Anyone who lives in Nashville can tell you that it’s still a pretty segregated city. I wouldn’t say that it’s segregated with the same kind of brutality as northern cities. For all our talk of bad neighborhoods that white people don’t go into, I’ve never met a black person in Nashville for whom I’m the first white person they’ve ever talked to in real life, whereas I have had the weird occassion to be that for a couple of black folks from Chicago.
On the other hand, driving around looking at houses really brings it home for you how we all here in Nashville live in quite a few cities nestled in among each other.
I firmly believe that kids should go to school in or near their own neighborhoods, unless their parents choose otherwise. It matters that kids can walk to school or take a short bus ride. It matters that a parent can work near where their kids go to school, so that, when there’s trouble or things to be celebrated, parents can get there.
But it also matters that neighborhoods are not very economically or racially diverse in this city and that, if you put kids in their neighborhood schools, we will be, in fact, resegregating the school system and relegating the poorest students in the most troubled neighborhoods to the Pearl-Cohn cluster (meaning Pearl-Cohn High School and all the schools that feed into it, I believe).
I don’t know what the answer to that is.
But it worries me.