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July 31, 2020

Nice White Parents

Years ago, producer Chana Joffe-Walt started reporting on one school in New York. She thought the story was about segregation and inequality in public schools. But the more she looked into it, the more she realized she was witnessing something else. She was seeing the inordinate power of white parents at this school. This is the first episode of Chana’s new mini-series: Nice White Parents

Valero Doval

Prologue

When the trailer was released for Chana Joffe-Walt’s new show, it prompted a kind of online war. Within a week, people left thousands of ratings and comments: some saying it was divisive and racist; others saying the opposite. But nobody had even heard the show yet. Ira Glass talks about what the discussion illuminates about the show and about this moment. (2 minutes)

Act One

In just one year, everything in one ordinary public middle school changed. It went from an incoming class of thirty sixth graders—most of them Black, Latino, and Middle Eastern—to a class of 103 sixth graders. The influx was driven by wealthy white students. Producer Chana Joffe-Walt follows how that works out. (29 minutes)

Act Two

As the school year moved forward, the fundraising committee planned a gala at the French Embassy. And the PTA planned a separate, Spring Carnival. Chana explains what happens as quiet resentments lock in place between the two groups of parents. (25 minutes)

Song:

“Vienne La Nuit” by Francois Lubiana