A January 2009 report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA shows that amid the current national climate of anticipation and hope, the U.S. is sliding backward toward segregated and highly unequal schools.
Professor Gary Orfield, the author of “Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society: A 21st Century Challenge,” commented that “it would be a tragedy if the country assumed from the Obama election that the problems of race have been solved, when many inequalities are actually deepening.”
Orfield goes on to say that we should strive to extend the educational opportunities which President Obama had to “the millions of Blacks and Latinos who still face isolation and denial of an equal chance.”
The report states that 40 percent of Latinos and 39 percent of blacks now attend intensely segregated schools, in which 90 to 100 percent of students are non-White. The typical Black or Latino student attends a school where nearly 60 percent of the students are low-income, creating a doubly-damaging race and poverty divide that is worsening the isolation felt by these minority communities.
These segregated schools form the epicenter of the nation’s dropout crisis as they struggle to get the best teachers in the midst of student instability.
As a final point, the report calls on the Obama administration and Congress to look at our current situation and work towards more integrated schools and communities.