Dominguez-Barajas: Resegregation Study

via email from Asst. Prof. of English at Texas A&M, Elias Dominguez-

Barajas.

The recent Harvard study describing the resegration of U.S. schools has been

mentioned in several different contexts, and I’m sure that many … have not only heard of it but have

actually perused the full report. Despite the latter, I considered it pertinent to pass the information

along in case somebody who hasn’t heard of it wants the actual source for research purposes or

personal information.

[More summary below. Get the link at “Web Links” Module (the

menu at the upper left) under “National Resources.]

Gary Orfield and Chungmei Lee began to

circulate their preliminary findings several years ago (starting circa 1997). Those findings have been

confirmed
in their final report, which includes the following points among

others:

There has been a substantial slippage toward segregation in most of the states

that were highly desegregated in 1991. The most integrated state
for African Americans in 2001 is

Kentucky. The most desegregated states for Latinos are in the Northwest.

However, in

some states with very low black
populations, school segregation is soaring as desegregation efforts

are abandoned.

American public schools are now only 60 percent white nationwide and

nearly one fourth of U.S. students are in states with a majority of nonwhite
students. However,

except in the South and Southwest, most white students have little contact with minority

students.

Asians, in contrast, are the most integrated and by far the most likely to

attend multiracial schools with a significant presence of three or more racial groups. Asian students

are in schools with the smallest
concentration of their own racial group.

The vast

majority of intensely segregated minority schools face conditions of concentrated poverty, which are

powerfully related to unequal educational
opportunity. Students in segregated minority schools face

conditions that students in segregated white schools seldom experience.

Latinos confront

very serious levels of segregation by race and poverty, and non-English speaking Latinos tend to be

segregated in schools with each other. The data show no substantial gains in segregated education for

Latinos even during the civil rights era. The increase in Latino segregation is particularly notable in

the West.

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