Posted on January 12, 2018

School Segregation in New York City: What the Data Shows

Noah Manskar, Patch, January 10, 2018


The policies adopted by New York City are successful in reducing segregation compared to the level of neighborhood divisions in the city, according to research by Tomas Monarrez, a UC Berkeley economics PhD candidate.

To illustrate this research, Vox published an article this week demonstrating how school district policies across the country either increase, decrease or preserve the level of segregation already present in the community. {snip}

Most school districts slightly improve integration in the classroom compared to their neighborhoods, according to Monarrez, but they could do better. However, some districts sort their students such that their schools are even more segregated.

More than 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that explicitly sending white and black students to schools segregated by race was unconstitutional. But sharp racial divisions persist in many of the nation’s school districts, and a recent report from the Government Accountability Office showed that levels of school segregation nearly doubled between 2000 and 2013.

And, as the Vox article showed, many schools in the South in recent decades appear to be re-segregating.

Alvin Chang, the author of the Vox article, said the data confirmed what he had long suspected: districts could go further — much further — if they value reducing segregation.


In other words, as long as racial divisions persist in our cities, communities and neighborhoods, desegregation will be a struggle.


Chang sees his article and the data as a “jumping-off point” for communities to begin discussing these issues and take a closer look at what is going on in their own neighborhoods.


While there are efforts that could reduce segregation further — Scafidi argues for expanding school choice — he also said that the trends are heading in the right direction. As neighborhoods and communities become less segregated, schools may soon follow.


[Editor’s Note: Many graphs and charts accompany the original Vox story, which may be found here.]