a more shared sense of reality
August 3, 2020 5:09 AM   Subscribe

The first two episodes of a new podcast from the Serial team (now a NYT company) are out: Nice White Parents (rss) ep 1. The Book of Statuses (TAL/Spotify/Apple/Google/Art19) and ep 2. "I Still Believe In It" (Spotify/Apple/Google/Art19). Reactions have been quite varied and... colorful.

The podcast's author, Chana Joffe-Walt, also provided a related Reading List.
posted by progosk (15 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I think it’s great so far, and I love her reporting. I just got to her story on the Freedom Day school boycott in NYC, and how vanishingly little coverage it got compared to the ensuing reactionary white patents’ school boycott. Very illustrative history I did not know at all.
posted by little onion at 5:19 AM on August 3, 2020

Was about to post this myself! Really interesting and perfectly pitched at the This American Life/NPR audience of white progressives.
posted by adrianhon at 6:05 AM on August 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Last night I listened to this and kept thinking "this is well done but where have I heard this story before?" After searching all morning and failing to find a news story or podcast episode that specifically addressed this school I've concluded that it's a combination of all the other school segregation and gentrification stories I've read and heard over the years. For extra credit, here are some of them:

School Colors podcast, co-reported by a lifelong Brooklynite and a self-confessed gentrifier, parallels NWP but in a different neighborhood

Code Switch episodes on schools:
Audie and the Not-So-Magic School Bus
Location! Location! Location!
School Daze
A Tale of Two School Districts

Nikole Hannah-Jones for Grist: Gentrification doesn’t fix inner-city schools

Color Lines: Brooklyn Parents Protest Plan to Desegregate Local Public School

NYT: At the PTA, Clashes Over Cupcakes and Culture

School Stories's Segregation Project

The Root: stories tagged school segregation and school integration

Ellen Ann Fentress for The Bitter Southerner: Are You a Seg Academy Alum, Too? Let’s Talk.
and her related project Academy Stories

Previously on MetaFilter: PTA Gift for Someone Else’s Child? A Touchy Subject in California
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:09 AM on August 3, 2020 [11 favorites]

I've concluded that it's a combination of all the other school segregation and gentrification stories I've read and heard over the years.

That's kinda why I don't like most podcasts.
posted by Chickenring at 7:58 AM on August 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

What strikes me so far is how well the series illuminates hidden social power dynamics and microaggressions.

At the French embassy fundraiser, when the loud Francophile (who's also a donor!) is lecturing the Puerto Rican, bilingual, parent about how IMPORTANT it is to speak a second language and how it really OPENS your HORIZONS, and by the way you MUST go to FRANCE, how have you not been to FRANCE? The theater rehearsal where the girl who hasn't been in a French immersion program since birth gets spoken over and edged out of the play by her white classmate, which is tacitly approved by the teacher overseeing the program.

These tiny, tiny interactions, each of them so minor as to be unobjectionable. The storytelling shines a light on those subtle ways groups of humans wrest power from others.
posted by rogerroger at 10:22 AM on August 3, 2020 [8 favorites]

Chana did a nice job pointing out that theater girl whose name I've forgotten was also bilingual (English and Arabic), and that if this school's language program reflected the neighborhood it would be in Spanish or Arabic in which case theater girl would be the native speaker trying to coach her classmate's pronunciation and accent, but those languages don't have the cultural cachet of French to draw white parents.
posted by Flannery Culp at 10:35 AM on August 3, 2020 [6 favorites]

I decided to leave my career earlier this year and go back to school to become a teacher, so this is all of special interest to me. While I’ve come to the conclusion that many white parents aren’t explicitly racist, they are at best blind to how they benefit from a system created and nurtured by actual white supremacists.

And, boy, do they get mad when you point it out.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 11:31 AM on August 3, 2020 [5 favorites]

Also, this episode of This American Life is germane to the topic at hand.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 11:32 AM on August 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

This announcement has detected Ted Cruz's idiocy with a commendable amount of economy. I doubt he got past the title.
posted by hilberseimer at 11:45 AM on August 3, 2020

Imagine being able to suddenly create an entirely new educational program within a school that your child doesn't even attend. That's bananas. Some people can't get the city to return a call. Others can create a school within a school on demand.

I'm not a parent, but I am a product of the NYC public school system. Anyone know how I could donate to underfunded PTAs and/or if that would be a terrible idea?

(It's pretty ironic that Horace Mann was an advocate for public education, since I mostly hear that name in reference to the eponymous private school that charges over $50k/year in tuition.)
posted by evidenceofabsence at 4:45 PM on August 3, 2020

You can donate to an underfunded PTA here. This is for P.S. 24k in Brooklyn and run by the PTA President.

P.S. 24K raised approximately $8,000 in the 2018-19 school year. It's in district 15, which borders the district of the school profiled in the Nice White Parents. The total raised by all PTA's for the district was $11,000,000. If you know Brooklyn, this district includes affluent neighborhoods like Park Slope & Carroll Gardens and gentrifying, but working class neighborhoods like Sunset Park & Red Hook.

Full Disclosure: I know this parent and have taught at the school for over 10 years through my not-for-profit.

Reference: NYC PTA Fundraising data was pulled from here. Working with quite a few schools, the data does seem a bit off here and there, but relatively accurate if not precise
posted by gaelenh at 7:17 PM on August 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Edit to my above comment: the underfunded PTA I linked to is in the same district (D15) as the school profiled in the podcast (and the K-5 school with the french dual language program, which raised $2.1M).
posted by gaelenh at 7:40 PM on August 3, 2020

Thanks for the recommendation! I used to live a few blocks from P.S. 24k, back when the mural went up. It made my day a little brighter on the walk to the subway every morning, so I kind of owe them anyhow.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 8:38 AM on August 4, 2020

Episode 3 “This Is Our School, How Dare You?” is out - on how school segregation worked in the 90’s...
posted by progosk at 3:20 PM on August 9, 2020

I cross-posted to Fanfare, now that the whole series is released.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:46 PM on August 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

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