To Ensure A More Diverse Classroom, This Mom Transferred Her Kids To A School With Fewer Resources

Picture credit JULIA REIHS / KUT

A large frame filled with 1,001 paper cranes hangs above the fireplace in Ali Takata’s living room. A Japanese and Hawaiian wedding tradition, people fold the cranes and give them to the bride. On a summer morning, Takata decided to teach her daughters, ages 8 and 10, how to make them.

While they fold small pieces of paper, the girls talk about what they're looking forward to for the coming school year.

“I’m excited about the teachers,” says the younger one. “Both teachers are really nice.”

It’s the second year the girls are attending this elementary school. Two years ago, Takata and her husband made the decision to move the kids out of the mostly white, mostly affluent West Austin neighborhood school to a more diverse, higher poverty school in East Austin. She says she made the choice after doing extensive research about school segregation and the distribution of resources.