An alarming report by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project has revealed that New York has the most segregated schools in the U.S.
The report, titled New York State’s Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future, examined enrollment and segregation on both state and regional levels from 1989 to 2010. It paid special attention to New York City, focusing on specific practices that upheld "racial imbalance and educational inequity" in schools.
This news is hardly surprising, but it's still unsettling:
Educational problems linked to racially segregated schools, which are often intensified by poverty concentration, include a less-experienced and less-qualified teacher workforce, high levels of teacher turnover, inadequate facilities and learning materials, high dropout rates, and less stable enrollments. Conversely, desegregated schools are linked to profound benefits for all students.
It gets worse:
Across the 32 Community School Districts (CSDs) in New York City, 19 had 10% or less white students in 2010, which included all districts in the Bronx, two-thirds of the districts in Brooklyn (central to north districts), half of the districts in Manhattan (northern districts), and only two-fifths of the districts in Queens (southeast districts).
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%.
John Kucsera, the report's lead author, pointed to "dramatic demographic transformation coupled with a lack of diversity-focused policies" as the reasons for the pockets of segregation. So, while the city's population swells, racial isolation in its schools grow.
Saying this is a glaring issue that's unlikely to be addressed anytime soon would be stating the obvious.