Black Students Becoming More Segregated

Published January 16, 2009

More than a half-century after the Supreme Court banned racial segregation, Black and Latino students increasingly are attending schools with very few Whites, a new report shows.

In 1954, the high court agreed that racial segregation meant African Americans were relegated to inferior schools.

Today, many of the schools occupied by students of color are still more likely to be dilapidated and unsafe, and less likely to have adequate resources or qualified teachers, according to the report by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California.

"It would be a tragedy if the country assumed from the Obama election that the problems of race have been solved, when many inequalities are actually deepening," said Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project. The segregation trends are "the result of a systematic neglect of civil rights policy and related educational and community reforms for decades," Orfield said.

Contributing to the racial division is the fact that the number of White students is shrinking, meaning they are often sprinkled among a flood of nonwhite students.

Orfield also points to residential segregation. When authorities fail to act as integration watchdogs, segregation goes unabated, he said, noting that little has been done in recent years to enforce the Fair Housing Act, banning deliberate racial isolation in the housing market.

Another alarming reality, the report says, is that 60 percent of Black and Latino students attend schools where the majority of the population is below the poverty level.

Written by From Staff & Wire Services

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