Segregation in Schools Is Actually Getting Worse

It’s been 62 years since the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education verdict. In theory, this ruling blocked schools from remaining segregated and unequal. In actuality, though, many of the same problems schools experienced in the 1950s still persist today.

You’d hope the situation were at least getting better, but presently, it’s actually getting worse. According to a government-commissioned study that closely examined several school districts around the country, the racial divide in schools is widening, not closing.

Since the year 2001, the amount of Latino and black students attending “impoverished” schools has increased by 11 percent. Overall, sixteen percent of public schools have student bodies that are 75 to 100 percent comprised of poor Latino and black kids.

“Research has shown that some of the most vexing issues affecting children and their access to educational excellence and opportunity today are inextricably linked to race and poverty,” reads the report.

When minority students almost exclusively make up the student body in poor schools, the discrepancies are frightening:

  • Fewer math classes are offered
  • Fewer AP classes are offered
  • Nine graders are more than twice as likely to not pass on to tenth grade
  • Nearly one-quarter of all students who were suspended attended one of these schools

None of this is to say that schools aren’t trying to do a better job of integrating. Still, their efforts are stalled by preexisting segregation between neighborhoods, problems transporting kids from different areas and a lack of cooperation from community members who don’t consider integration a priority.

Representative Bobby Scott, the Senior Democrat on the House Education Committee sees this study as a call to action for politicians to take a closer look at the inequality in public schools. “More than 20 million students of color [are] now attending racially and socioeconomically isolated public schools,” he said.

Most of the disparities in the quality of schools come down to money. Affluent towns generate more tax dollars, and can afford to allocate those dollars toward schools. Schools with poorer residents just can’t afford to provide the resources that other schools do, and the quality of education suffers as a result.

This past week, a U.S. District Court found that the town of Cleveland, Miss., had unconstitutionally kept white and black students segregated in many of their schools. It’s remarkable to see that a school system had evaded the law of the land for over 60 years now.

That said, it’s even more remarkable to realize that Cleveland, Miss., is not alone in this practice. From the latest research, we can see that a lot of school districts perpetuate – be it intentionally or incidentally – this same inequality.

The researchers involved on the study made a couple recommendations to officials in government. First, that the Justice Department pay more attention to desegregation cases filed in federal court. Second, that the Education Department spend more time studying demographic data to consistently identify racial and class discrepancies that deserve to be fixed.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Marie W.
Marie W1 years ago

Transportation is an issue-why?

Joon m.
Past Member 1 years ago

I don’t suppose many of websites give this kind of information.please write my paper for me

Barbara V.
Barbara V1 years ago

Of course. Because the sickness and hate in people is expanding. I bet a lot of these kinds of people go to church, learn about loving their neighbors from Christ, and then go out and do the exact opposite. People like that have no idea how sick they really are--how deadly to goodness, compassion and kindness they really are. It is a terrible tragedy all the way around. They refuse to realize that color of skin or ethnic background doesn't matter--a human being is a human being. They refuse to comprehend that they are spreading their evil all over society and continuing to poison it. They have cursed themselves.

Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle1 years ago

Right wingers are working hard to take advantage of what they consider loopholes in civil rights laws. Why do people think it is important to deprive other people of their rights?

Jax L.
Jacqueline L1 years ago

Thank you!

Jax L.
Jacqueline L1 years ago

Great Article!

Nina S.
Nina S1 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta W1 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn1 years ago