September 2010, Week 4


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Thu, 23 Sep 2010 00:02:53 -0400
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Schools Remain Segregated

Minority News
September 22, 2010

BOSTON, MA - A new report published by researchers at
Northeastern University ranking public, primary schools
in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas finds that
New England has four of the top 10 most segregated
areas for Hispanic students. Springfield, Mass., is
ranked second in the nation behind Los Angeles.

The report shows that 73 percent of Hispanic students
in Springfield would have to switch schools for
enrollment to become desegregated.

The researchers also found that segregation was highest
for black students, particularly in older Midwest and
Northeast metropolitan areas concluding that in
Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, Detroit, and Cleveland,
over 80 percent of black students would have to move to
another school in order for the metro area to be
completely desegregated.

"This year, students returned to schools that remain
largely separate and unequal," says Nancy McArdle,
adjunct associate professor in the Institute on Urban
Health Research at Northeastern's Bouvé College of
Health Sciences.  "Many people are surprised to see
that Springfield, Boston, Hartford, and Providence rank
in the top 10 of most segregated areas for Hispanic

Overall, researchers found that black and Hispanic
children are disproportionately segregated and
concentrated in high-poverty schools compared to white
children throughout the country's major metropolitan

The following table shows the top 10 most and least
segregated metros for blacks and Hispanics: 

 Some of the report's key findings include:

 Enrollment is already "majority-minority" nationally
but differs substantially across regions, with the West
being almost two-thirds minority.

 Residential segregation and school assignment plans
lead to high levels of school racial segregation,
particularly for blacks.

 Metropolitan areas with the highest school poverty
rates are concentrated in California and the Deep

 43 percent of black and Hispanic students attend
schools with poverty rates over 80 percent, compared to
4 percent of white students.

 Even within the same metro areas, black and Hispanic
students attend schools with dramatically higher
poverty rates than whites or Asians. Bridgeport and
Hartford have the largest disparities.

Based on 2008-09 school year data from the National
Center for Education Statistics, the report,
"Segregation and Exposure to High-Poverty Schools in
Large Metropolitan Areas," is published
bywww.diversitydata.org, an online resource developed
by the three Northeastern co-authors:  McArdle; Dolores
Acevedo-García, associate professor and associate
director of the Institute on Urban Health Research; and
Theresa Osypuk, assistant professor of health sciences.

In addition, researchers point to links between racial
isolation and concentrated poverty. They said children
in high-poverty schools face large challenges, such as
lower student graduation rates, less involved parents,
and less experienced teachers.

To address inequalities, they said national policies
must lead to stronger enforcement of fair housing laws,
improving school and neighborhood quality, and allowing
students to cross district boundaries to attend better

"Schools should be designed to prepare all our students
to excel," said Acevedo-García. "The fact that such
gross levels of disparity continue in American public
schools must not be met with apathy or acceptance but
be confronted to ensure that our children and our
nation can thrive in an increasingly diverse and
challenging world."


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