Equity & Diversity Report Roundup

Study Finds N.Y. State Schools Are Most Racially Isolated

By Lesli A. Maxwell — April 01, 2014 1 min read
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New York state is home to the nation’s most-segregated public schools, with the share of black students who attend “intensely segregated” schools—those where fewer than 10 percent of students are white—having increased steadily since the late 1980s, according to a new study from the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 2010, the study found, more than half of New York’s black and Latino students were in schools with a white enrollment of less than 10 percent. The study also found segregation by income: While nearly 50 percent of New York’s students came from low-income families in 2010, the typical white student attended a school where fewer than 30 percent of students were poor. At the schools attended by black and Latino students, nearly 70 percent of students were from low-income households.

The findings on New York state, the study’s authors said, are heavily affected by segregation patterns in the 1.1 million-student New York City system. Of the city’s 32 community school districts, 19 had white-student enrollments of 10 percent or less.

Authors John Kucsera and Gary Orfield draw on segregation research since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan., decision and use federal statistics from the 1989-90, 1999-2000, and 2010-11 school years. It’s the fifth report in a series on school segregation patterns in communities along the East Coast.

The authors attribute New York state’s segregation to a number of factors, including persistent residential segregation and the abandonment of earlier efforts by districts to desegregate schools.

A version of this article appeared in the April 02, 2014 edition of Education Week as Study Finds N.Y. State Schools Are Most Racially Isolated


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