Monday, September 20, 2010

Discouraging, but not entirely surprising

The Globe has a story today on how schools in the Boston and Springfield metropolitan areas are among the most highly segregated in the nation. Boston ranked fourth in the country in terms of segregation of Latino students and 28th for black students. (Their definition of “Boston” actually includes much of eastern Massachusetts and some of New Hampshire.)

As the article notes, the segregation isn’t really limited to suburban vs. urban schools. There are major differences in racial make-up within Boston schools. They note that the Blackstone school in the South End is about 80% Latino, while the Oliver Hazard Perry School in South Boston is about 60% white. This sort of difference was apparent to me when going to school previews around the West Zone. With at least half of the student body come from within 1 mile from the school, schools wind up looking a lot like the neighborhoods.

The full report is here.

2 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Geeky Mama, thanks for linking to this article. Segregated schooling was basically invented in the North, Massachusetts very much included.

For people who want to know more of that history, Thomas Sugrue's "Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle For Civil Rights In The North" is well worth reading.

P.S. A point not made strongly enough in the article (in my view) is the extent to which suburban zoning laws are responsible for segregation.