Friday, May 20, 2016

New report is ‘huge warning sign’ that desegregation has failed in US schools

New report is ‘huge warning sign’ that desegregation has failed in US schools:

New report is ‘huge warning sign’ that desegregation has failed in US schools


Report illuminates extent to which US schools are becoming more segregated, with more than 60% of schools with high levels of poor students racially divided
When Terrance Green was a student at Detroit public schools starting in the 1980s, he celebrated his experience in the overwhelmingly black district.
“The teachers were outstanding … there was a very strong ethos around racial identity, around civil rights, around celebrating who we were,” he said.
It wasn’t lost on Green, however, that just north of 8 Mile Road – the demarcation line of Detroit and its suburbs – students had access to a significantly higher amount of resources.
“I do remember … 8 Mile being like the psychological barrier, even in the early 80s it was,” said Green, 33. “I knew there were these suburbs [that] had more amenities, but I don’t think I could articulate that as an elementary school child.”
A fourth-generation Detroiter, Green’s entry into the city’s public school system was only several years removed from a seminal 1974 US supreme court ruling on school desegregation, Milliken v Bradley, which ended a plan to integrate mostly white suburban schools into Detroit’s public school system. The city’s population continued to swiftly decline in the years that followed, eroding the school system’s resources in tandem until the state declared a financial emergency.
How do you have meaningful desegregation when you have white flight occurring at rapid rates?
Terrance Green
Green, a professor of educational policy and planning at the University of Texas at Austin, pointed to the Milliken decision as a “death knell” to implementing the supreme court’s 1954 decision in Brown v Board of Education to desegregate school systems.
“How do you have meaningful desegregation when you have white flight occurring at rapid rates, but we can’t involve suburban school districts where this was occurring?” Green said. “It stopped mandatory desegregation efforts metropolitan-wide.”
A report released this week by the Government Accountability Office illuminated the extent to which school systems across the US are, once again, becoming more segregated. The report found that more than 60% of schools with high levels of poor students were racially segregated, which the report defined as being at least 75% black or Latino.
The study reviewed federal data from 2001 to 2014 and found 16% of all US schools were both racially segregated and poor, increasing from about 7,000 schools in 2001 to 15,089 by 2013 to 2014. Observers and advocates for school desegregation said the report should be a “huge warning sign” that needs to be addressed.
“There are many who believe in this country that we are operating on an even playing field,” said Jadine Johnson, staff attorney at the Massachusetts-based Opportunity to Learn Campaign.
“I think what this report revealed … is that the legacies of slavery in this country, the legacies of Jim Crow, are alive and active,” she said. “That did not go away with Brown v Board of Education.”
Compared to other schools, the GAO report found, segregated schools offered fewer college prep, science, and math classes to take, and a disproportionate number of students were either held back in ninth grade, suspended, or expelled.
Michigan congressman John Conyers was among several lawmakers who requested the report, which was released on the 62nd anniversary of Brown v Board of Education. Conyers and Virginia congressman Bobby Scott are pushing legislation that would amend Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and restore the rights of parents to file lawsuits against segregated school districts under claims of disparate impacts, which are based on ascertaining the discriminatory effect of a policy rather than ascertaining New report is ‘huge warning sign’ that desegregation has failed in US schools:
education icon, source: Digital Vision

K-12 EDUCATION:

Better Use of Information Could Help Agencies Identify Disparities and Address Racial Discrimination
GAO-16-345: Published: Apr 21, 2016. Publicly Released: May 17, 2016.

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