“Nice White Parents” is a new podcast from Serial Productions, brought to you by The New York Times, about the 60-year relationship between white parents and the public school down the block.
We know that American public schools do not guarantee each child an equal education — two decades of school reform initiatives have not changed that. But when we look at how our schools are failing, we usually focus on who they’re failing: Black and brown kids. We ask: Why aren’t they performing better? Why aren’t they achieving more?
Those are not the right questions.
If you want to understand what’s wrong with our public education system, you have to look at what is arguably the most powerful force in our schools: White parents.
On this series:
Chana Joffe-Walt is a producer for the award-winning public radio show “This American Life,” where Chana originated her reporting for what eventually became “Nice White Parents.” In 2015, Chana teamed up with the reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones to do several stories about education and school segregation, for which they won the Peabody Award. In addition to education coverage, Chana’s reporting on sexual harassment, including the Rashomon-style “This American Life” episode ”Five Women,” offered a new frame to understand a wave of #MeToo stories. “Five Women” is currently being adapted into a TV series. Before joining “This American Life,” Chana was a reporter for NPR, where she helped create the podcast “Planet Money.”
The original score for “Nice White Parents” was written and performed by the jazz group The Bad Plus. The band consists of bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Orrin Evans and drummer Dave King.
Additional music from Matt McGinley, who has contributed music to Serial Productions podcasts including “S-Town” and season three of “Serial.” Matt is also the drummer and co-founder of the band Gym Class Heroes.