Students leave Stuyvesant High School, one of the few specialized public high schools in New York City.Bebeto Matthews / AP

Why does integration seem to be at the heart of so many fights about schools? Because desegregation is the one factor that seems to consistently yield results in closing the racial achievement gap in education. In the wave of desegregation that followed Brown v. Board of Education, Nikole Hannah-Jones reported in 2014, black children given access to the same educational resources as white children began to catch up. One study found “black Americans who attended schools integrated by court order were more likely to graduate, go on to college, and earn a degree than black Americans who attended segregated schools. They made more money ... They were significantly less likely to spend time in jail. They were healthier.”

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