Report: NY schools are most racially segregated

Report's author: "To create a whole new system that's even worse than what you've got really takes some effort"
Associated Press
Mar 27, 2014


New York state has the most segregated public schools in the nation, with many black and Latino students attending schools with virtually no white classmates, according to a report released Wednesday.

The report by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles looks at enrollment trends from 1989 to 2010.

In New York City, the largest school system in the U.S. with 1.1 million pupils, the study notes that many of the charter schools created over the last dozen years are among the least diverse of all, with less than 1 percent white enrollment at 73 percent of charter schools.

"To create a whole new system that's even worse than what you've got really takes some effort," said Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project and an author of the report.

He and his fellow researchers say segregation has the effect of concentrating black and Latino students in schools with high ratios of poor students compared with the statewide average. Black and Latino students who attend schools that are integrated by race and income level perform significantly better than their peers in segregated schools, the authors note.

The study suggests that New York's segregation is largely due to housing patterns, because housing and school segregation are correlated, but that it could be mitigated through policies intended to promote diversity.

"In the 30 years I have been researching schools, New York state has consistently been one of the most segregated states in the nation — no Southern state comes close to New York," Orfield said.

Other states with highly segregated schools include Illinois, Michigan and California, according to the Civil Rights Project.

One way to measure segregation is the exposure of students to classmates from other racial groups. About half of New York state's public school students are white, but during the 2009-10 school year the average black student in New York went to a school where 17.7 percent of the students are white.

The corresponding number for Illinois was 18.8 percent, and for California it was 18.9 percent.

Orfield said the Civil Rights Project is preparing reports on several other states, including an in-depth look at California.

A report on nationwide trends in segregation is planned to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education ruling on May 17. The court ruled in that landmark case that establishing separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional.

The report released Wednesday noted that about half of New York state's public school students were from low-income families in 2010 but the typical black or Latino student attended a school where close to 70 percent of classmates were low-income. The typical white student went to a school where just 30 percent of classmates were low-income.

"For New York to have a favorable multiracial future both socially and economically, it is absolutely urgent that its leaders and citizens understand both the values of diversity and the harms of inequality," the study's authors say.

New York City Department of Education spokesman Devon Puglia did not address the findings of the report, but said, "We believe in diverse classrooms in which students interact and grow through personal relationships with those of different backgrounds." The district is roughly 40 percent Hispanic, 30 percent black, 15 percent white and 15 percent Asian.

State Education Commissioner John King called the findings troubling and added, "The department has supported over the years various initiatives aimed at improving school integration and school socioeconomic integration, but there's clearly a lot of work that needs to be done — not just in New York but around the country."

The report, which used U.S. Department of Education statistics, also noted increasing segregation in upstate cities including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.

In the Syracuse metropolitan area, the report says, the number of black students increased by 4 percent between 1989 and 2010, but black isolation increased dramatically. In 1989 the typical black student went to a school that was one-third black, but in 2010 the typical black student went to a school that was nearly half black.

Pedro Noguera, a New York University education professor, said it's disturbing that policy makers have focused so little on racial integration in recent years.

"We've been talking about reforming schools in New York and elsewhere. This issue was never addressed," Noguera said.

He added, "When you concentrate the neediest kids together in under-resourced schools they tend not to do very well."

The UCLA report recommends that state and local education agencies develop policies aimed at reducing racial isolation and promoting diverse schools.

The report suggests voluntary desegregation programs in upstate cities like Rochester, where low-income populations are surrounded by more affluent communities.

In New York City, Orfield said, a system of unscreened "choice" schools would foster more diversity than the current New York City high school choice system, which sees entrance tests at top schools excluding most black and Latino students.

"If you just offer choice, the people with the best information will get into the best schools," he said.

Requel Russell-George, the mother of two students at Public School 169 in the Bronx, which has about 75 percent black and 19 percent Latino students, said she feels the school is "excellent" but she would like to see more diversity.

"I do feel that it would be great for our children and other children to be exposed to other cultures," Russell-George said. "You're more knowledgeable and things are not mysterious to you as you get older."



Didn't we try bussing students decades ago ?

Don't you apply to receive admission to charter schools ? Parents must not have thought this to be a problem when they put their children in these charter school. Maybe these charter schools offer more positive benefits that outweigh this issue.


How can this be? Not in the liberal mecca of New York. I guess all those rich white liberals don't like black people after all. What Governor Cuomo meant when he said that conservatives weren't welcome in his state and that they should leave is that conservatives should leave...and take the black folks with them.


Lets not forget DiBlasio wanting to shut down charter schools which are comprised of mostly black kids, that are getting a better education. Union payback you know.


