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Who Benefits from Less Segregated Schools? You Might Add White Kids To The List

Evidence suggests that diverse school districts benefit white students.
LA Johnson
Evidence suggests that diverse school districts benefit white students.

Some new research suggests that ending America's devastating problems with school segregation is good for white kids, too. Over at NPR Ed, our colleague Anya Kamenetz describes these findings:

"Diverse schools, especially when kids attend them at an early age, are linked to cross-racial friendships," says [Virginia Commonwealth University education professor Genevieve Siegel-Hawley]. "Your willingness to stereotype declines, and that in turn is linked to a reduction in prejudice."

Considering that the United States is projected to be majority-minority by 2044, when today's elementary school students are in the workforce, being comfortable with difference may become a competitive necessity.

What's more, researchers say that while white students can expect to have similar test scores at any school, those who attend more diverse schools have advantages when it comes to creativity, hard work, and empathy.

And that when exposed to diverse environments, students who typically make up the majority population are "more likely to back up their own opinions and consider alternative points of view."

Check out the full story.

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Leah Donnella is an editor on NPR's Code Switch team, where she helps produce and edit for the Code Switch podcast, blog, and newsletter. She created the "Ask Code Switch" series, where members of the team respond to listener questions about how race, identity, and culture come up in everyday life.