New Report: Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society

Posted by on February 9, 2009

An education system increasingly segregated

A new study finds that black and Latino students are more segregated from white students than at any time since the Civil Rights movement, and are more often educated at failing schools, reports Reuters. The trends are “the result of a systematic neglect of civil rights policy and related educational and community reforms for decades,” said Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, which issued the findings. Orfield gave several demographic explanations for the trend. As the percentage of white students shrinks — whites now make up 56 percent of the U.S. school population — they are less integrated with students who are nonwhite. In addition, increasing residential segregation in the country dictates racial composition of schools unless education authorities take specific measures to create and maintain integration. According to Orfield, residential segregation has intensified due to lax enforcement of the Fair Housing Act, which forbids discrimination in housing and was set up to foster equality in the housing market. The overall segregating trend was strengthened due to the 2007 Supreme Court decision on voluntary desegregation, which removed pressure on local authorities to foster integration. The report calls on President Obama to address these issues.

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