Zoned for Success: How Urban Planners Can Promote Educational Equality
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Abundant research connects residential patterns of segregation to the educational achievement and opportunity gaps between lower-income students of color and higher-income white students. The purpose of this thesis is to explore how urban planners can remediate residential segregation to create more integrated schools and, in turn, help bring about a more equitable education system. Using a combination of primary sources (conferences and symposiums) and secondary sources (a literature review of nearly 100 scholarly and archival documents), this thesis identifies the challenges and opportunities related to overcoming residential and school segregation. The research revealed that urban planners can enable mixed-income and mixed-race school districts in four major ways. First, urban planners can work to repeal various forms of exclusionary zoning that prevent low-income families of color from living in affluent and high achieving school districts. Secondly, planners can pressure localities to remove expulsive elements from zoning codes that interfere with the education and health of low-income students of color. Thirdly, urban planners can propose inclusionary zoning techniques to encourage affordable housing in expensive areas. Fourthly, urban planners can promote federal subsidized housing programs that are focused on improving educational outcomes for low-income students of color. This thesis concludes with advocating regional planning over local planning as a method of achieving educational equality.
- Urban planning