Link for that info, please?


google it many stories have been done on this.


Thank you.


KnuckleDragger: Nowhere in the article does it mention politics. The problem was caused by both liberals and conservatives.

However, if you DO want to play that game, I'll point out that New York City's most recent mayor was conservative Michael Bloomberg, who was in office when everything mentioned in the article occurred.

Trust me, NO ONE is looking to the Republican Party for any ideas on how to fix Education. All they do is HURT Education by continually voting to reduce funding, or with stupid unfunded mandates like "No Child Left Behind" (which, of course, left millions of American children behind).


coaster even cnn reported that this move was political payback to the teachers unions. It is what it is, I only posted a couple of many articles that was done on this, please feel free to look for yourself.


"stupid unfunded mandates" That's funny coming from someone who supports a party that does nothing BUT write legislation that is unfunded. Whats your solution? Let me guess spend more to help the teachers union so more of you ilk can get into office. Go pander your idiocy to a different country, The Citizens are waking up to it.
Liberalism is a mental disorder that Coaster and its ilk wants taught in school.


As I said It is a mental disorder. Denial is part of the problem if the mentally disabled refuse to seek help. PLease seek help.
BTW, Liberals quit wanting "Liberty and freedom" Years ago, All you folks want is a free lunch and someone to ram it down your throat.

The Big Dog's back

dummygan, fall off the wagon again?


I did not know you had a Phd. You should educate yourself. You look foolish!


The truth is painful to you and dog. Now run along and get some prozac or whatever you people take these days.


Re: "However, if you DO want to play that game, I'll point out that New York City's most recent mayor was conservative Michael Bloomberg"

Here is what a non-wacco, non left wingnut wiki say about Bloomberg:

Political stands

Some of the policies Bloomberg advocates parallel those of either the Democratic or the Republican party platform. He is socially liberal or progressive, supporting abortion rights, same-sex marriage, some gun control measures, and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, for example. On economics, foreign, and domestic issues, Bloomberg tends to be conservative. He opposed a timeline for withdrawal from the Iraq War, and criticized those who favored one. Economically, he supports government involvement in issues such as public welfare, while being strongly in favor of free trade, pro-business, and describing himself as a fiscal conservative because he balanced the city's budget.[72] Environmentally, he believes that man-made climate change is real. Bloomberg has been cited for not allowing many emergency officials who responded to the September 11, 2001, attacks to attend the tenth anniversary observation of that day.[73] He also is at odds with many around the United States for not inviting any clergy to the ceremony marking the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.[74]

Social issues
Bloomberg supports abortion rights, stating: "Reproductive choice is a fundamental human right and we can never take it for granted. On this issue, you're either with us or against us." He has criticized pro-choice politicians who support pro-life candidates.[75]

Bloomberg supports governmental funding for embryonic stem cell research, calling the Republican position on the issue "insanity".[76] He also supports same-sex marriage with the rationale that "government shouldn't tell you whom to marry."[77]

Bloomberg supports the strict drug laws of New York City. He has stated that he smoked marijuana in the past, and was quoted in a 2001 interview as saying "You bet I did. I enjoyed it." This led to a reported $500,000 advertising campaign by NORML, featuring his image and the quote. Bloomberg stated in a 2002 interview that he regrets the remark and does not believe that marijuana should be decriminalized.[78]

Only a left wing nut would describe the above person as "conservative". I would say he was more Libertarian, or socially progressive and fiscially conservative. But wingnuts have their own views, mostly the rest of the people have to walk in lockstep or they are all wrong in the wingnut world. As was said in the third paragraph of the above wiki he was a democrat before he ran for office. But we also have seen what left wingnuts think and how they think. Thanks for being my example coaster !

The Big Dog's back

Spoken like a true right wingnut.


" I would say he was more Libertarian, or socially progressive and fiscially conservative."

WHAT????? He's as leftist as they come. He's a founding father of the nannystate. Nor is he fiscally conservative - he's just rich, which is not the same.

Erie County Resident

toasterfan you say Bloomberg was a conservative?
Holy crap what the h*ll have you been smoking?
Bloomberg leans so far to the left he almost falls off the liberal wagon.

The Big Dog's back

Just goes to show you business owners aren't good leaders.


So you would prefer another B movie star? We are now seeing that comunity organizers suck at being a leader.


No, workers like you have all the answers. No need to lead.


They may or may not be, but he's YOUR guy.


^^And today's ignorant post of the day award goes to...


Bloomberg a conservative? In what universe? Let us know when you sober up and return to reality.


This really is no big deal. Geography probably has a lot to do with this!


