Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The reason America’s schools are so segregated — and the only way to fix it - The Washington Post

The reason America’s schools are so segregated — and the only way to fix it - The Washington Post:

The reason America’s schools are so segregated — and the only way to fix it

Until the 1954 Supreme Court ruling called Brown v. Board of Education, black and white students were segregated in schools across the country. After the Supreme Court declared such segregation unconstitutional, a group of students called the Little Rock Nine became the first black students to attend Arkansas’ Little Rock Central High School. The students were escorted to class by Army soldiers, who tried to prevent violence by white protesters. (Panopticon Gallery)

In the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the U.S. Supreme Court  ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional because they were “inherently unequal.” At the time, states and school districts were permitted to operate some schools only for white students and others only for black students, but the court ruling set in motion a process in which that dual system was to be dismantled. Progress was made over time but the goal of the ruling — to end school segregation — was never close to being reached. In the last few decades, schools have been quietly resegregating, and federal data released this year showed that the number of high-poverty schools serving primarily black and brown students more than doubled between 2001 and 2014.
Now, a bill has been introduced in the New York City Council calling for a formal study of the causes — and remedies — of racial segregation in public schools. In this post, Richard Rothstein explains why such an effort, as spelled out in the bill, is misguided. Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit organization created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers.
He is also a a senior fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and author of the forthcoming “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.”  A former national education writer for the New York Times, Rothstein also wrote  books including  “Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right,”  and “Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap.”  In 2013, Rothstein wrote a report titled  “For Public Schools, Segregation Then, Segregation Since: Education and the Unfinished March.” which says in part:
Today, African American students are more isolated than they were 40 years ago, while most education policymakers and reformers have abandoned integration as a cause.
This post first appeared on the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund website, and Rothstein gave me permission to republish it.
By Richard Rothstein
A bill introduced in the New York City Council proposes to establish “an office of school diversity within the human rights commission dedicated to studying the prevalence and causes of racial segregation in public schools and developing recommendations for remedying such segregation.”
But it is not reasonable, indeed it is misleading, to study school segregation in New York City The reason America’s schools are so segregated — and the only way to fix it - The Washington Post:


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