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Nice White Parents

Author: The New York Times

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If you want to understand what’s wrong with our public schools, you have to look at what is arguably the most powerful force in shaping them: white parents. A five-part series from Serial Productions, a New York Times Company. Hosted by Chana Joffe-Walt.

4 Episodes
If you want to understand what’s wrong with our public schools, you have to look at what is arguably the most powerful force in shaping them: White parents. A five-part series from Serial Productions, a New York Times Company. Hosted by Chana Joffe-Walt.For more information about this show, visit
1: The Book of Statuses

1: The Book of Statuses


It’s 2015 and one Brooklyn middle school is about to receive a huge influx of new students.In this episode, Chana Joffe-Walt, a reporter, follows what happens when the School of International Studies’ 6th grade class swells from 30 mostly Latino, Black and Middle Eastern students, to 103 — an influx almost entirely driven by white families.Everyone wants “what’s best for the school” but it becomes clear that they don’t share the same vision of what “best” means.For more information about this show, visit
Chana Joffe-Walt searches the New York City Board of Education archives for more information about the School for International Studies, which was originally called I.S. 293.In the process, she finds a folder of letters written in 1963 by mostly white families in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. They are asking for the board to change the proposed construction of the school to a site where it would be more likely to be racially integrated.It’s less than a decade after Brown v. Board of Education, amid a growing civil rights movement, and the white parents writing letters are emphatic that they want an integrated school. They get their way and the school site changes — but after that, nothing else goes as planned.For more information about this show, visit
Chana Joffe-Walt explores how white parents can shape a school — even when they aren’t there.She traces the history of I.S. 293, now the Boerum Hill School for International Studies, from the 1980s through the modern education reforms of the 2000s. In the process, Chana talks to alumni who loved their school and never questioned why it was on the edge of a white neighborhood. To them, it was just where everyone went. But she also speaks to some who watched the school change over the years and questioned whether a local community school board was secretly plotting against 293.
Comments (48)

Jessica Mehr

so clearly the negative comments are from people who did not listen to the podcast. also people not familiar with the gross disparities of nyc schools. it is really fascinating so far. I highly recommend this podcast. Ignore the trolly negative comments.

Aug 6th


It's not an attack on white people.

Aug 4th


Bravo!!! I LOVE this story and thank you for digging in and getting the sides of all people!! This is amazing!!

Aug 3rd

Chance Fey

lol are you fucking kidding me ? What’s wrong with being white ?. Like what the fuck people . You guys think being racist is getting rid of racism?

Aug 3rd
Reply (10)


People need to stop commenting before actually listening. They actually address this strange negative reaction at the beginning of the podcast. Ignore the negative comments, super interesting podcast.

Aug 3rd

Diane Grillo

You are brilliant! I never realized how much I just didn't see when I had a 4 yr old and living in the west village. thinking back now I think my neighborhood schools were pretty white too. ps3 was mostly white, little red schoolhouse, and of course Our Lady of Pompeii on Bleecker. However there was Greenwich House which was a pre k and payment was on a sliding scale basis. I have a good friend who teaches elementary in a lower income district and she says these children are at more of a disadvantage due to lack of family commitment to their education. The kids are unprepared, always tired etc. Parents don't sign paperwork, show up for school appointments etc. Maybe parents need to be propped up before a serious integration would be beneficial to all the children

Aug 3rd
Reply (2)

Justin Warners

some mindset you must be in to hear about just the existence of this podcast and drop by to post some hate without ever listening. white fragility is one hell of a drug

Aug 3rd

Jen Pesarchick

Excellent!!! Great work, as always. 💛

Aug 1st

Wanda Knight

Ridiculous waste of time even thinking about what a crock of BS this is, except the naive believe this crap. How tragic the lies that have been told to our children and young adults.

Jul 31st
Reply (3)

Heather Deitchman

The trailer was very good. Excited to hear the series.

Jul 30th


Identity politics + redefinition of racism + practicing 'anti-racism' through racism = recipe for ripping the social fabric

Jul 28th

Mister. Mister

This is some serious BS but in this day and age it will be a best seller instead of fiction where it belongs

Jul 27th
Reply (1)


Get fucked with this rubbish! you're pushing a false narrative!

Jul 26th
Reply (4)

Christian Gallien

Oh for God's sake, fuck off NY Times! We get it you HATE WHITE PEOPLE and that's fine! But you never make me feel an ounce of shame for the COLOR OF MY SKIN..

Jul 26th
Reply (10)

Jonathan Roseman

True white allies of the oppressed blacks would allow black kids to beat up their children at school with impunity, as a just revenge for the 400 years of slavery.

Jul 25th
Reply (3)
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