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Posted at 11:01 AM ET, 01/17/2011

American schools more segregated today than when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed

By Ezra Klein

American schools are more segregated by race and class today than they were on the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, 43 years ago. The average white child in America attends a school that is 77 percent white, and where just 32 percent of the student body lives in poverty. The average black child attends a school that is 59 percent poor but only 29 percent white. The typical Latino kid is similarly segregated; his school is 57 percent poor and 27 percent white.

Overall, a third of all black and Latino children sit every day in classrooms that are 90 to 100 percent black and Latino.

Read Dana Goldstein on how the Obama administration -- and, I think, the education reform movement more generally -- is and isn't addressing this problem.

By Ezra Klein  | January 17, 2011; 11:01 AM ET
 
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Comments

CIVIL RIGHTS


The FIRST Federal Civil Right legislation was passed by US Grant - a Republican.

The democrats then spent the next 90 YEARS undermining that law - and subverting it.

The democrats passed laws to subvert Grant's Republican Civil Rights Act - and THE DEMOCRATS LYNCHED BLACKS WHO DID NOT COOPERATE.
_________________________


Somehow, the democrats of today LOVE to blame the Republicans for what the DEMOCRATS DID.

AND somehow the democrats WANT CREDIT for Civil Rights - like Lincoln freeing the slaves was meaningless.

(For all you democrats out there, Lincoln was a Republican.)

____________________


Martin Luther King was a Republican.


What the democrats want you to BELIEVE IS A SET OF DECEPTIONS AND LIES.


Posted by: RainForestRising | January 17, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Ezra

Move your kids to a school which is different from your own race.

You can do your little part to change those numbers.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 17, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

REMEMBER

The democrats passed the Jim Crow laws.


The democrats defended the Jim Crow laws and got the Supreme Court to say they were Consititutional.

(not much unlike Obama defending the health care law)


The democrats were ALIGNED with the KKK.


The democrats allowed the KKK to send blocks of delegates to the DNC National Conventions.


The democrats FOUGHT against Civil Rights legislation with filibusters in the US Senate.

_____________________


AND the democrats are the ones who LYNCHED BLACKS during the Jim Crow era.


___________


And the democrats will sit here and say they are lilly-white and they will ATTEMPT TO MAKE YOU THINK THE REPUBLICANS ARE THE BAD, BAD GUYS.


What a joke.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 17, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

One caveat to whether schools are 'integrated' or not is the make up of the community in which they reside.

I don't know that it's fair to complain that a school in a location with 90% black population has a below national average white representation. Certainly economics will tend to drive economic segregation; not sure there's a whole lot you can do about that.

Also, given the rapid growing Hispanic population, should these %black/%white start including %hispanic for comparison?

Hopefully no one interprets this as supporting segregation as I fully don't. But the population from which a school draws has a large influence on what type of demographic it will show.

Posted by: rpixley220 | January 17, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The path toward increased segregation took a sharp upturn in the 2000s, when cities began to dismantle their desegregation plans and move to the idea of "neighborhood schools," under the guise of more parental involvement (and I suspect more for budgetary concerns: to save on busing, and more concentration of services like ESL to specific populations, such as Southeast Asian). My kids were in the last classes of a district-wide desegregation plan that had begun in the 1970s and, in my estimation, was extremely successful. I actually thought it was brilliant. I was extremely disappointed when the move away from desegregation occurred in my former city.

Posted by: JJenkins2 | January 17, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

now you don't want to say that integration worked, do you? that government mandates to integrate society at the school level could achieve its' intended goal.

how spurious. lol

well at least segregation has come back to its' heyday of popularity, without that nasty old big Government getting it society's way.
nasty Government is just that nasty.

states right forever!!!!

Posted by: Beleck31 | January 17, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

That's fine with me. The people seem to be actively be segregating their local communities and they should be put in local schools.

Posted by: krazen1211 | January 17, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

--*American schools more segregated today than when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed*--

Another successful government endeavor.

Hey, I know, let's raise taxes, start some more programs, spend more and more and more, and tell ourselves how really smart we are.

Posted by: msoja | January 17, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

More "racial" mixing will help solve this "problem". If we still live in a world where someone half-European half-African ancestry is considered black, there's not much hope for anything succeeding. The whole American conception of race basically needs to be thrown out the window.

Posted by: staticvars | January 17, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

And CARING!!!!

Posted by: msoja | January 17, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I think that there's also segregation within schools too. I attend a public high school with about 1800 students, where approx 30-35% of the students are black and 60% or so are white. However, I'm a senior now and I don't think I've had more than a dozen black students in all of my classes (mostly AP and honors) COMBINED. The achievement gap is also huge. Last year, our valedictorian, who was white, got accepted at Harvard, yet my school didn't make AYP because of low performance among blacks and economically disadvantaged groups, who (in my area) are often the same people.

