LISTEN: Professor Tracey Benson Discusses Segregation In Charlotte Education

Tracey Benson at WFAE Charlotte Talks
Wednesday, December 4, 2019

by: Jesse Steinmetz
photo: Jennifer Worsham

To achieve racial equity across its schools, a report from the N.C. Justice Center's Education & Law Project calculates that Charlotte-Mecklenburg would need to reassign 55% of its students. It declares Charlotte’s school system "by far the most racially segregated district in the state." 

Charlotte was once a model for school integration – in 1971 the Supreme Court ruled in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education the district must use student assignment and busing to integrate its schools. In 1974, West Charlotte High School hosted students from Boston to show how integration could be done peacefully and for the benefit of all students.

Since Capacchione v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in 1999, however, Charlotte has become tragically resegregated.

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg School report Breaking the Link ties together the connections of education, race and class succinctly: “If you are born poor in Charlotte, you are likely to stay that way.”

Professor Tracey Benson and three other educational leaders worked to confront these stark numbers and propose solutions on WFAE's Charlotte Talks.