Friday, March 28, 2014

New York has the Most Segregated Schools in the Nation (and guess where it's the worst?)

In a devastating report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, New York State's Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future, the conclusion is that NY State has the segregated schools in the nation, both by race and poverty.  They looked at patterns from 1989 to 2010, both at the state and regional levels.

From Education Writers Association:

The children who most depend on the public schools for any chance in life are concentrated in schools struggling with all the dimensions of family and neighborhood poverty and isolation,” said the project’s co-director, Gary Orfield, according to Al Jazeera America.

According to the report, 19 of the 32 community school districts in New York City had enrollments that were less than 10 percent white in 2010.  

The study also called charter schools in the city “apartheid schools” because 73 percent have less than 1 percent white enrollment. 

Magnet schools were the most multiracial. 

From the study:

73% of charters across New York City were considered apartheid schools (less than 1% white enrollment) and 90% percent were intensely segregated (less than 10% white enrollment) schools in 2010. Only 8% of charter schools were multiracial  and with over a 14.5% white enrollment (the New York City average).

Magnet schools across the New York City district had the highest proportion of multiracial schools (47%) and the lowest proportion of segregated schools (56%) in 2010.  However, 17% of magnets had less than 1% white enrollment and 7% had greater than 50% white enrollment, with PS 100 Coney Island having a white proportion of 81%.

I note that the magnet school in NYC are regular public schools, not charters. 

The FAQs make for good reading if you don't have time to read the entire report.  One thought-provoking idea:

The federal government should establish a joint planning process between the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to review programs and regulations that will result in successful, lasting community and school integration. Federal and state-level choice policies should include civil rights standards or add incentives to such standards. State-level policies could include interdistrict transfer programs, regional magnets, student assignment or choice policies that include civil right standards, and diverse teaching staff, just to name a handful. 

A rather novel approach, referred to as federated regionalism, balances regional approaches to address social stratification with local approaches to address the need for local control. The one metropolitan area where federated regionalism has been employed is Omaha, NE. This “Learning Community” model is designed to achieve equity and socioeconomic diversity between 11 segregated districts. The promotion and support of voluntary interdistrict plans, such as the Learning Community or others that consider racial integration, minority voice and power, and population and demographics of the area, serve as an option for reducing school segregation, as well as housing segregation, in urban/suburban New York metros. Regional magnet programs could also provide unique educational opportunities that would support voluntary integration in the state of New York. Such programs support racial, ethnic and economic diversity, as well as offer a special and high quality curriculum. Connecticut has a system of more than 60 interdistrict, regional magnet schools.


Mary Griffin said...

It's interesting that the AlJazeera article missed what I think is the most pithy quote I've heard about this issue by an academic.

Gary Orfield, the director of the project, is quoted as saying (about the charter school system in New York,)"To create a whole new system that's even worse than what you've got really takes some effort."

I don't think deBlasio should have softened up on his stance about charter schools.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Agreed but I think the money interests leaned hard on deBlasio.

Chin said...

Seattle would not look good in a study like this. Segregation has increased dramatically at many schools since the NSAP. I guess the question is, is it better to have neighborhood schools or integrated schools? We are finding out now and the other question is, how do students gain exposure to those of the different races that make up the city?
Obviously, all-black or nearly all-black charters are seen as a positive by many parents and educators. But what about non-charters? And when they say magnet schools, aren't they talking about their test-in gifted schools?

Mary Griffin said...

I think one point that people often overlook, but that the press releases hint at is that Northern cities, are by and large, far more segregated in their housing patterns, and therefore, schools, then are Southern cities. This is the result of deliberate housing policies by fearful Euroamericans as Africanamerican arrived from the rural south in the 1910's-1970's to take advantages of job opportunities in the urban north.

I am a fan of the graphic depiction of statistics, and I find that racial cartography is an interesting tool that can demonstrate segregationist housing patterns.In this series of 21 urban cities, New York ranks third after Milwaukee and Detroit, which are tied. (This information is from a report by John Logan of Brown University and Brian Stults of Florida State called The Persistence of Segregation in the Metropolis: New Findings
from the 2010 Census)

I have often thought what Chin wrote, that Seattle would not look good in a study about school segregation. One of the issues is that the way statisticians measure desegregation, though, means none of our schools would register. We have no schools where there are less than 1% of the students are white. The closest you can get to that are in some of the racial mixes in the elementary schools, where some of percentages of students who are white are 2-3%, but even then, we tend to have a high percentage of students who are asian american as well as students who are black, so that the schools with the highest percentage of black students have around 50% students who are black. I am guessing that the free and reduced lunch statistics would tell a better story of segregation, with some schools (such as APP at Lincoln) having a less than 1% rate and other schools nearing 90%.

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, Seattle would not good in a study like this. But it's because the city is segregated from housing patterns of long ago.

But Mary's right on her points. But all bets would be off on charters.

Anonymous said...

Seattle would not do well on a study like this not just because of former redlining, but also because it did not heed the opinion of the (conservative justices) in the racial tie-breaker case from the Supreme Court case.

Although race could not be used as a tie-breaker, the opinion stated that diversity is a value that public schools should strive for through other ways. It's interesting to contrast how Louisville, who was also part of the decision, handled the aftermath of the case.

Seattle went straight to neighborhood schools, while Louisville as a city consciously deliberated on how they could maintain diversity in the wake of the deciaion. They chose gerrymandered boundaries, which have not been without difficulties.

But it is worth noting that a southern city, unlike
"progressive" Seattle, decided that diversity in public schools is a value for their city, and they indeed have attempted to maintain it.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

Chin, NYC has a lot do different kinds of magnet schools. Their test in schools look mostly like ours(actually they make ours look diverse; ours at least mirror the city, theirs are for the most part more white and Asian than NYC)though many of the magnet schools of all kinds (most?) have an admissions process more like college than our option/pure lottery one, so many can and do select for a more diverse population.


Anonymous said...

Diane follows the money:

Education historian Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education under the first President Bush, was once an advocate of school choice and charter schools. But Ravitch changed her mind after following the money trail behind the charter movement.

“The lure of getting federal money made many states change their laws to open the door to many, many more charter schools,” Ravitch tells Moyers. And who’s behind the investment in new charters? Hedge-fund managers, private investors and philanthropists, she says.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Enough Already, great points. Most people did NOT realize what the Court had really said - that the district couldn't use THEIR tiebreaker, not that you couldn't use race in a tiebreaker.

westSeattleSteve said...

Magnet schools is a catch-all term for alternative schools as well as specialized schools for Academically Gifted, Performing Arts and Science.

I had a couple high school friends who enrolled in magnet schools just to avoid their neighborhood school which was dangerous enough to have police and metal detectors back in the 1970's.

Anonymous said...

The board's vote to sunset out of MS area transport will make the segregation here worse.
The state will take their transport money away, and then give it back to the charter schools.
The board voted against charter schools, but then they take away transport for people who've made choices.
Banda came from California where they've had charters for over twenty years.
I tend to think he knew that the district would get that transport money back in the form of charter transport.
Our housing patterns of long ago are morphing into housing patterns based on what neighborhood school you can afford to live near.