Tag Archives: school integration

“If I Want to Go to a Good School Why Do I Have to Go to a White School?”

The 2014 UCLA Civil Rights Project produced a startling report,

New York has the most segregated schools in the country: in 2009, black and Latino students in the state had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools (less than 10% white enrollment), the lowest exposure to white students, and the most uneven distribution with white students across schools. Heavily impacting these state rankings is New York City, home to the largest and one of the most segregated public school systems in the nation.

 With the sound of bugles the mayor issued a tepid plan to begin school integration, encouraging school communities, with financial supports, to create integration plans.

 Since the release of the report school integration (or, the other side of the coin, school segregation), has dominated the news cycles. From the mayor to the chancellor to electeds the issue resonates across the city. New York City Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation (nycASID) is one of many organizations leading the battle to integrate schools across the city. nycASID holds month meeting (see next meeting agenda here).

 Norm Fruchter and Christina Mokhtar, NYC School Segregation Then and Now: plus ca change, is by far the most thoughtful and detailed examination of school segregation in New York City, the well-researched report provides a historical context as well as a wealth of data and I recommend to all. The report concludes,

The De Blasio administration’s initial system-wide reforms, universal full-day pre-kindergarten and a community schools effort focused on more than one hundred of the system’s most poorly performing schools, begin to suggest the scale and scope of what is necessary to improve education in the hyper-segregated districts. Clearly much more is required to reverse the past half-century of pervasive school segregation and its damaging effects on both the students in the hyper-segregated districts and on all the students in the city’s schools.

 I have caveats.

School integration is not just moving pieces on a checkerboard. Race is not destiny. Canarsie (zip code 11236) is an 85% Afro-American neighborhood, the Area Median Income (AMI) is average within the city; it is a working class/middle class neighborhood: home owners, populated by teachers, accountants, hospital workers, the typical mix of a middle class that is also Afro-American. Parents want a safe, neighborhood school, and, have no interest in putting their children on a bus simply to go to school with white students. There are other “hyper-segregated” districts (Fruchter identified 17 of the 32 school districts) that are predominantly Afro-American and a few are at the city AMI average; however, most of the hyper-segregated districts are poor and require a wealth of targeted services.

New York City has grappled with school integration since Brown v Board of Education (1954). In 1964 Parents and Taxpayers (PAT) vigorously opposed school busing to promote school integration and Reverend Milton Galamison organized a school boycott to support school integration.  Eliza Shapiro, in the NY Times, recounts the history of school integration efforts. Two excellent examinations: Clarence Taylor, Knocking At Our Own Door: Milton A. Galamison and the Struggle to Integrate New York City Schools  (1997) and David Rogers, 110 Livingston Street (1969), Rogers examines the PAT movement in detail.

The Board of Education efforts to integrate schools was not a total failure.

James Madison High School was carefully selected as the first high school in south Brooklyn to be integrated in the early sixties, a swath of Brownsville was zoned to Madison – ten years later the school was 65% white/35% black, and was hailed as a successfully integrated school, until December, 1973, when, as described by the media, a “race riot” erupted. The NYC Human Right Commission investigated the incident and issued a detailed report (unfortunately no longer online).

Read a detailed NY Times article here (“It was a good school to integrate”), recollections by a former Madison student here (“Prisoners of Class”) and a discussion in a previous blog post here.

 In the late 70’s District 22 in Brooklyn (Flatbush, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Mill Basin) created and implemented an under-reported integration initiative. While school boards, as Fruchter reports, were widely viewed as corrupt and incompetent, a few were glowing examples of bottom-up education policy-making. Concerned over federal intervention District 22 created a plan that bused Afro-American students from the overwhelmingly Black northern end of the district to under-populated all white schools in the southern end of the district. The school board, the superintendent and the team skillfully built support and the plan was implanted and stayed in effect for decades. Eventually as the neighborhood changed schools integrated naturally.

 Two school districts (Upper West Side and Brownstone Brooklyn) have implemented “controlled choice” integration programs, ironically after decades of supporting segregated schools under decentralization; whether the Afro-American students are welcomed, provided with “supports” within the schools, hopefully, will be closely monitored. The chancellor reported that other districts are exploring locally created integration plans.

A few years ago I was at a forum discussing the Obama My Brothers’ Keeper program; New York State has adopted and funded the program.

A high school senior asked the core question, “Why do I have to go to a ‘white’ school to get a good education?”

