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Your plans for next week? Listen to our series on education in Detroit

From the John and Leni Sinclair papers
UM Bentley Historical Library
Anti-busing demonstration in Detroit in 1976.

Next week, Sarah Alvarez from our State of Opportunity team will explore the long shadow of a busing and integration case 40 years ago, and the way the outcome fundamentally altered the notion of a neighborhood school for students in Detroit and many communities throughout the metro area.

Check out this post by Kimberly Springer that shows how some Detroit parents were notified that their kids were going to be bused to another school.

The series “Abandoning the neighborhood school” will focus on these topics:

  • The bitter and controversial fight around Milliken v. Bradley, the 1974 case that would have integrated Detroit's schools by busing kids from Detroit into the suburbs and vice versa.
  • Schools in the Detroit metro area are more segregated now than they were when the busing case went to the Supreme Court, but we've stopped talking about trying to integrate them. Does racial segregation matter for high quality education?
  • Financial and social complications of “funnel districts,” with a case study from the city of Ferndale. Many of the kids in Ferndale schools live in Detroit, and many children in Ferndale go to school in wealthier suburban districts.
  • Current reform efforts in Detroit schools have not inspired the level of passion that busing did, but they are still re-configuring the educational landscape in metro Detroit.

The series will be posted on our State of Opportunity website and it will air on Michigan Radio during Morning Edition (M-F, 5:00-9:00am) and All Things Considered (M-F, 4:00-6:30pm) next week, November 11-15.

There will also be an accompanying media-rich website where you can listen to recollections of those directly involved with busing, as well as see some of the amazing archival materials of the era that document the tumultuous period.

Mark Brush was Michigan Radio’s Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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