Let’s play state the obvious:

  • Minorities will eventually become the majority
  • Minorities account for nearly half of the student population in the U.S
  • High school graduation rate for black males still trails that for white males
  • The combination of high-minority, low-income education environments have perpetuated an education gap in America

According to a recent report done by Civil Rights Project at UCLA 80 percent of Latino students and 74 percent of black students are in schools where the majority of students are not white. More specifically, 43 percent of Latinos and 38 percent of black attend “intensely segregated schools” where white students comprise 10 percent or less of the student body. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think these were statistics from the 80’s, but unfortunately they’re not.

Do you realize it’s been 60 years since the desegregation of schools? I guess the saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same” rings true. The report showed that segregation is not limited to race: blacks and Latinos are twice as likely as white or Asian students to attend schools with a substantial majority of poor children. Not surprisingly, California, New York and Texas has the largest population of segregated Latino students. Black students are more segregated in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and D.C. “Extreme segregation is becoming more common,” said Gary Orfield, an author of the report who is co-director of the Civil Rights Project.

To reverse this trend of resegregation the report offers suggestions like implementing laws that encourage integration and reauthorizing regulations that support integration. “Simply sitting next to a white student does not guarantee better educational outcomes for students of color,” the report reads. “Instead, the resources that are consistently linked to predominantly white and/or wealthy schools help foster real and serious educational advantages over minority segregated settings.”

I’ve previously written about my experiences having my son in a school system that seemed to belong in the “resegregation” category, and although I understand the reports possible solutions, it reminds me of the concept of the redistribution of wealth, but in this case, the redistribution of knowledge and resources. Although it sounds like a great concept, will it ever happen?

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  • Ravi

    re-segregation seems to imply that schools were at one time truly integrated. White flight kept that from really taking hold.

    Segregation doesn’t drive the achievement gap. It’s just as pronounced at integrated schools. Black children are not performing better simply based on going to school with non-black students. Desegregation was never a useful tool in the fight against the achievement gap. The drivers of the gap are far more insidious — stereotype threat, collective self-efficacy, different expectations, and other internalized effects of our particular flavor of oppression.

  • Child, Please

    I’m glad you brought this up! Redrawing lines/reassigning districts/ etc. won’t necessarily make for a better education, but access to quality resources will. I also have to wonder why districts don’t work together more often to see how they can better help each other’s students. It seems because everything is a competition, even in education, you won’t students won’t even get the basics. Speaking of competition, I know there are several federal grants that schools/school systems/state governments could apply for, but disregard. It’s disheartening to hear when this happens and makes you wonder about how muddied the situation truly is.

  • ?!?

    Schools are segregated because neighborhoods are segregated because white and Asian people hold higher paying jobs and can live in these neighborhoods because they got a good education because they lived in the right neighborhood as children.

    Yea. We all know this, but I think more time should be spent on getting black schools and kids up to par rather than trying to put them in a white classroom. I firmly believe that the reason that black kids underperform is because of the adults in their lives failing them: teachers and parents. Parents need to be more involved and do unpopular things like no television during the school week, no ebonics around the house, no trashy hip hop or pop music, reading with the kids, sitting and helping with homework.Teachers need to be harder on them making them study harder making them achieve, encouraging competition for high grades, not accepting mediocrity. They should be going into minority neighborhoods and schools, educating parents on what they should do and change, and having standards for the teachers. Many adults in these situations need to be educated as much as the children. They need to be educated about parenting techniques and what they are doing wrong.

  • camille

    It is truly criminal that public schools receive funding based on the property taxes paid in that particular area. Until the resources are divided evenly, there will always be a gap

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