LEARNING AREA: Racial Equity
choosing integration

Choosing Integration: A Discussion Paper and Policy Primer






Massachusetts public schools are highly segregated by race, ethnicity, and income. This condition is largely a choice. We have gone more than two decades without a coordinated strategy to increase integration. Leaders are quietly starting to question this status quo, and with good reason. School segregation is arguably the single greatest force behind the high levels of inequality in our commonwealth. Doing nothing to address this longstanding challenge could thwart other wellintentioned efforts to reduce racial disparities.

With leaders allocating an unprecedented trove of federal funds, this is a pivotal moment to vigorously question segregated schooling in Massachusetts. To inform inquiry, this discussion paper presents a thorough fact base: We probe trends in school and residential segregation. We examine the latest relevant peer-reviewed academic research. And we explore recent policy developments in education, housing, and transportation, surfacing numerous opportunities to achieve meaningful increases in integration.