|BEST OF THE WEEK
The best education story of the week is Alvin Chang‘s deep dive for Vox into the demographic effects of school attendance zones, which are an important factor contributing to racial segregation in schools along with residential segregation, district boundary-setting, and individual methods (private schools, magnet programs, moving away, etc).
The latest piece has been getting a lot of well-deserved attention. (Nikole Hannah-Jones began a thread about the story with the comment, “This is such important work.”) However, do note that the original version of the story claimed that American schools were as segregated now as they were 50 years ago, which is not precisely the case.
In a perfect world, someone would cobble together a map or calendar of big districts going through rezoning processes, so that more reporters can get in on the story. (Hint, hint.) Also: We need to get Chang to talk to a group of us about the issues he’s covered, his innovative visual storytelling strategies, and his ideas for getting readers (and perhaps even journalists) to reflect on how their interpretations and decisions are affected by their own “mental maps.”
You may recall Chang’s previous efforts at explaining school segregation between districts, which The Grade named one of last year’s best education stories. (His work has also been mentioned in previous columns about innovative ways to report and share education stories.) You can hear Chang talk about the issues here. Read about how he put the story together here.