Hundred year old school buildings. Sputtering HVAC systems. Covid revealed a legacy of racism that’s built into the physical infrastructure of education.
A lack of investment in school buildings determines who can safely go back and who can't. But if we all pay taxes, why is our public school system full of inequality and inequity? Kai speaks with reporters Bracey Harris and Meredith Kolodner, who break down the Hechinger Report’s shocking findings on the safety of school buildings across the country.
Later in the show: From infrastructure to PTAs, a school’s priorities are largely determined by districts. But why do we have school districts at all? Kevin Carey, the director of the education policy program for New America, explains the history, going back to 1785. For more, you can read his article in the journal Democracy, “No More School Districts!”
Companion listening for this episode:
Two Schools in Marin County (02/06/2020)
In the classrooms and town meetings of Marin, California we witness a community grappling with what desegregation and reparations might look like in the 21st century.
Who Owns the Deed to the American Dream? (09/29/2016)
Suburbia's current existential crisis comes as no surprise to those who know the history beyond its white picket fences.
“The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.