A new study from the UCLA’s Civil Rights Project, which tracked enrollment numbers from 1989 to 2010, shows that New York state’s public schools are the most racially segregated in the United States, with many black and Latino students going to class with “virtually no” white classmates. Here’s the breakdown from the Associated Press: “About half of the state’s public school students were from low-income families in 2010 … but the typical black or Latino student attended a school where close to 70 percent of classmates were low-income. The typical white student went to a school where just 30 percent of classmates were low-income.”
The study says that the academic performance of minority students who attend schools that are more integrated by race and income “perform significantly better” than their peers in schools with less diversity, in part because high-poverty schools tend to have more “health issues, mobile populations, entrenched violence and teachers who come from the least selective training programs,” the Huffington Post notes.
The report also notes that New York City’s charter schools — 73 percent of which have “less than 1 percent” white enrollment — are among the least diverse of all. Some of the segregation can be chalked up to the fact that many charter schools are intended to serve low-income populations.
One of the report’s authors, Gary Orfield, said that while the issue is closely related to housing patterns, it could be remedied with changes such as “an equal distribution of resources, the building of low-income housing in new communities, student assignment policies that take race into account and having schools report on their diversity.” “In the 30 years I have been researching schools, New York state has consistently been one of the most segregated states in the nation — no Southern state comes close to New York,” he told the AP.