New York's schools are nation's most segregated
- A University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project report released Tuesday reveals that New York has the most segregated schools in the U.S., with black and Latino students having the highest concentration in schools where less than 10% of students were white in 2009.
- "New York State's Extreme School Segregation" draws on 60 years of data through 2010, and the project's director, John Kucsera, calls the Empire State's schools "more segregated for blacks than any Southern state" — though he notes that region's higher percentage of black students.
- "Double segregation" — isolation by both race and social status — is heavily persistent, as New York's average black or Latino student goes to a school with two times the number of poor students as the average white student.
The double segregation issue is especially critical here, as impoverished schools come with problems related to health, mobile families, violence, and teachers from less-selective programs. New York City's school's contribute heavily to the state's overall K-12 segregation, with 19 of its 32 Community School Districts — including every district in the Bronx — having a white student population of 10% or less in 2010. The Big Apple's neighborhoods already face their own diversity issues, and Orfield says a rising number of charter schools and changes in enrollment policies have exacerbated the problem for schools.
Fixing these issues requires more than efforts by politicians and activists to "reform" education. Until all students are integrated into more diverse, mixed-income schools and poverty is addressed — because kids aren't likely to learn very well when they're more concerned about where their next meal comes from or whether they'll have a place to sleep — this situation will remain a thorn in New York's side for the foreseeable future.
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