Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226528915 Will Publish August 2017
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226025254 Published April 2016
E-book $10.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226025391 Published April 2016 Also Available From

Making the Unequal Metropolis

School Desegregation and Its Limits

Ansley T. Erickson

Making the Unequal Metropolis

Ansley T. Erickson

416 pages | 40 halftones, 2 line drawings, 4 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2016
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226528915 Will Publish August 2017
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226025254 Published April 2016
E-book $10.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226025391 Published April 2016
In a radically unequal United States, schools are often key sites in which injustice grows. Ansley T. Erickson’s Making the Unequal Metropolis presents a broad, detailed, and damning argument about the inextricable interrelatedness of school policies and the persistence of metropolitan-scale inequality. While many accounts of education in urban and metropolitan contexts describe schools as the victims of forces beyond their control, Erickson shows the many ways that schools have been intertwined with these forces and have in fact—via land-use decisions, curricula, and other tools—helped sustain inequality.

Taking Nashville as her focus, Erickson uncovers the hidden policy choices that have until now been missing from popular and legal narratives of inequality. In her account, inequality emerges not only from individual racism and white communities’ resistance to desegregation, but as the result of long-standing linkages between schooling, property markets, labor markets, and the pursuit of economic growth. By making visible the full scope of the forces invested in and reinforcing inequality, Erickson reveals the complex history of, and broad culpability for, ongoing struggles in our schools.
Contents
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction

Part I: Making Inequality, 1945–1968

1 / Metropolitan Visions of Segregation and Growth
2 / Desegregation from Tokenism to Moderation
3 / The Curricular Organization of Segregated Schooling
4 / The Spatial Organization of Schooling and Urban Renewal

Part II: Remaking Inequality, 1968–1998

5 / The Road to Busing
6 / Busing Resisted and Transformed
7 / Busing Lived and Imagined
8 / Busing Renegotiated
9 / The Long Road to the End of Desegregation

Conclusion
List of Oral History and Interview Participants
Notes
Index
Review Quotes
History of Education Quarterly
Making the Unequal Metropolis provides the model for a comprehensive history that explores how factors both within the school system and without have interacted to increase inequality. Erickson convincingly demonstrates that neither white flight nor de facto residential segregation were the dominant factors that gutted policy efforts aimed at increasing equality; instead, it was the district’s enactment of those policies. In making multiple and varied decisions that redistributed ‘material, human, and social’ resources to privileged white suburban students—‘even within policy interventions ostensibly targeting equality’—educational inequality was remade.”
Journal of Children and Poverty
“Erickson argues persuasively that schools are significant markers of valued resources (land, high-quality housing and other properties, safety, family-oriented neighborhoods) and serve as proxies for those who possess such resources. . . . She reminds concerned readers, particularly educators and policy-makers, that curative policies and interventions absent an understanding of educational inequality’s historical foundations in slavery and racism are bound only to reinforce current disparities. Additionally, Erickson reveals that attempts at educational equality that are decoupled from integrated fair housing and urban renewal projects will only remake inequality.”
Jonathan Zimmerman, New York University
“Can our schools make us equal? As Erickson reminds us, this ever-present question ignores the historic role of public schools in creating and reinforcing the same disparities that the schools are now called upon to correct. Even as courts ordered racial desegregation, decisions about where to locate schools—and what to teach in them—structured new inequalities across the American urban landscape. Nobody has done more to illuminate these hidden decisions and deceptions than Erickson. And nobody can understand our current educational impasse without reading her meticulous and inspired book.”
N. D. B. Connolly, author of A World More Concrete
“Making the Unequal Metropolis achieves that rare balance of deep archival engagement and immediate contemporary relevance.  Through this impressive account of postwar Nashville, Erickson makes compelling connections between institutional expressions of white power and the use of schools to preserve the educational, residential, and economic advantages of white people. In their location, curricula, and apparent social benefits, schools helped those in power selectively encourage economic investment and divide the haves from the have-nots. Even well-meaning reforms meant to ensure growth or desegregation could advance new forms of white power and privilege if schools remained under the control of those more concerned with order than justice. Segregation, we learn yet again, is no accident, inequality no forgone conclusion. But unlike other authors, Erickson issues a powerful and useful charge for understanding and undoing both: pay attention to our schools.”
Ira I. Katznelson, author of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time
“This revealing book is important for its resonant history of school desegregation, for its spatial imagination, for its account of the modern South, and for the bright light it shines on crucial mechanisms of inequality. Researched at depth and written with felicity, Making the Unequal Metropolis sharpens understanding as it explores fundamental fault lines in the American experience.”
Matthew Lassiter | author of The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South
“This powerful history of four decades of school desegregation in Nashville demonstrates how federal and municipal policies consistently reproduced racial inequality across the metropolitan landscape and inside the classrooms of one of the nation’s most successful ‘statistically desegregated’ districts during the era of court-ordered busing. In Erickson’s sobering assessment, Nashville’s white leadership and educational system always favored economic growth over racial equality, white suburbs over urban neighborhoods, and market logics over democracy and full citizenship.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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