CRP Report Says Time Has Come for MA to Deal with its Diversity and Segregated Schools
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2013
CONTACT: Civil Rights Project, firstname.lastname@example.org; 310/267-5562
Despite Growth in Diversity, School Segregation Intensifies in Massachusetts
Over One-Quarter of Massachusetts’s Black and Latino Students Attend Intensely Segregated Schools
LOS ANGELES—The Civil Rights Project released a new study today, the first of its kind to thoroughly explore school segregation trends in Massachusetts since the peak of desegregation in the 1980s. Losing Ground: School Segregation in Massachusetts shows student enrollment in the Commonwealth’s public schools growing more diverse, while the state’s public schools become increasingly segregated along race and class lines.
According to the report, the white share of Massachusetts’s public school enrollment decreased from 82% in 1989 to 69% in 2010. During the same time period, both the Latino and Asian shares of enrollment doubled: from 7% to 15% for Latinos, and from 3% to 6% for Asians. On the other hand, the black share of enrollment remained stable at around 8%.
Losing Ground shows that over 25% of the state’s black and Latino students attended intensely segregated schools (90-100% minority) during the 2010-2011 school year, a substantial increase from 1989 when 11% of black students and 6% of Latino students attended intensely segregated schools. The study also finds an increase in the double segregation of the state’s students by both race and class, with low-income students comprising 85% of the student body in the state’s intensely segregated schools in 2010, up from 71% in 1999.
- In 2010, both the typical black and typical Latino student attended school with 36% white students, even though white students accounted for 69% of the overall enrollment in the state.
- Conversely, the typical white student attended a school that was 81% white.
- In 2010, the typical black and Latino student attended a school with almost triple the level of low-income students than schools attended by the typical white student.
- 34% of the state’s students were low-income, but the typical Latino student attended a school with 65% low-income students, the typical black student with 60% low-income students, and the typical white student with only 23% low-income students.
The report summarizes decades of social science research documenting the benefits of integrated schools and the detriments of segregated ones. The inequality of educational opportunities and outcomes is compounded when, as is usually the case, racially segregated schools are also schools of concentrated poverty.
Using 1989-2010 data from the National Center on Education Statistics, the report explores trends in school segregation at the state level, in the Boston and Springfield metros and in the largest school districts in those metros. Summaries are also available for the Barnstable-Yarmouth and Pittsfield metro areas.
The report also provides a historical overview of school desegregation efforts in Massachusetts. Once considered a leader in school integration with voluntary desegregation incentives and inter-district transfers, the state has regressed during the last two decades.
“In a state that is becoming more multiracial, with deepening divides between students of different races and classes,” commented Jennifer Ayscue, lead author of the report and research associate at The Civil Rights Project. “It is critical to consider the effect these segregated learning environments will have on Massachusetts, whose future depends on the success of all students.”
The report provides multiple recommendations for increasing educational equality, which include expanding access to the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) interdistrict transfers, promoting collaboration between fair housing efforts and school policies, ensuring that school choice plans promote diversity, and supporting racially changing communities.
“Ignoring segregation will not make it go away,” said Professor Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project. “It will only raise the cost and deepen the divisions. After decades of inaction, it is time for some strong and creative Massachusetts leadership.”
This report is the third in a series on school segregation trends in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States. Click here to read the report and the four metro summaries.
About The Civil Rights Project at UCLA
Founded in 1996 by former Harvard professors Gary Orfield and Christopher Edley, Jr., The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles is now co-directed by Orfield and Patricia Gándara, professors at UCLA. Its mission is to create a new generation of research in social science and law on the critical issues of civil rights and equal opportunity for racial and ethnic groups in the United States. It has commissioned more than 400 studies, published more than 15 books and issued numerous reports from authors at universities and research centers across the country.