New York City has come a long, long way: there were 2100 murders in 1990, in 2018 there were 275 murders. (Maybe the creation of small, personalized high schools has played a role in reducing the murder rates) The de Blasio administration ended “stop and frisk,” and, crime rates continued to plummet. High school graduation rates have continued to move upwards, although incrementally. Universal Pre-K for three and four years olds are a hopeful step in the right direction.

School integration is a step, how big a step open to question.

William Julius Wilson, in The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass and Public Policy (1989, 2012), wrote,

 … a racial division of labor has been created due to decades, even centuries, of discrimination and prejudice; and that because those in the low-wage sector of the economy are more adversely affected by impersonal shifts in advanced industrial society, the racial division of labor is reinforced. One does not have to ‘trot out’ the concept of racism to demonstrate …that blacks have been severely hurt by deindustrialization because of their heavy concentration in the …smokestack industries.

 Racism and a changing economy has created an underclass, the truly disadvantaged.

Kim Nauer and others, A Better Picture of Poverty, The Center for NYC Affairs (2014),

 The report, … identifies 130 schools in which more than one-third of the children were chronically absent for five years in a row. Perhaps not surprisingly, these schools have very low levels of academic achievement as measured by standardized tests.

Chronic absenteeism correlates with deep poverty–high rates of homelessness, child abuse reports, male unemployment, and low levels of parental education. In fact, the report states, chronic absenteeism is a much better index of poverty than the traditional measure of the number of children eligible for free lunch. Moreover, it’s very hard for schools to escape the pull of poverty: only a handful of schools with above-average rates of chronic absenteeism had above-average pass rates on their standardized tests for math and reading–and most scored far below, the report states.

The report identifies 18 “risk factors” that are associated with chronic absenteeism, both in the school building and in the surrounding neighborhood. Schools with a very high “risk load” are likely to suffer from poor attendance. Some of the school factors are: students in temporary housing; student suspensions; the perception of safety; and principal, teachers and student turnover. The neighborhood factors include: male unemployment, presence of public housing or a homeless shelter in a school’s attendance zone, adult levels of education, and involvement with the Administration for Children’s Services.

School integration is a worthy goal; however, racism, a changing economy and the pernicious impact of poverty must be addressed: A Tale of Two Cities is an accurate description of New York City (as well as other urban centers) and remains the most intractable issue confronting the city and the its schools.

 Is de Blasio’s Integration Plan a Political Ploy? Pitfalls Before and After School Integration

In the 1980’s and 90’s votes on the death penalty in Albany became a ritual, the bill would pass in the Republican-controlled Senate and stall in the Assembly; slowly the supporters gained votes in both houses and a death penalty law passed, and vetoed by Governor Mario Cuomo, it happened year after year for a decade. With the defeat of Cuomo and the election of George Pataki a death penalty law was inevitable and became law..

A few years later a Republican old timer bemoaned how passing a death penalty law was politically foolish; it removed a great election issue.

Is school integration the current day death penalty debate?

Tip O’Neill, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, is famous for a simple quip: all politics is local.

The school integration struggle in New York City reminds us of the death penalty debate. For progressive voters in New York City and across the nation school integration is gospel. In the sixty-four years since the Brown v Board of Education decision cities and states have struggled with school integration; the courts have backed away from forcing integration plans, municipalities have found ways to avoid integration efforts, white parents have fled public schools, housing patterns and gentrification all combined to create more not fewer segregated schools.

In 2014 a report from the UCLA Civil Rights Project pointed to New York as having the most segregated schools in the nation.

Of all the attempts to improve outcomes for children of color school integration is one of the few that has been successful.

The evidence is overwhelming: students of color have better outcomes in integrated classrooms.

Electeds in New York City have jumped on the school integration train, up to a point. There has been no discussion of what happens when students of color appear in their new schools. Will the classes also be integrated? Do the teachers have experience in teaching heterogeneous classrooms? Do the schools have teachers of color on the staffs?

Chalkbeat reports,

… city officials approved a plan that will ban selective admissions at all middle schools in a swath of Brooklyn. But as the dust settles, even parents who agree with the plan are nervous about how it will play out.

Are schools equipped to serve a wide range of learners? Will classrooms themselves be diverse? Can the reforms help combat systemic inequalities that exist well before middle school? 

