Giving Compass’ Take:
• School desegregation was never properly achieved in America, and segregation is increasing nationwide.
• How can schools become diverse when neighborhoods are not diverse? Can philanthropy help support struggling minority schools?
• Learn about segregation in New York’s schools.
Schools in Memphis have become increasingly more segregated over the last 50 years, according to a Chalkbeat analysis.
A little more than half of Memphis schools are highly segregated, in which 90 percent or more of students are black. That’s up from about 40 percent in 1971 when a Memphis judge used those statistics to call for a plan to end school segregation.
Add in Hispanic children, whose share of the student population has dramatically increased since then, and more than 80 percent of schools are highly segregated.
And without a re-entry of white families into the city’s school system and massive policy changes, the segregation will only worsen, say academics who have traced Memphis African-American and education history.
The numbers in Chalkbeat’s analysis, like the 1971 ruling by Judge Robert McRae Jr. that ushered in an unpopular busing plan that failed to achieve integration as white families fled the city, do not include private or suburban schools.
Memphis is hardly alone in this trend. Federal data shows the share of schools with high percentages of poor and black or Hispanic students grew from 9 to 16 percent between 2000 and 2014.
But unlike other cities, Memphis can’t claim a resurgence in segregated schools, says Daniel Kiel, a University of Memphis professor who has researched local school segregation.
“It’s hard to say schools resegregated when they never stopped being segregated in any meaningful way,” he told Chalkbeat.
Read the full article on Memphis school segregation by Laura Faith Kebede at Chalkbeat
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