California School Tries Segregation to Boost Scores

AP, April 22, 2009

Some parents in a Sacramento suburb are upset after school officials segregated students by race in a move designed to boost test scores.

Students at Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove were divided by race this week for what the school called “heritage assemblies.” The gatherings were designed to motivate students to do better on standardized achievement tests.

That upset Tracy and Herbert Houston, a mixed-race couple who say their son was confused about which rally to attend.

Principal Doug Craig said dividing students by race allowed teachers to talk about test scores without singling out one group in a negative way.

Such race-based assemblies have been practiced in other California schools that are struggling to close student achievement gaps.

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