The Christian Science Monitor today noted that many of those concerned about issues of equity in education feel "it would be more practical for districts to shift toward balancing school populations on the basis of factors such as income level."
Cited in the CS Monitor article:
"The socioeconomic approach offers two advantages," says Richard Kahlenberg, author of a new report detailing such plans and a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, a progressive policy group in Washington. First, districts that have done it most successfully give families a choice of magnet schools with special programs, "so there are incentives for middle-class people to buy into socioeconomic integration," says Mr. Kahlenberg. Second, "as a legal matter, it's clearly fine to use income to distinguish people."If we are honest about it, the only reason for anyone to be concerned about inequities in education is because education has consequences for the material and economic conditions in which people live. Concerns about racial segregation were never about an abstract access to "knowledge," but rather about practical access to power (political and economic) and the pathways to full economic opportunity.
It is time now to focus on making sure that our schools are integrated by social class, and use things like income, home value, and neighborhood residence to create diversity in the schools. If we have social class diversity, then racial and ethnic diversity will happen as a matter of course.