AL.com, August 29, 2018
The recent opening of Sumter County's first fully-integrated public school, University Charter School in Livingston, got a lot of attention by news agencies across the country.
Though the general reaction was somewhere between 'it's about time' and 'what a great story of hope,' the question of how a public charter school with a commitment to racial diversity came to be in a historically segregated community deserved more digging.
Erica Frankenberg, a Mobile native who now directs the Center for Education and Civil Rights at Penn State University, focuses her research on school desegregation and how school choice can impact integration efforts. She said she suspects the accountability movement, using test results as a measure of a school's success, has hurt the public schools like those in Sumter County.