Each of the historic modes of making and remaking inequality visible in Nashville prompt questions about the contemporary educational landscape and the possibilities for future improvements or further inequalities. Both demographic changes in cities, often called “gentrification,” and the increasing presence of school choice are altering the spatial organization of schooling and its relationship to housing markets. To what extent do these alterations further, or weaken, segregation? Contemporary curricular discourse also features a renewed interest in vocational(now “career”) education as a tool for economic growth and mobility. In light of staggering income inequality, visible by racial category as well as by educational status, what protections are in place to ensure that this new trend in the curricular organization of schooling does not reproduce inequality? Amid these important and consequential developments, our the collective popular vocabulary for explaining educational inequality remains hampered by false constructs like “de facto segregation,” evidence of a long-standing difficulty in articulating how multiple forms of state power have, in the United States, aligned to create and sustain segregation and inequality.
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