James Madison High School was carefully selected as the first high school in south Brooklyn to be integrated in the early sixties, a swath of Brownsville was zoned to Madison – ten years later the school was 65% white/35% black, and was hailed as a successfully integrated school, until December, 1973, when, as described by the media, a “race riot” erupted. The NYC Human Right Commission investigated the incident and issued a detailed report (unfortunately no longer online).

Read a detailed NY Times article here (“It was a good school to integrate”), recollections by a former Madison student here (“Prisoners of Class”) and a discussion in a previous blog post here.

My wife was one of six Afro-American students at Vassar College, blatant racism, intended and unintended was commonplace; it took more than a decade for the college to confront their failings.

Chancellor Carranza jumped on board the integration train; however, aside from middle school blind choice plans in two school districts nothing else seems to be in the works, and, the Mayor/Chancellor have declared plans must emanate locally, with some financial support from central.

The Chancellor’s Advisory Task Force on Diversity, a fifty member blue ribbon group will issue their report in December.

Can local Community Education Councils (CEC), bodies made up of self-selected active parents, councils across the city that have vacancies, meetings poorly attended, actually create plans?

In the late 70’s/early 80’s a decentralized school in Brooklyn, District 22 (Flatbush, Midwood, Madison, Marine Park, Sheepshead Bay, Mill Basin), created and implemented an integration plan; over 1,000 Afro-American students were bused from overcrowded schools in the northern end of the district to underutilized white schools in the southern end of the district. No newspaper articles, no tweets, contentious packed school board meetings and scores of smaller meetings resulting in years of integrated schools.

Did the Afro-American students who were bused achieve at higher levels than students in segregated schools? I would like to think so, in those days data was not as available and I don’t believe anyone ever investigated.

Why did the District Decide to Create and Implement the Plan (Carrot and Stick)?

 The school board was concerned that a possible lawsuit, or the feds, would impose an integration plan, better to design a locally created plan; additionally, the feds had competitive grant programs to provide incentive dollars to districts to create programs that “reduce racial isolation.”

 An Intelligent and Well-Constructed Plan

The plan, called the “frozen zone,” was created by the district and circulated to stakeholders for comment; it was an intelligent plan; adjacent addresses in the sending area were assigned to the same school. Kids would be traveling and attending classes with their friends, neighbors and siblings. The receiving schools could hold parent meetings in community rooms in the sending buildings. The superintendent made it clear: he did not want to see segregated classrooms in the receiving schools.

The Importance of Elected School Boards

School board members were elected in highly competitive elections; in the first school board election in the district over 30,000 votes were cast. The winners had constituencies: political clubs, civic and community organizations, churches and synagogues, unions, cooperative building boards; the current Community Education Councils are parents who volunteered to serve on CEC’s.  The nine elected school board members in the decentralized districts had political weight in the community.

 The Art of Building Consensus

The school board reached out to the community power brokers: elected officials and political activists, faith-based leaders, heads of neighborhood and community organizations, parent associations and the teachers’ union. Three schools rebelled and left the District Parent Council and formed their own council. There were numerous meetings, school board meetings, civic associations, parent association meetings, to spread the gospel and field questions.

The leader of a powerful political club was on board from the beginning, and when anyone whispered, “What does Tony think?” a nod, “He’s on board,” was enough for many community activists.

Competent Leadership and Effective Management

Parents in the sending schools were nervous, putting their “little ones” on a school bus sending them to a school that might not want them. The district provided Creole speakers at the meetings, local pastors were briefed and invited to meetings; parents in the receiving schools were welcoming. The superintendent made sure the “little things” went well: the buses arrived on time, the lunch rooms were also integrated, no black tables and white tables, no collecting of funds to supplement instruction that would burden the bused families.

The school district totally committed to school-based decision-making, extensive training for school leadership teams, the school district lobbied in Albany, and lobbied successfully, all schools had state-funded pre-k programs, the lotteries for slots in the pre-k included the frozen zone families.

No Special Education kids were bused; schools had to provide “appropriate instruction” at the home school.

The district acted as if it was apart from the city, and in the nineties the district asked then Chancellor Rudi Crew if they could become a “Charter District;” we’d stay within union contracts and state law, otherwise, leave us alone. Crew demurred.

The middle schools became choice schools, each had a theme and fifth graders could apply to any of the six middle schools or attend their zoned school.

Upon his election Mayor Bloomberg immediately moved to end decentralized, locally elected boards and created the current mayoral control system.

Unfortunately the good was washed away with the bad, sort of an education Gresham’s Law..

