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Still a House DividedRace and Politics in Obama's America$
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Desmond S. King and Rogers M. Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142630

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142630.001.0001

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“Our goal is to have one classification—American”

“Our goal is to have one classification—American”

Vouchers for Schools and the Multiracial Census

(p.192) Chapter 7 “Our goal is to have one classification—American”
Still a House Divided

Desmond S. King

Rogers M. Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers two of the most important foundational systems in American life: public education, and governmental classification of the population in terms of race and ethnicity. Education is recognized as fundamental to developing capacities for responsible citizenship, marketable skills, and resources for personal fulfillment in modern America. Governmental racial and ethnic classifications not only determine such key issues as congressional district size, federal grants to states, and affirmative action, they help both to express and to constitute the senses of identity of many Americans. Neither the structure of modern American schooling nor its systems of racial classifications can be grasped without appreciating the roles the modern racial alliances play in the politics that have shaped current policies and practices on those issues.

Keywords:   public education, governmental classification, multiracial census, ethnic classification, racial classification, modern American schooling

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