A new report out of Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, published by the National Education Policy Center, addresses ‘colorblind’ education reforms saying the policies actually perpetuate racial inequality.
The report, titled “Seeing Past the ‘Colorblind’ Myth of Education Policy: Addressing Racial and Ethnic Inequality and Supporting Culturally Diverse Schools,” argues that the housing market, school district boundaries, and accountability systems are by nature not equal or colorblind, and so by default, schools are not equal either.
The report specifically looks at the accountability movement and school-choice policies as examples where “colorblind” education reforms aimed at decreasing the achievement gap, actually can exacerbate the gap by not fully acknowledging the role race plays in the U.S. educational system.
The report's author, Amy Stuart Wells, proceeds to give suggestions to policymakers on how they can create necessary, equalizing measures without being colorblind. Among the suggestions are creating and sustaining more racially and ethnically diverse schools, fostering cross-district cooperation/collaboration, encouraging inter-district transfers to promote diversity, expanding legal challenges based on the educational benefits of diversity, tapping into the Common Core’s potential to support the educational benefits of diversity, and placing far less emphasis on standardized tests.