Wow we agree for once, demographics play a huge part is this.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I find the headline to be dishonest. Segregation implies a purposefully done human element. As in someone behind some desk is just assigning only one group or another to a school. That's ridiculous. I won't even bemoan that we are all humans and the color of our skin is irrelevant and shouldn't be the focus of things. But if a school is located in an area primarily inhabited by one group or another...this happens. Naturally. You can't live in Siberia and be sick of all the snow, not understanding why it is all around you.

Unless they are implying importing some white kids, Pacific islanders, or something else there is no way to cure this "segregation" that isn't segregation. But what upsets me the most is this:

"...the current New York City high school choice system, which sees entrance tests at top schools excluding most black and Latino students."

Unless the tests specifically screen you based on your pigmentation you can't just say that. Why is it that "black and Latino students" are excluding "most" of that group? Is it because they are failing the educational requirements to attend a "top" school? If so, why? Because of their skin? Is that the only reason they aren't testing into these places?

This article seems to go out of its way to paint a picture of a very nice room, one in which the exact outline of an elephant is seen in the corner but not filled in.

The Big Dog's back

So what's your solution for everyone to have a better education?


By treating all students exactly the same no matter the State they are in, whether they are in urban area, surban area, or rural area... Oh wait we have seen that doen't work from the last 60 years. Education is a State issue, or to be more correct, it is a local issue. Most rural problems shouldn't be handled the same as in NYC... and vice versa. IT IS LOCAL, and should be treated that way.

The Big Dog's back

Treating all students the same? What are they, clones?


Look up common core the liberal answer to education, Yes your god and his drone want clones not citizens.

The Big Dog's back

The National Governors Association (NGA) is an American 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization, best known for involvement with developing the Common Core education initiatives. It was founded in 1908 as the National Governors' Conference,


The program is being pushed by liberals and the left. It fits their ideology, more pay for less results.

The Big Dog's back

A Conservative Governor leads the Governors Assn.


That is what federal control of education has done for the last 50-60 years, it has proven it doesn't work. Glad you agree that it should be handled at the local level. Figured you would want it all "equal" throughout the country. It is not equal nor can it be equal. Urban and rural schools are not the same. It is a local issue that requires local solutions.

The Big Dog's back



NATIONAL Governor"s association. It is for schools all across the country. Education problems are LOCAL not the same all across the country. Sorry but the problems in Columbus are not the same as in the schools on the Erie Island schools. Education is LOCAL, it is not even statewide,


It's a PARENT issue. The single most significant predictor of student achievement is the culture and values in the home, and how effectively they are transmitted from parent to child.


Elimination of the NEA and AFT would be a great start. Then teachers who can actually teach will be on the job, not just those that have more seniority.


Exactly, with the NEA and AFT you end up with teachers as clueless as coasternut in the classroom.


Indoctrination arm of the Socialists/Progressives in this country.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Ah, thanks for your patience. So to answer your question now that I have the opportunity:

1. Year-round school. Year-round school is a proven alternative to the ancient agrarian calendar we use now. It works domestically and many other countries use it, too. It promotes learning all year long and makes for more fluid transitions between grades while maintaining family abilities to go on vacation or get a part-time job should the student wish to do so.

2. This is the suggestion that won me a scholarship from the Democratic Women of Erie County: "learn to live" classes. These classes will take all students through the basics of how to function as a human being in our society. The lessons are blind to socio-economic backgrounds as they are all skills that a graduate should have. This would be an ongoing series of classes that will have students learn life basics throughout school and graduate with such skills as: balancing a checkbook, understanding nutrition labels, changing a tire, stitching up tears, replacing a faucet, certification in CPR, and even getting something like a driver's/hunting/fishing licensee. This would include more field trips into the world. For the fun stuff, yes, but even visiting a hospital or prison to get some reinforcement on the impact of your decisions in life would be positive. This could even ensure that graduates have had the ability to register to vote, join the military (ROTC programs can do wonders) and obtain official state IDs in the process of having their other life documents gathered neatly and safely with their diploma.

3. Teacher visitation. Having a teacher visit the home of the student can do many things to help not just the student, but the family. As the teacher is the one visiting, transportation isn't an issue such as a parent-teacher day at the school. This would also allow for topics that may be embarrassing to talk about at school to be brought up in a candid environment. The teacher wouldn't be there to inspect the home, but if gross (as in copious and/or literally disgusting) conditions are present then the family could be referred to get help elsewhere. It would then also presumably allow parents to communicate better with those who teach their children. The visitations can be randomized and conducted throughout the course of the year (especially in year-round school) so there is no bias. The teacher could also be paired with another teacher or a councilor (or some other school figure) for safety and to provide another pool of answers to parents'/students' questions.

