60 Years After Brown: Most Segregated Schools May Not Be in the States You’d Expect

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Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that ruled "segregation is inherently unequal." But six decades after the Brown v. Board of Education case was decided, students in the most racially diverse states like California and New York are in some of most segregated schools in the nation, according to a new report released this week.

The report by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA found the current state of race and class diversity in the nation’s public schools deserves "serious attention from educators and policymakers."


Below you’ll find six surprising findings from the report titled "Brown at 60: Great Progress, a Long Retreat and an Uncertain Future."

1) Contrary to many claims, the South has not gone back to the level of segregation before Brown. It has lost all of the additional progress made after 1967 but is still the least segregated region for black students.

2) Black students are most segregated in the Northeast. New York is one of the most segregated states for black students. It has the highest rate of black students in high-minority schools and the lowest rate of black exposure to white students.


Source: UCLA Civil Rights Project, Data: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey Data.

3) California, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas also rank among the highest rates of segregation among black people.


4) West Virginia is the most integrated state across the board.

5) Half of all Latino students in California go to schools where at least 90 percent of the students are Hispanic or African-American, and poor. White and Asian students are typically in middle-class schools.


What do we take away from this? Gary Orfield, a co-author of the study, said that the focus should be on finding ways to make Brown v. Board of Education relevant for future generations.

"It is time to stop celebrating a version of history that ignores our last quarter century of retreat and begin to make new history by finding ways to apply the vision of Brown in a transformed, multiracial society in another century," he wrote.


You can download the full report at The Civil Rights Project’s website.

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