Education reform is not to blame for nation’s segregated schools

Sep 22, 2014 by

Kevin Chavous –

It is the great irony of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark desegregation case that celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, that segregation in our schools has gotten even worse, not better.

Back in 1954, 17 states still had segregated schools and with court order from the highest court in the land, they were forced to desegregate.

How successful were they? Not very.

Take Missouri, one of those 17 states. Its most populous city, St. Louis, is still is one of the most segregated cities in the country and its schools are just as segregated as the urban area. But St. Louis is not alone, or even an outlier. New York City, home of the nation’s largest school district, is the most segregated in the country.

In the past few weeks, in a host of opinion articles and media interviews, status quo defenders of America’s public school system sought to explain this troubling situation by focusing on their usual villains – those urging comprehensive education reform. They suggested that enduring racial divides in our schools were to be blamed on charter schools and newly emerging educational options, such as vouchers.

Donna Brazile, for example, cited charter schools as part of the segregation problem in American education. As much affection as I have for Donna, it’s not a serious argument when the fact is that charter schools make up only 6 percent of the nation’s public schools.

Worse still, top officials in the Justice Department seem to believe in this mythological link between education reforms and segregation. Last year, the Department filed for an injunction to block the Louisiana school voucher program that was designed for low-income, and predominantly minority kids who were and remained trapped in failing schools.

via Education reform is not to blame for nation’s segregated schools | New Pittsburgh Courier.

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