4. Ensure that the founding of our nation is taught and understood. A working knowledge of the Constitution itself is great. But even better is when it is put into context at the time. Why were the things decided that were? What does the language mean? Why did these men and women fight so hard and give up so much on something that never had any guarantee of working. Without education there is no knowledge of the law and that invites both poor judgment and abuses of those who do know the law against those that don't. Additionally it would do much to frame today's topics in retrospect. Part of telling where you are going is to know from whence you came.

5. Especially in high school save the electives for freshman years and have the directed study during the senior. This prevents "senioritis" and allows the student time to try different things early on and focus more and more on what s/he wants to study in order to be ramped into college or trade courses after high school.

6. Student participation in the maintenance and service of the school. A part of being a student would incorporate helping on the grounds in some way to maintain it or serve the other students by working in the cafeteria or doing unskilled janitorial work like wiping the boards or sweeping the floor. I'm not talking about sharpening the blades on the lawnmower or applying pesticides, but something doable that acts as both slight avocation training and helps them learn about service to others, pride in their facility, and a respect for the adults in the school/at home/around town who bust their butts doing "thankless" work. If not service in the school, service could be done through churches or civic groups. But, reasonable service of some kind would be required to the best of the student's ability.

7. Bring Junior Achievement (or some equivalent if the program isn't available at a location) into the schools to help foster an appreciation of economics and entrepreneurship.

8. Take away the Sword of Damocles the Federal government holds over states/cities, mainly in the way it coerces schools to accept certain practices (or Congressional/Departmental pet projects) else have money withheld. That is completely counter-intuitive to education and strips away the immense possibility a school can have to focus on topics or classes that are more relevant and accepted by the population of that city or state.

9. Technology MUST be taught. It is extremely relevant even in rural areas or with populations who won't tend to be able to afford a tablet let alone PC. To function in the world one must at least know how to operate basic systems. Not "just" Mac, Windows, or Android. For advanced placement, programming courses could be taught in pre-college school almost as a "second language" (which while I won't list as its own point but schools should offer some kind of alternative language course while emphasizing English comprehension and writing).

10. Tax as necessary to provide these services. Money, luck, nor birthright can offer anywhere near the equality of opportunity as education. If there is ever a fundamental right to us as a human being it is to the opportunity to never cease learning. To learn how to live, how to practice a trade, how to ask questions, and how to exercise our unique gift as a species...tell a story. Especially your own.

Sterile lectures, centralized and distant requirements, standardization, nor procedures from the days of Horace Mann can hope to offer this on a broad scale. Localized, relevant subjects and teaching methods allow for the natural transfer of memes down through the generations.

Since you enjoy nonfiction so much, I will turn you on to someone you may wish to read. His name is John Taylor Gatto. Who is he? He is a man who won teacher of the year in New York City schools and the state of New York for all his success and ingenuity in improving the lives of his students. Then, promptly after he was awarded these honors, he quit the public school system since it wouldn't/couldn't ever hope to offer humanity and relevance with its entrenched systems.

Specifically I will point you to the book "Weapons of Mass Instruction".

"John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction focuses on mechanisms of compulsory schooling which cripple imagination and discourage critical thinking.

Here is a demonstration that the harm school inflicts is quite rational and deliberate. The real function of pedagogy is to render the common population manageable, remove the obligation of child care from adult workers so they are free to fuel the industrial economy and to train the next generation into subservient obedience to the state.

John Gatto shows us that Ivy League schools do not produce the most successful graduates, some of the world’s richest entrepreneurs are high school drop outs and Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie didn’t finish elementary school. An education matters desperately, but spending a fortune on college fees will not get you one."

Stop It

Good stuff HZ.

The Big Dog's back

Are you crediting Gatto for this?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Crediting him for what?

The Big Dog's back

For the points.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

No, I credit him for the reasons I credit him in my recommendation to you. The thoughts above are my opinions formed by my thoughts, observations, and conversations with students/parents/teachers. I'm sure that there is some crossover, but my list isn't a verbatim copy found in his works.

Are you fishing for something, or perhaps need more information on a point above? Are there any points you wish to support or challenge?


WOW, Hero, when you go off the rails, you do it BIG. You've outlined a Huxleyan/Orwellian nightmare.
1. Year round school is just a way to get kids under government supervision for a larger percentage of their lives to be better indoctrinated in statist regimentation. It's astounding that someone whose business is centered on the most NON-regimented youth activities fails to see the value of summers spent exploring the world on one's own.

