in her case study of one school district instituting a rigorous, equityoriented instructional approach, Tina Trujillo, a Professor of Education and Race, Diversity, and Educational Policy Cluster member, demonstrates how district and school actors undermined efforts to advance the reform. She notes how teachers and leaders resisted increased pedagogical rigor and detracking practices that would provide nondominant groups like English Language Learners more robust learning environments. Resistance to the reform often led district leaders to prioritize district harmony over the equity-oriented policy.

Read the full article about re-segregation and tracking in schools at Othering & Belonging Institute.