Posted by: GeorgiaGirl1993 | January 17, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"I think that there's also segregation within schools too. I attend a public high school with about 1800 students, where approx 30-35% of the students are black and 60% or so are white. However, I'm a senior now and I don't think I've had more than a dozen black students in all of my classes (mostly AP and honors) COMBINED. "


That's not segregation, GeorgiaGirl.

That's the Jesse Jackson attitude amongst blacks that education is not to be valued in their community. They don't take the opportunities they are given.

Posted by: krazen1211 | January 17, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

interesting that Governor christie wants to allow students in poor performing districts to be allowed to go to schools in better performing districts but the NJEA doesn't want it. I'd think that the Govenor's plan would help these numbers somewhat. I guess we see where the NJEA's priorities are.

Posted by: visionbrkr | January 17, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@visionbrkr - isn't moving kids to different schools assuming the problem is the school, not the student? are kids that go to better schools all of sudden going to start doing the 2-3 hours of studying homework per night needed to succeed? aren't they going to be behind, or will they be allowed drop down a grade level?

Posted by: staticvars | January 17, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

krazen1211, I don't think that's completely true.
They're not getting the same opportunities. Most of the opportunities I've gotten have been because of a) money or b)connections. African Americans in my community don't seem to have much of either.

And I don't think it's because education isn't valued in black communities--the black students that are in my classes are just as hard-working as everyone else. And it's not just in education--outside of school, most of the people I know are also white.

Posted by: GeorgiaGirl1993 | January 17, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

It's more of a problem with the out-of-wedlock birth rate than anything else. In every school system in America there is a direct correlation between that rate and the achievemnent of the surrouding schools.

Just this week there was a national story about Fryaser High School in Memphis where 90 of the girls are etiher pregnant or have already had babies, about 25% of the female student population. You can be assured that educational underachievement levels will be inversely proportional.

But nationally, we can never have this conversation.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 17, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"krazen1211, I don't think that's completely true.
They're not getting the same opportunities. Most of the opportunities I've gotten have been because of a) money or b)connections. African Americans in my community don't seem to have much of either. "


Really? If you're talking about people who live in your neighborhood they probably have a similar level of income? Connections? Perhaps not, but that's their problem.

"And I don't think it's because education isn't valued in black communities--the black students that are in my classes are just as hard-working as everyone else. And it's not just in education--outside of school, most of the people I know are also white."

You yourself stated that you have about 600 black kids and 12 in honors/AP classes. I was referring to the other 588.

In any case none of this is a function of government policy.

If black families choose to live amongst other black families and hispanic families, naturally their kids belong with other black and hispanic kids.

If they don't like it they can move.

Posted by: krazen1211 | January 17, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

*I don't know that it's fair to complain that a school in a location with 90% black population has a below national average white representation.*

Of course, a good question is why someone who lives in that location has to go to a school in the same location, instead of being able to choose the best available school within driving distance, regardless of which school district that is in.

Posted by: constans | January 17, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

They don't live in the same neighborhoods, because they couldn't afford it. When I said community I was referring to the entire county, which has enormous income inequality.

I'm sure some of them would love to move if they could afford it. But they can't.

Posted by: GeorgiaGirl1993 | January 17, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

First, maybe it's just me but I found the quote to be exceedingly hard to understand. Also, it doesn't present any data comparing today to back then (maybe available at the link, but still).

It seems to me that the case for desegregating schools gets more difficult to defend when Civil Rights legislation put an end to legal discrimination in the housing sector.

Posted by: nickthap | January 17, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

One of the most odious double standards existing today, as the WSJ called it, is the one whereby elite democrats attempt to force underpriveleged inner city kids back onto the plantation, that is, out of fancy private schools and back into the impoverished neighborhood schools. Such a case was publicized during the time of the Obama inauguration when two outstanding African American students were about to have the voucher program through which they were able to attend Sidwell (school of Obamas) revoked. This move to end the program and return children to neighborhood schools, no doubt a sop to the teachers' union, was spearheaded by the very "caring" Dick Durbin. I don't know the outcome of this, but educational vouchers are a means of integration in the private school system. Liberals oppose it.

Posted by: truck1 | January 17, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

constans:

Who is doing the driving?

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 17, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Working with poor urban youth, I see that there is very little interest in education. Many of the girls have babies by age 16, and the boys don't go much to school after age 16. The girls I work with have good access to birth control, but the babies give them benefits such as welfare, Medicaid , free cell phones, WIC, food stamps, housing, etc. They spend a lot of time on facebook and texting, ultimately having 1-2 babies by age 18. No one addresses this issue, it is not PC. The teachers are somehow held responsible for this, not the parents, who often had these children at age 15. It's a racket, and we pay taxes to perpetuate it!

