Sunday, December 21, 2014

How School Segregation Divides Ferguson — and the United States -

Michael Brown graduated from Normandy High School in June 2014 shortly before his death at the hands of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.  Out of Missouri’s 520 school districts, Normandy, among the state’s poorest and 98 percent black, was marooned at the very bottom. When Brown v.Board of Education was decided St. Louis operated the largest legally segregated school system in the country.  Sixty years later little has changed -except for the attitude of the U.S. Supreme Court majority which now views the situation as unobjectionable. - gwc

How School Segregation Divides Ferguson — and the United States -

Decades of public and private housing discrimination made St. Louis one of the most racially segregated metropolitan areas in the country. A network of school district boundaries has, to this day, divided students in racially separate schools as effectively as any Jim Crow law.

Michael Brown’s education was not exceptional, then, but all too typical, and it illustrates the vast disparity in resources and expectations for black children in America’s segregated school systems.

As hundreds of school districts across the nation have been released from court-enforced integration over the past 15 years, the number of what researchers call “apartheid schools” — in which the white population is 1 percent or less — has shot up. The achievement gap, narrowed during the height of school integration, has widened.

According to data compiled by the Department of Education, black and Latino children nationwide are the least likely to be taught by a qualified, experienced teacher; to be offered courses such as chemistry and calculus; or to have access to technology.

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