How Should Schools Respond to America’s Growing Diversity?

Policy Forum
January 31, 2013 12:00PM
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring Michael Petrilli, Executive Vice President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and author of The Diverse Schools Dilemma: A Parent’s Guide to Socioeconomically Mixed Public Schools; Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation, and author of All Together Now: Creating Middle-Class Schools through Public School Choice; and Neal McCluskey, Associate Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute; moderated by Greg Toppo, National K-12 education reporter, USA Today.

As our nation comes ever closer to being “majority minority,” Americans will look increasingly to our education system to unite us. A natural impulse will be to force, or at least nudge, children from different ethnic, religious, or other backgrounds together in public schools. But physical proximity does not guarantee affinity or trust, and the question of how to structure education to maximize social cohesion has a complicated — and uncertain — answer. To get at that answer — and mark National School Choice Week — a distinguished panel will debate how great a role the choices of parents and educators must have in order to maximize social harmony.