Low performing districts under decentralization, and there were many, were allowed to fester, and some became patronage pools for the political establishment. A few districts, too few, were high functioning and innovative, sadly, all the “good” slid away with the end of decentralization.

Fifteen years into mayoral control some applaud and others bemoan the lack of progress.

Samuel Becket’s play “Waiting for Godot,” is a discussion about waiting for a salvation that is unlikely to ever come.  Sometimes I feel that our schools are also waiting for salvation, and, we know that salvation comes from within us.

I don’t believe that Bill Gates or Mayors or Chancellors will snap their fingers and create higher achieving schools. Leadership can create fertile grounds and provide tools, school leaders and teachers make the difference.

Racial Isolation in Public Schools: While School Integration is a Worthy Goal Improving All Schools Must Be Our Primary Goal

In an editorial (“Racial Isolation in Public Schools) the NY Times writes,

New York’s schools are the most segregated in the nation, and the state needs remedies right away … Minority children are disproportionately trapped in schools that lack the teaching talent, course offerings and resources needed to prepare them for college and success in the new economy.

The editorial board makes an incredibly bad assumption: that by moving minority children into primarily white, middle class schools the ills of generations of segregation and racism will be wiped away.

Kudos to Merryl Tisch and the members of the Board of Regents for not jumping onboard the simple solution bandwagon.

High poverty schools are plagued with problems beyond the classroom; at the December, 2014 Regents meeting the issue of “chronic absenteeism” was highlighted. The Center for New York City Affairs, in a recent report, “A Better Picture of Poverty: What Chronic Absenteeism and Risk Load Reveal About NYC’s Lowest-Income Elementary Schools,” spotlighted the insidious impact of children not attending school as part of a wider pattern,

Tisch and her colleagues have spent months crafting new English language learner regulations to both remove obstacles to better instructional strategies as well providing clearer guidance to school districts

The Times’ “solution,” is an example of deja vu, again,

… the state cannot just throw up its hands. It has a moral obligation to ensure that as many children as possible escape failing schools for ones that give them a fighting chance. And history has shown that districts can dramatically improve educational opportunities for minority children — and reduce racial isolation — with voluntary transfer plans and especially with high-quality magnet schools that attract middle-class families.

Running away from the problems of high poverty neighborhoods, running away from what the Center for NYC Affairs called “risk load,” running away from in increasing numbers of English language learners is foolhardy.

To blame inner city schools for the “problem” is just plain wrong, The Times claims that the “lack of teaching talent, course offerings and resources” can be cured by moving kids to whiter, middle class schools. If the inner city and suburban school swapped teachers student achievement would be unchanged. When kids enter kindergarten well behind middle class kids in all academic skills teaching and learning becomes “catchup” from day 1. The requirement of passing five Regents exams results in double periods of English and Mathematics, remedial and tutorial classes, the lack of course offerings is determined by the skill level of the students.

Fifty years ago New York City embarked upon an effort to integrate schools. James Madison High School, a high-achieving large high school in a lovely neighborhood of private homes was “integrated;” within a few years the school moved from all-white to 70% White and 30% Black. The new principal, Henry Hillson, was a shining light among high school principals, the UFT Chapter Leader, Chet Fulmer, sent his kids to a school in Bedford-Stuyvesant as part of a reverse busing program, and, although white, served as an elder in Milton Galamaison’s Siloam Church in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The young Madison staff members enthusiastically supported the “experiment” in school integration. The end of January staff development days focused on the “new” student body and “new” methods of instruction and integrating students within the building. The “old timers” were unenthusiastic about school integration, the school was “ruined,” the new young teachers, and I was one of them, were totally engaged in creating a new school, a new racially integrated school, a model for a new school system.

A decade later Madison was torn apart by student racial clashes,

Outbreak at Madison High in Flatbush Involves 300 New Fights Threatened

White students at James Madison High School in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, armed with sticks, window poles, pipes, canes and chairs, attacked a group of black students there yesterday morning in a new outbreak of continuing racial tension at the school.

The riot was deeply disturbing, if racial integration stumbled at Madison, could it be expected to succeed anywhere? Madison had a socially liberal, welcoming staff; the school was located in a liberal community, what went wrong?

The NYC Human Rights Commission conducted an in depth study, spending weeks in the school interviewing scores of students, teachers, parents and community members. The report was prescient, forty years later we have failed to resolve the issues highlighted in the report. (A sobering read forty years later)

The 1974 report begins, “Even when integration has succeeded in becoming a major goal of education and urban planners, the means to attain this goal have seemed increasingly elusive” and goes on to admit, “In too many instances across the nation we have seen schools become integrated only to become resegregated … we know how to integrate …what we do not know is how to make integration work on a permanent basis.”

