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Professors Claim America's Suburban Schools Face New Pressures

Professors Claim America's Suburban Schools Face New Pressures

With school reform efforts at its peak, there are many who may question whether or not reformists cover all ground. 

Two professors, Amy Stuart Wells and Douglas Ready look at this issue in their recent article in The Washington Post. Wells, a professor of sociology at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Ready, associate professor of eduaction policy at Teachers College, speak about the divide that has developed in schools across the nation. They also touch base on how housing policy "affects America's suburban schools in a profound way."

The team looked at recent national controversies such as what happened in Ferguson, as well as the "end of the white-student majority in U.S. public school enrollments nationwide – speak to the changing identity of our nation, our suburbs and our public schools." They said the more there is a divide, "the more likely they are to erupt."

The duo recently helped publish a study titled, "Divided We Fall: The Story of Separate and Unequal Suburban Schools 60 Years after Brown v. Board of Education", which offers "a reality check for anyone ignoring the changing racial demographics of our suburbs and the need to work toward sustainable, racially diverse suburban communities and schools."

Their study, they said, uncovers a "new suburban reality," saying that American suburbs are in "the midst of an identity crisis."

"In many metro areas, the affluent and the poor, people of color and whites, the well-educated and poorly educated are 'trading places' across urban-suburban boundaries," the article said.

In fact, the number of Americans living below the federal poverty line is now greater in the suburbs than the cities, and fewer than 20 percent of people in the largest metropolitan areas still live in predominantly white suburbs.

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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