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."
Is it? People like to be with their own kind but they what the best in educational opportunities for their children.
We see people living in groups of their racial peers across this land by choice. Trying to make people diverse when they dont want to be is the only thing that makes this issue complex.
Too bad politics has so polluted it.
The broad brush continues.
The govt caint force me to like or live with blacks.
Good, cause I certainly wouldn't want to live with you, either. I for damned sure don't care if you like me.
Not according to the Feds. Many of the laws go back to the 60's when minorities were primarily blacks.
My county is under a federal consent decree which means the Feds oversee schools for the appropriate ratio of minorities (ie. blacks and whites). Yes, they have messed up the local schools.
Precisely. Rational people don't purchase a 400 thousand dollar house in a "good" school district and take lightly to having their kid shipped 30 minutes away to a poorer school district just to achieve some kind of abstract numerical "parity".
You could of course fund schools through sales tax and redistribute funding equally, but then the "rich" districts will just voluntarily fund a supplemental budget to kick the quality of the schools back up to what they were befor. And vote down any further increase in sales tax, of course.
So its quite a connundrum, isnt it? You could , however, issue vouchers or prop. tax rebates, and those "disadvantaged " students who can meet the requirements of a private school could transfer out of their degraded public school, but that will always leave somebody behind anyway, wouldnt it? Not everybody can meet the extra tuition, entrance exam reqts etc, can they? Egalitarianism is such a difficult and elusive goal, but as long as you got your hands on the Public's purse strings, what is there to lose?
That sounds beievable to me. .. I wouk in PG County, and there are 1100 people in my company, and I dont know a single one who lives in PG County. Thats not say there arent a few, but it does indicate that there something amiss here. There lots of open space and real estate is the cheapest in the area, but the schools suck. Dumbed down and mismanaged and run by neo-Marxist ideologues (theres a high school in Laurel that had 50 % white kids, but the beauracrats thought that was "unfair", so half those white kids were bussed to other high schools)
and since we are on the subject of thin pale skin you can try living in SWEDEN I dont think too many of us "colored folk" dont live there...
If you are going to live in the South you better get used to being around black people
you dont have to like us but you do have to deal with us -- and try to remember Im on your side . . .
The only way it can be achieved is through some redistributive scheme - the wealthier must subsidize the education of the poorer. The problems are just as you outlined. But the alternative is worse.
Education doesn't have to be "equal" across all dividing lines. It just has to be good and getting better, and has to guarantee that those with real talent will advance - just as is the case with sports or beauty.