The commissioners praise the Madison staff, although they note the hostility of the old-timers.

The problem of integration, the Commission avers, goes well beyond the school,

“The relationship schools and neighborhoods is a close and reciprocal one but plans for integration almost never foresee the differences or strive to make the relationship between the newly integrated school and its neighborhood a healthy one.”

Perceptively, the report writes, “The Commission believes that the operative factor here is class, rather than race.” The better educated, liberal elements in the community supported the integration of the school, the more blue-collar, less educated elements in the community led the growing opposition, and, many of their children were involved in the physical confrontations.

While the school was technically integrated, classes in the school were largely segregated; classes were homogeneously organized, as were extra-curricular activities.

The report suggests 13 recommendations and admits “…little has been done anywhere in the country to develop practical strategies to cope with the daily challenges of integration to make integration work.”

In September, 1975 the city tottered on the brink of bankruptcy, 15,000 teachers were laid off and the city administration abandoned support for school integration.

Buffalo, as the Times editorial states, was deeply engaged in school integration,

As The Times reported in 1985, the city was viewed as a national model for racial integration; educators who wished to learn the lessons of Buffalo’s success flocked to the city from around the globe. Things went downhill in the 1990s, however, when court supervision ended and Buffalo experienced severe fiscal problems.

“Severe fiscal problems” escalated over the last twenty years, industry and population have fled, and white flight has turned Buffalo into an empty shell, a city without resources, a city surrounded by affluent suburbs, a city with a rapidly increasing school population of English language learners.

Just as the fiscal crisis of 1975 ended efforts to promote racial integration in New York City the collapse of the Buffalo economy turned Buffalo into a racially segregated, economically distressed city.

Inner city schools in St Louis, in Rochester, in Chicago, in city after city across the nation face the same issues. Working class union jobs are gone, jobs have scurried to Asia, and automation continues to shrink the work force. Charter schools have drained students with social capital out of neighborhood public schools, and, a closer look at charter schools is not encouraging; when you adjust for the absence of special education and English language learners in charter schools, when you adjust for the expulsion of “discipline problems;” charter schools are no better and in many instances lower achievers than public schools.

There are outliers, schools in poor neighborhoods that outperform neighboring schools; the answer is always school leadership and school staffs, not measured by a score on a principal-teacher evaluation, “measured” by the non-cognitive skills. School staffs that exhibit grit, persistence and humility, the same qualities that we find in successful students.

Black kids ask, “Why can’t we learn in schools with other black kids? Do we need white kids to learn?” The 1974 Commission report emphasizes the influence of class as well as the impact of race. Black families that move up the economic ladder are as likely to seek out better housing in lower crime neighborhoods as white families.

I was visiting classroom in an all-Black public high school in Harlem, a European History Advanced Placement class. The lesson was about the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, the lesson was at the level of a lesson at the most prestigious schools in the city.

The race of the students in a school does not determine the level of instruction or the course offerings, the academic level of the students determines the direction of instruction.

While NYS law does not allow for the state taking over a school district, in the instance that a law was passed that allowed the state to take over the Roosevelt School District the results were not encouraging.

“Solutions” must include the community, the electeds, the union, the business and faith-based communities; all what we euphemistically call “the stakeholders.”

Unfortunately Governor Cuomo, rather than leading efforts to engage the Buffalo community has chosen a confrontational path, a path that will only drive the stakeholders further apart.

In the poorest county in the nation, McDowell County in West Virginia, the American Federation of Teachers, the West Virginia governor, the business community and fifty other organizations are organizing and working together.

All fights end, and it is essential that the current toxic climate between the governor and the educational community end, perhaps Chancellor Tisch and the Regents can take the lead.

The Erosion of Brown v Board of Education: Can We Reverse the Re-Segregation of America’s Schools?

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court’s unanimous (9–0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” and over the next few decades the courts removed barriers to school integration and the feds passed legislation enforcing the court decision.

Sixty years later efforts to end school segregation have eroded.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan bemoans a path back to segregated schools,

Brown outlawed the notion of “separate but equal” schooling or legal segregation, but it did not stop de facto segregation. Many school districts today are intensely segregated–as much as they have been at any time since after the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many school districts that were desegregating in the 1960s and 1970s have since resegregated. And within metropolitan areas, educational opportunity and diversity can vary widely among dozens of urban and suburban school districts within a short drive of each other.