Posted by: nevada112274 | January 17, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Working with poor urban youth, I see that there is very little interest in education. Many of the girls have babies by age 16, and the boys don't go much to school after age 16. The girls I work with have good access to birth control, but the babies give them benefits such as welfare, Medicaid , free cell phones, WIC, food stamps, housing, etc. They spend a lot of time on facebook and texting, ultimately having 1-2 babies by age 18. No one addresses this issue, it is not PC. The teachers are somehow held responsible for this, not the parents, who often had these children at age 15. It's a racket, and we pay taxes to perpetuate it!

Posted by: nevada112274 | January 17, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Working with poor urban youth, I see that there is very little interest in education. Many of the girls have babies by age 16, and the boys don't go much to school after age 16. The girls I work with have good access to birth control, but the babies give them benefits such as welfare, Medicaid , free cell phones, WIC, food stamps, housing, etc. They spend a lot of time on facebook and texting, ultimately having 1-2 babies by age 18. No one addresses this issue, it is not PC. The teachers are somehow held responsible for this, not the parents, who often had these children at age 15. It's a racket, and we pay taxes to perpetuate it!

Posted by: nevada112274 | January 17, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Is the point about this article about racial discrimination or about economic level? It seems to me that to equate black and Hispanic with poor is perpetuating a stereotype. Many Hispanic and black workers have good jobs. Many white people are poor.
In addition what is the assumption of this article about segregation? When Martin Luther King died many schools were 100% white or 100% black. Since that time students have been given choices about what school they will attend. Here in Denver kids can choose to attend any school in the city. There has been busing to help integrate schools. While we no longer bus students to integrate schools Denver has a very complicated school bus system which takes students to schools around the city. I presume that other cities have followed similar patterns.
The concern her should be not how many whites to how many black or Hispanic students or the economic levels in a school. Rather it should be a concern for what kind of education the students receive. Are they being prepared to earn a living and to live their lives successful?

Posted by: OhMy | January 18, 2011 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Yet one more omission that the socialists attempts at 'social engineering' has failed. Billions of dollars spent on busses to pluck children out of their neighborhoods, cart them across town, and plop them into environments where they know no one. What has been accomplished is driving the achievers out of the standard metropolitan statistical areas and [SMSAs] into the exurbs ... where their children can be educated to their expectations.

Posted by: IQ168 | January 18, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I did volunteer work in a school for 21 years, and watched very closely the involvement of the parents with the school programs and classes their children were taking. What I noticed, was the lack of involvement mostly from the black parents. Secondly, I also noticed that the children of those parents, generally were the poorest students. I don't mean poor in the lack of money, but poor in the desire to succeed. Those students also made fun of, and constantly hassled, the few black students who were succeeding in making good grades.
Just as a for instance, the music department of the school had a yearly program where the parents were asked to escort their Senior graduating children down an aisle to the front of the auditorium to receive honors for singing in the choirs, and playing in the band and orchestra. For many years, my husband and I were asked by many of those black students to be their escorts, as their mothers and fathers could not be bothered to attend. I am not talking about parents who didn't have transportation. Most of them had more than one car in the driveway. I am talking about parents who didn't care. However, those would be the first parents to BLAME THE SCHOOL for MAKING THEIR CHILDREN FAIL.
I am not saying that there are not bad schools and bad teachers, but a lot of the blame needs to fall in the laps of the parents, regarding the lack of education the students receive.
The black and white students sit in the same classes, and have the same opportunity to learn. Many of them have parents (both black and white) who hold down more than one job in order to make ends meet.
However, if the white child came home with poor grades, the white parent is more than likely going to blame the child for the poor grades, and make sure they did better the next time. If the black child took poor grades home, the parent automatically blamed the school, even though their children sat in the same classes with all the other children.
If the white child got sent to the office for an infraction in the classroom, the parent corrected the child. However, if a black child was sent to the front office for the same error, the black parent lambasted the school, and blamed the teacher.
Here-in lies the problem, NOT WHETHER THE SCHOOL IS PREDOMINANTLY ONE ETHNIC RACE, OR ANOTHER, but the lack of real parent involvement with the future of their children.

Posted by: Iam4gsus | January 18, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The fact that some sort of "segregation" exists in schools today does not mean that it's worse today than when MLK became active. In those days ALL minority students went to schools that were 100% minority race, and all whites went to schools that were 100% white. The numbers may be bad today, but they aren't as bad as they were. Statistics are easily manipulated.

Posted by: LWeber1 | January 18, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

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