Monday, September 14, 2015
Last week in the NY Times, Thomas Edsall (Columbia-Journalism) had an op-ed that looks at the past, present and future of overconcentration of poverty in the U.S. In "Whose Neigborhood Is It?", Edsall begins with the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal in Milliken v. Bradley to extend school desegregation remedies across a municipal boundary without a showing that a defendant suburban district had a history of de jure racial segregation. Legal scholars have frequently pointed to this 1974 case as a signal from SCOTUS that the suburban schools would be protected from inner-city decline. Interestingly, Edsall emphasizes the resulting exodus of middle-class African-American families to inner-ring suburbs. The op-ed moves on to discuss the findings of Thomas, David Card and Paul Jargowsky, quickly bringing the reader into strong insights on a crucial issue.
Today's op-ed is just one in a series that Edsall has written this year on the metropolitan geography of poverty. Although I found his criticism last month of low-income housing developers misplaced, that op-ed and others on the political fallout from the Inclusive Communities litigation and educational opportunities for low-income children make good resource material for supplemental assigned reading.