Segregation Today

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A 2003 report by Harvard's Civil Rights Project outlines the nature and scope of contemporary school segregation.

At the dawn of the 21st century, education for Blacks is more segregated than it was in 1968.

Black students are the most likely racial group to attend what researchers call "apartheid schools," — schools that are virtually all non-white and where poverty, limited resources, social strife and health problems abound. One-sixth of America's black students attend these schools.

Whites are the most segregated group in the nation's public schools. Only 14% of white students attend multiracial schools (where three or more racial groups are present).

Latino students are the most segregated minority group in U.S. schools. They are segregated by race and poverty; immigrant Latinos also are at risk of experiencing linguistic segregration.

Asian American students are the most integrated group in the nation's public schools. Three-fourths of Asian Americans attend multiracial schools.

Racial segregation in schools is strongly linked to segregation by class. Nearly 90% of intensely segregated, black and Latino schools are also schools where at least half of the student body is economically disadvantaged.

Residential segregation impacts schools. With the decrease in busing to achieve school integration and the overwhelming return to neighborhood schools, where we live matters.

Today's segregated schools are still unequal. Segregated schools have higher concentrations of poverty, much lower test scores, less experienced teachers and fewer advanced placement courses.

Students in integrated schools perform better on tests, possess elevated aspirations for educational and occupational attainment, and lead more integrated lives.

From A Multiracial Society with Segregated Schools: Are We Losing the Dream?, a 2003 report from social scientists at Harvard's Civil Rights Project, outlines the nature and scope of contemporary school segregation.