What are Gov. Andrew Cuomo and mayor Bill de Blasio going to do about it?
March 26, 2014
Civil Rights Project
Public school students in the state are increasingly isolated by race and class as the proportion of minority and poor students continues to grow.
This Day in History: On Feb. 3, 1964, 464,000 New York City school children — almost half of the city’s student body — skipped school as part of a protest against segregation within their school system. , Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
LOS ANGELES--A report released today by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project finds that public school students in New York continue to be severely segregated. Public school students in the state are increasingly isolated by race and class as the proportion of minority and poor students continues to grow, according to the CRP report, “New York State’s Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future.”
The study explores trends in enrollment and school segregation patterns from 1989 to 2010 at the state and regional levels, including the New York City metropolitan areas of Long Island and the New York City District, and the upstate metropolitan areas of Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse.
The report also documents the history of school desegregation in the state and across its geographic regions, including key desegregation cases and remedies in Yonkers, Rochester, and Buffalo.
In New York City, in particular, the report highlights both historical and current practices and policies perpetuating racial imbalance and educational inequity across schools, and challenged by parents and community organizations.
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.
“This report runs the geographic gamut: from the upstate metros dealing with transforming demographics and an urban-suburban divide, to Long Island, one of the most segregated and fragmented suburban rings in the country, and New York City, the largest school district in the country,” said John Kucsera, lead author of the report.
Specific findings at Various Geographic Levels
Upstate Metropolitan Areas:
New York City:
New York Metropolitan Area:
Author Kucsera states, “Many of these areas, particularly suburban ones, have experienced dramatic demographic transformation coupled with a lack of diversity-focused policies, and this inevitably leads to problematic segregation patterns.”
With the help of various New York-based community groups, researchers, and civil rights organizations, the report provides a host of recommendations and actions to help create and maintain integrated schools from the federal level down to local communities and schools. These include altering school choice plans to ensure they promote diversity, supporting communities that are experiencing racial change by helping them create voluntary desegregation plans, and creating regional or interdistrict programs in urban/suburban areas.
“In the 30 years I have been researching schools, New York State has consistently been one of the most segregated states in the nation--no Southern state comes close to New York,” commented CRP Co-Director Gary Orfield. “Decades of reforms ignoring this issue produced strategies that have not succeeded in making segregated schools equal. It is time to adopt creative school choice strategies to give more New York children an opportunity to prepare to live and work effectively in a highly multiracial state.”
Read the report and see a complete breakdown of the data. This report is the fifth in a series of 12 reports on East Coast school segregation trends.