Skip to comments.Study: Schools Resegregating by Race
Posted on 08/09/2002 6:48:26 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
BOSTON (AP) - Almost 50 years after state-sponsored school segregation was outlawed, public schools are becoming increasingly divided by race, even as minority populations increase nationwide, according to a new report.
The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University found integration between whites and blacks to be decreasing or steady in all but a handful of the nation's largest school districts over the last 14 years.
The report's authors say the "resegregation" trend is a result of recent court rulings that dismantled race-based desegregation laws, and also reflects discouragement over stalled integration efforts.
"I think a lot of people think that nothing can be done, and the efforts have failed," said Chungmei Lee, a co-author of the report.
Lee said integration is crucial to improve education and prepare students to live in a diverse culture.
Attorney Chester Darling, who represents parents fighting a desegregation policy in Lynn, Mass., questioned the study's assumptions about diversity's value. He also said any new push to create school diversity must be driven by parents and not government.
"When you have a government involved in enforcing a particular form of diversity, then you have a government making decisions that are illegal," he said.
The report measured the changing "exposure index" between races in school districts with enrollments larger than 25,000. For instance, a black-white exposure index of 23 percent means the average black student attends a school where 23 percent of the students are white.
In a sample of 185 of the districts, black exposure to whites increased in only four of the districts between 1986 and 2000. Latino exposure to whites increased in only three districts. White isolation increased in 53 districts, the report said.
The study found resegregation to be the most rapid in Clayton County, Ga., where the average black student goes to a school that is 23.1 percent white, down from 68.7 percent white in 1986.
The 20 most rapidly resegregating school districts are concentrated in the South, with eight in Texas and three in Georgia.
But the most stable districts are also in the South, the report noted, in what it said might be a lingering effect of defunct integration plans that were once heavily concentrated in the South.
Lee said successful integration is simply a matter of balancing resources, which are often in short supply in the poor neighborhoods where many minorities live. The report recommends combining city and suburban school districts into one entity, joining various racial groups in the process.
Rich Kahlenberg of The Century Foundation, a New York-based think tank, said communities need to focus on income disparities if they want to legally desegregate.
"People are stuck in the old paradigm of race," he said. "But that's outmoded because we have some new legal realities to deal with."
Schools find new route to diversity ; New integration plans use income to place pupils***Confronting a chronic achievement gap between rich and poor pupils, a growing number of American school systems are aiming for a new vision of diversity: desegregation by income rather than race.***
Cambridge Becomes Latest District To Integrate by Income*** Eventually, school enrollments in the district will be expected to deviate by no more than 5 percentage points from the district's overall percentage of K-8 students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals, which currently is 40 percent.
Supporters of the shift hope to erase existing family-income disparities between schools' student enrollments, which range from about 21 percent to 72 percent of students qualifying for the subsidized meals.
"This is what most integration will look like in the 21st century," predicted Richard D. Kahlenberg, a school law expert who recently published a book on wealth-based school integration. He is a senior fellow at the Washington-based Century Foundation that advised Cambridge on its plan.***
It's different when it's your ox being gored: In Newton, worries grow over schools***A malaise has seeped into Newton's schools, fueled not only by the proposed cutbacks, but also by social issues in curriculum, exploding special education costs, and fears that the schools' creative extras are being scuttled. Newton's schools have long been synonymous with excellence, but some parents wonder if the armor is getting chipped.
''It's losing its luster. It hasn't lost it yet,'' said Mathew Bardin, parent of an elementary school child. ''It just seems to me there's too much touchy-feely and not enough 1-plus-1-is-2, enough practical education.'' ***
Well, if people are still following it, I guess it can't be "old" now can it (old as defined as no longer current)? And the 'legal realities' never seem to change the social realities, do they? It just leads to more lawsuits and endless absurdity, both of which end up resulting in no real change in the attitudes of the majority of people.
Education was better when schools were 100% segregated. Not that I'm arguing for 100% segregation. Just pointing out the absolute absurdity that that statement represents.
"Race-based desegregation laws" - i.e. mandatory busing.
We, as part of a national policy, doom millions of black children to an incomplete education. They will be ill-prepared to compete in a market economy and contribute to society as a whole.
While I believe that it is the responsibility of the parent to insure a quality education for their children, we do have to recognize that while all parents want their children to succeed, some just don't have any idea of what to do, because they haven't been prepared.
I really believe that vouchers are our only hope.
The fact that liberals now want to use "income" as the yardstick makes it less complex, don't you think? Simply stated, this is an attempt to force people to send their kids to(in many cases)schools that have "poorer" students, even though parents most usually would prefer to send their kids to schools with "richer" students. Like, lets all pretend all students, regardless of backgound "behave" similarly..
Oh, and anyone who thinks forced integration "can" work, merely has to look at liberal administered Prince Georges County in Maryland where the percentage of White students in the Public Schools dropped from 77 % to 23 % in 12 years. Why should I buy an expensive house in Laurel and send my kids off to a school where their safety can't be assured (even though safety is probably the authorities number 1 concern, by far)
In the short term, that will help. In the long run, it is going to take a lot more than that. Parents and positive peer groups are the key.
If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)
Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.
People send their kids to school in the hope that they'll get a good education - meaning not just math, reading, and writing, but also social values and social partners. In a society as diverse and mobile as ours many factors contribute to the success or failure of such an enterprise; race, religion, ethnicity, social class, home-life, individual ability and determination, and - very important but often neglected - history. It can be difficult to discard a dhimmi relationship - for both masters and subjects.
Forced integration has run its course. It benefitted some and hurt more. It's time to try something else.
Stable? Oh yes; they're that. From todays Memphis Commercial-Appeal:
Hmmm if that were the case -- why didnt we just cluster in the three big states-or even better cluster in the 5 smallest states( that would permanently guarantee 10 black senators)LOL
I think if you take the tinfoil off of your helmet you will see how liberal policies victimize both blacks and whites in the USA
[libs need victims so they can sell big govt as a panacea]... Blacks moved to cites for the same reasons everyonelse did -- for better opportunites... If things had improved for blacks in the late 1800 they would have never left the rural south.
also having a black "mammy" doesnt mean you have a good understanding of the situation