As racial separation in education steadily grows, California now leads the nation in children going to school with their own kind, a UCLA study released Wednesday contends.
On the 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education ruling intended to dismantle segregation, the report by UCLA's Civil Rights Project says that California students are more likely than ever to attend racially isolated schools.
In the Bay Area, most schools followed the same pattern, though were more integrated than schools in Southern California.
The report analyzes data on all the state's school districts and a few charter schools. It shows segregation both at school and state levels has come to be widely accepted. The average white student in Union Elementary District in San Jose attends classes that are 19 percent black and Latino, while across town the average Latino student in the Alum Rock Union district attends a school that is 82 percent black and Latino.
Even within school districts, racial divides persist. In Oakland Unified, the average Latino child attends a school where 83 percent of the students are black and Latino, compared with the average white child who attends a school where 45 percent of students are black and Latino.
Those results, study co-author Gary Orfield said, are "disappointingly predictable." But the surprise is the racial separation unfolding in the suburbs, including the South Bay and East Bay. "The sheer scope of the Latino transformation is more than what anybody expected," Orfield said.
School districts contend that they are indeed battling for equity. San Jose Unified spokeswoman Traci Cook said the district offers choices in enrollment, free busing and magnet schools to lure students out of their neighborhoods, all part of a voluntary integration plan.
But 30 years after the district was sued for segregating Latino students, the average black or Latino student goes to a school that is 69 percent black and Latino, while the average white or Asian student goes to a school that is only 39 percent black and Latino.
Similarly, in Contra Costa County's Mount Diablo Unified School District, the average Latino Report: California among worst in the nation in school segregation -

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