We have not made as much progress on this front [integration] as we could have and should have in this country. – Secretary of Education, John King

Secretary of Education John King, whose late-2015 nomination and early-2016 confirmation was seen as a significant step in the right direction by leading educators, appears to be living up to early expectations.

At a Century Foundation panel discussion last week, Secretary King made it clear that he intends to make school desegregation – both racial and socioeconomic – a primary focus of his administration’s efforts. Speaking at the panel, King lauded the efforts of schools using socioeconomic status as a factor in admissions, and spoke optimistically about Stronger Together, an initiative proposed by the Obama administration to allocate $120 million in competitive grants to fund school programs boosting socioeconomic diversity in classrooms.

Secretary King also announced an Education Department request for ideas about how school-improvement grants might be used to increase socioeconomic diversity in schools. Secretary King’s commitment could not have come at a better time – according the a 2014 Civil Rights Project report, the U.S. is undergoing a “serious resegregation” of our schools, to levels not seen since the 1970s.