When Race Matters
Public debate over the recent Supreme Court desegregation ruling has overlooked what may be the most damaging consequence of racially isolated schools - unequal access to our nation's best teachers. Recent research has demonstrated that teacher decisions over where to teach depend on the racial composition of schools as much or more as on relative salaries. As a result, the Court's decision to limit the use of race in school assignment may only exacerbate the unequal distribution of teachers across schools. Districts must be vigilant about the distribution of teachers as they consider the educational implications of increased segregation. Through careful monitoring and targeted policies, districts can avoid the invisible inequalities in teacher quality that so frequently accompany racially segregated schools.