Serial Productions’ Nice White Parents tells the story of “an utterly ordinary, squat, three-story New York City public school building”, and the many schools it has housed over six decades; each one, it turns out, shaped in ironic and disastrous ways by white parents’ ambivalent desire for diversity. Like some earlier Serial efforts, this is a story on a theme: the failure of the American experiment in public, democratic institutions. Thanks to impressive archival research, candid interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, and a deftly delivered dose of Serial’s trademark reflexivity between the object of study and the reporter’s investment, what could have been a depressing dirge for democracy is instead a lively dialectic exploration of the difficulty and necessity of equitable public institutions.