Today, about four in 10 black and Latino students attend intensely segregated schools, and white students are similarly isolated from their peers of color—only 14 percent of white students attend schools that you could consider multicultural.

NYS Commissioner of Education John King also decries the re-segregation of schools and offers a few suggestions,

... just 58 percent of African-American and Latino students graduate from high school in New York compared to 86 percent of White students. In the speech, I called on communities of color to demand better schools that are accountable for helping all students learn.

* Restructure school funding formulas to promote greater equity…

* Foster greater socioeconomic and racial integration by establishing magnet secondary schools serving multiple districts, redrawing school boundaries within districts, and changing district-level enrollment policies.

King knows that school funding formulas are at the discretion of the state legislature and he has failed to include his other initiatives in the State Education Department legislative priorities.

Interestingly Afro-American scholars and intellectuals have not been leading the charge to integrate schools,

Mary Pattillo the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University argues,

… that calls for integration rest on the unstated “problem” of Blackness, making it a problematic principle upon which to build equality…. I am by no means against integration…. my point is simply to identify the following conundrum of integration politics: Promoting integration as the means to improve the lives of Blacks stigmatizes Black people and Black spaces and valorizes Whiteness as both the symbol of opportunity and the measuring stick for equality. In turn, such stigmatization of Blacks and Black spaces is precisely what foils efforts toward integration. After all, why would anyone else want to live around or interact with a group that is discouraged from being around itself?

A UCLA study reminds us that it’s double segregation – race and poverty – that stigmatizes students,

… school segregation remains very high for black students. It is also double segregation by both race and poverty. Nationwide, the typical black student is now in a school where almost two out of every three classmates (64%) are low-income, nearly double the level in schools of the typical white or Asian student (37% and 39%, respectively). New York, Illinois, and Michigan consistently top the list of the most segregated states for black students…

… we underscore the fact that simply sitting next to a white student does not guarantee better educational outcomes for students of color. Instead, the resources that are consistently linked to predominately white and/or wealthy schools help foster real and serious educational advantages over minority segregated settings. For these reasons, it remains vital to explore and understand the extent to which other racial groups are exposed to white students.

Richard Rothstein reviews the literature and concludes,

Accumulating evidence confirms the need for school integration. Black students’ achievement decreases as their school wide proportion grows (Hanushek, Kain, & Rivkin, 2009). Attendance at high-poverty schools causes disadvantaged students’ performance to decline (Rumberger, 2007). A review of studies evaluating court-ordered desegregation concluded that “the circumstantial case linking school segregation to the test score gap is compelling” (Vigdor & Ludwig, 2008, p. 208).

Perhaps even more important than narrowing the test score gap are the positive behavioral outcomes from school racial integration: improved graduation rates, higher rates of employment, and higher earnings in adulthood, as well as avoidance of teen childbearing, delinquency, homicide, and incarceration (Guryan 2004; Johnson, 2011; Weiner, Lutz, & Ludwig, 2010). For both academics and behavior, benefits of integration for black students are unaccompanied by corresponding deterioration in white students’ outcomes.

Afro American students in integrated schools have substantially better data, both in areas measured by test scores as well as other social indicators, i.e., higher income, lower rates of crime, less homelessness, etc., however, there is no motivation at the federal, state or local level to implement any policies.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s the feds offered grants to school districts to “reduce racial isolation” and school districts around the nation created policies that integrated schools. In my school district in Brooklyn, a district that included a densely populated neighborhood that was all Afro-American and at the other side of the district all white schools. The district created “frozen zones,” addresses in the all-Black neighborhood that was each assigned to an all-White school. Thousands of students, Black and White, attended integrated schools. Today the feds are only interested in test-score driven outcomes, namely, Race to the Top. There is no interest at the federal level to put dollars onto programs to encourage integration and discourage segregation.

At the state level the situation is just as bad … district to district funding disparities in New York State are staggering. There are numerous examples of district and school boundaries and zoning that clearly were created to segregate schools and the State Education Department avoids rocking the boat.

Actually Americans themselves may be resolving the issue without legislation. When my wife and I married in 1970 interracial marriages were rare: only 1 in 100 marriages were bi-racial, today 12 in 100 marriages are bi-racial and the percentages are escalating every year.

The tanning of America may make Brown v Board of Education an interesting footnote in history.