2.Learn to live classes just increase the values and beliefs indoctrination opportunities for the state. We had two such classes in my high school - survival economics, which you could skip if you took formal economics from the social sciences department, and Senior Health, which everyone had to take, and which was nothing but a semester of new age leftist indoctrination.

3. Teacher visitation - as if surveillance cameras on every corner and tapping all our phones wasn't enough, now you want government agents to come inspect the homes of families? Because guaranteed, that's what it would effectively be. You even threw in that "randomized" element - SURPRISE inspections. Why not just send the goon squad, too?

4. It's been tried - it's called American History and Civics. The problem is, the educational bureacracy is infested with leftists who twist the content to fit their agenda.

5. Yeah, right, so then, when they enter the "directed study" senior year, they have none of the prerequisite skills to handle it. A kid who chooses cakewalk courses does so because of the values his parents taught him, and nothing's going to change that.

6. CHAIN GANGS!!!!!!!! Work parties. I have news for you - if the parents didn't teach them the lessons at which this is aimed, forcing them as teens isn't going to help.

7. Junior Achievement is available to those who want it. I was the ONLY student in my high school enrollment of 1500 who chose to join Junior Achievement.

8. This is actually a good one, but it's in conflict on a fundamental level with points 1-7.

9. Yes, and no. Talk to any professor in a decent Comp. Sci. program, and they'll tell you their biggest headache is kids who had "programming" classes in high school and all they need to UN-learn. In a decent university program, students don't learn to use a high level language until the second or third year, about the time the Mechanical Engineering students are learning advanced metallurgy. If you want good programmers, the high school prescription is math and more math.

Most of your points are about more state control and regimentation - did you maybe happen to notice that home schooled kids are killing public school kids on standardized tests?

Most kids' educational outcomes are a fait accompli before they ever set foot in kindergarten, based on the values their parents teach them. The only way to change that is if you seize them and institutionalize them at birth (like Huxley and Orwell wrote about.)

In a free society, government schools have to take kids with the values they have and let the chips fall where they will, because the alternative is to have government schools dictating the values they will have, at which point you no longer have a free society. Freedom includes the freedom to fail, and so, in a free society, you will always have failure. However, it beats the alternative.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Go big or go home, eh? There are more to the answers I supplied Big Dog than a simple cut-and-dry. The above is merely an outline. While I am certainly well read on Orwell and Huxley, there also has to be a trust of government. You'll notice that I never threw out the idea of private religious, secular, nor home schools. Several of my non-regimental kids have home schooling (and/or distance learning through the Internet, a case of "the same thing but different").

I believe that most of my suggestions work to make the student an independent thinker and someone who can live independent of others, including the government. The proposals celebrate a freedom OF information and not FROM it, a parallel to religion in the First Amendment.

Trust me, nemesis, the last thing I want are institutionalized kids. But you'll notice that I backed up that notion with the reference to John Gatto at the end of my proposal to Big Dog. We can discuss all day long that a plan is nothing more than "a list of things that can go wrong", but that does nothing to address the needs of the kids who are locked in intergenerational ignorance, dependence, or who are thrown under the bus of victimhood as "socio-economically locked out of advancing".

You don't have to buy into that terminology to still be able to disable it from those who wield it as the pessimistic blade it is. As always, I appreciate your response even if we find each other at odds on this topic.


Ihave no doubt of your good intentions, the problem is, most of the items you proposed attempt to cure the disease with more of the pathogen, which is government control.

If kid A spends nine months a year in government schruels, and kids B (homeschooled) and C (private schooled) spend zero, and B and C both have better educational outcomes, then why would you propose a solution that increases kid A's time in a broken institution to 12 months?

The real solution is to get government out of the schooling business, and make all schools answerable to voucher-wielding parent/customers. Will this help the kids whose parents' highest ambition is to be brood mares for the underclass? No, but then, neither will anything the government schools have tried or will try, short of seizure and institutionalization at birth.

You yourself cite cases like Edison where many of our best and brightest are those who were removed from the public schools, but most of your proposals only serve to INCREASE the involvement of the government's bureaucrats in the lives of students AND their families. Here and in most of your comments, you outline a consistent principle and offer evidence to support it. However, on this one topic, when it comes to specific recommendations, you toss it out the window and go 180 degrees in the other direction. Go back to your principle. When Big Dog didn't have any snide sound bites in response to your proposals, that should have alerted you that you were not following your principle.

Erie County Resident

New York a messed up liberal state that got a report of this horrible news from a study done by a California liberal Civil Rights group.
Wow a study done by a liberal left coast state bashing another liberal state on the other coast for being a mess.

Dr. Information

Liberal lead state. Nuff said.

Stop It

Common Core:

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