Reflecting on the 2008 election, Prudence Carter challenges the popular notion that President Obama’s victory is symbolic of a postracial society in the United States. Citing statistics about the opportunity gap that still exists in our nation’s schools—as well as the recent Supreme Court cases that served to halt racial desegregation—Carter argues that we must continue to push for truly integrated schools, where black and Latino students are provided with the resources, high standards, and care to meet their full potential. Although she sees President Obama’s victory as a symbol of national potential, Carter calls on all of us to work toward ending the “empathy gap” that exists both in and out of our nation’s schools.
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Prudence L. Carter
is a sociologist with expertise in education, race and ethnic relations, and culture. She is codirector of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and is completing a book, The Paradoxes of Opportunity: Race, Culture, and Boundaries in “Good” Schools
, documenting a cross-national study of desegregated and majority-black high schools in the United States and South Africa.