Giving Compass' Take:

• Sonia Park explains how the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition is working to build charter schools to foster school integration. 

• How can funders work to advance school integration at scale? What does school segregation look like in your area? 

• Learn how school integration helps black students

America’s painful history with segregation was injected anew into America’s dinner-table conversations after Harris’s exchange with Joe Biden at the second Democratic presidential debate. Finding solutions to this persistent problem remains fundamental to justice and opportunity in this country — and in an increasingly diverse nation, it’s more pressing than ever. Desegregation in America’s schools peaked in 1988; since then, the proportion of schools that are intensely segregated — more than 90 percent nonwhite — has tripled. This, in a country where most public school students are children of color.

But evidence shows that racial and socioeconomic integration offer benefits not just to children of color and low-income students but to all, ranging from test scores to college attendance to critical thinking skills. Scholar Richard Kahlenberg wrote after the debate, “If we want to break the cycle of poverty, few interventions are as important as efforts to give children a chance to attend high-quality integrated schools.”

High-quality public charter schools are among the new tools we have to advance desegregation and deepen our understanding of successful diversity.

The Diverse Charter Schools Coalition is proud to have assembled charter leaders determined to work with school boards and to recruit intensively to make their schools a force for diversity of all kinds and at all levels. We’re a small but rapidly growing alliance representing more than 175 schools nationwide that have a vision of what education should look like in today’s society — encompassing families, students, staff and leadership. We are determined to take on not just learning gaps but also an empathy gap that is far too clear.

Read the full article about the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition by Sonia Park at The 74.