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orfield-why-segregation-matters-2005




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1 Why Segregation Matters: Poverty and Educational Inequality By Gary Orfield and Chungmei Lee January 2005 2 Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Nancy Mcardle, John Yun at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Stella Flores, and Al Kauffman for their important insights and contributions. We would also like to thank Lori Kelley for her invaluable assistance with this report. A special thanks to Jerry Monde, Jennifer Blatz, and Sofia Jarrin-Thomas for their technical contributions. Finally, we would also like to acknowledge Christopher Swanson at the Urban Institute for his help in this project. 3 Table of Contents Page Introduction………………………………………………………………… 4 Poverty Segregation and Racial Inequality………………………………. 10 The Poverty Dimension in Segregation……………………………………. 14 a. National Trends……………………………………………………. 17 b. Regional Trends…………………………………………………… 22 i. Western Schools…………………………………… 22 ii. Southern Schools…………………………………… 25 iii. Northeast…………………………………………… 27 iv. Midwestern………………………………………… 30 v. Border States………………………………………. 33 Dropouts…………………………………………………………………… 36 Case for Desegragation…………………………………………………… 40 Policy Recommendations…………………………………………………. 43 Appendix…………………………………………………………………… 44 22 Table 10 Racial Composition of Extreme Poverty Schools by Region, 2002-3 Percent of Students in Schools with 90-100% Poor Students Region White Student Black Student Latino Student Asian Student Native American Student Total Northeast 9 55 34 2 0.3 100 South 7 62 31 1 0.2 100 Midwest 13 54 30 2 2 100 Border 66 27 5 1 2.2 100 West 7 9 76 6 2 100 Racial Composition of Extreme Poverty Schools 16 39 41 2 1 100 Western Schools Low Poverty Schools Students attending low poverty schools in the West are predominantly white (Table 11). As a result, the average white student in these more affluent schools attends a school with 78 percent whites, 9 percent Asians, 9 percent Latinos and just 3 percent blacks. Because the minority presence is so small, minority students in these low poverty settings experience much more multiracial exposure than in other schools with different poverty levels. Desegregation in overwhelmingly white schools means access to schools of much higher economic status. 23 Table 11 Racial Composition of Low Poverty Schools in the WEST Attended by the Average Student of Each Race, 2002-3 Racial Composition of School Attended by Average: Percent Race in Each School White Student Black Student Latino Student Asian Student Native American Student %White 78 53 54 56 69 %Black 3 14 29 3 3 %Latino 9 22 6 10 13 %Asian 9 11 10 30 8 %Native American 1 1 1 1 7 Percent of Enrollment 72 3 12 12 1 High Poverty Schools Latinos are over-represented in high poverty schools in the West (Table 12). Despite the fact that only 35 percent of the students in the region are Latino students, they comprise more than half of the students attending these schools. In contrast, the region has 49 percent white students but only 26 percent of enrollment in high poverty schools is white. Table 12 Racial Composition of High Poverty Schools in the WEST Attended by the Average Student of Each Race, 2002-3 Racial Composition of School Attended by Average: Percent Race in Each School ...





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