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Old 03-27-2018, 11:53 AM
 
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School Segregation in America is as Bad Today as it Was in the 1960s

This article should be required reading for anyone who has moved to Charlotte and seeks an understanding of the immense pride our community shared for integrated schools and the sadness many share due to their resegregation. The summary of the key events that have contributed to our current state is well documented in the article.

I fear it is close to impossible to rekindle the earnest interest in a more equitable education for all of the children in Mecklenburg county.
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Old 03-27-2018, 12:53 PM
 
570 posts, read 544,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Essequamvideri View Post
School Segregation in America is as Bad Today as it Was in the 1960s

This article should be required reading for anyone who has moved to Charlotte and seeks an understanding of the immense pride our community shared for integrated schools and the sadness many share due to their resegregation. The summary of the key events that have contributed to our current state is well documented in the article.

I fear it is close to impossible to rekindle the earnest interest in a more equitable education for all of the children in Mecklenburg county.
Wow! Thank you for posting this. It's so sad that Charlotte 33 or so years ago was considered exemplary, but now has become no different than any other city struggling with segregation issues. And it's such a sad irony that this article comes out the same week that Linda Brown passes away.
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Old 03-27-2018, 12:55 PM
 
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A great read for newcomers to learn about Charlotte's history and the role leaders played in trying to improve the city and quality of life for all residents. A time when people viewed themselves as part of the collective community.

The West Charlotte graduates I have met in Charlotte from that time period are some of the most well rounded, adapt, and successful leaders I have met in business, government, education, and more.

Luckily Charlotte still has some very diverse high schools such as South Meck, Butler, East Meck, Olympic, Independence, etc... but it is sad to see some of the schools revert completely.

Last edited by CLT4; 03-27-2018 at 01:03 PM..
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Old 03-27-2018, 01:50 PM
 
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Efforts to desegregate schools is like treating a symptom and ignoring the disease. The problem is we live in segregated communities. We've not fooling anyone (even the kids) with the hypocrisy of saying kids need to integrate but refusing to do so ourselves. Let's address the root cause - societal segregation and the symptom, school segregation, will fade away.

As a practical matter the busing efforts of the 70's are impossible now. In the 70's Charlotte had a population of under 300k, a big portion of which was in what are now considered the inner ring suburbs (as the article notes, only 12.5% of the county's land had been developed in 1976). The distances required to travel were relatively short and there were also plenty of roads under capacity that buses could move about on. Today there is a much larger, more spread out population and no spare road capacity. We'd need huge improvements infrastructure before even considering busing today.

Last edited by Pfalz; 03-27-2018 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 03-27-2018, 07:23 PM
NDL
 
Location: Gaston County
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The article has one glaring defect, that being the omission of the Asian American contingent that's a large part of the social fabric in Charlotte's schools.

Is there a degree of segregation between Whites and Blacks? Yes. Is this good? No. But that the article focuses on certain racial groups to the neglect of mentioning others, makes me wonder if the author is seeking to get at the truth, or are they looking to write their piece to fit within a certain narrative?

Should we purpose to build bridges that cross the racial divide? Absolutely. But I don't know how accurately this article portrays all of Charlotte's schools. Granted, this piece claimed to view American schools as a whole, yet Charlotte had a prominent place in the article.
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Old 03-27-2018, 07:36 PM
NDL
 
Location: Gaston County
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Quote:
"CMS tally: More Hispanic and Asian students, fewer black and white"
CMS tally: More Hispanic and Asian students, fewer black and white | Charlotte Observer

Quote:
But that doesn’t mean all schools are racially diverse. About half of black and Hispanic students in CMS attend schools that are less than 10 percent white, located in a wide band that runs from southwest to northeast Charlotte.
Okay...so that means that half of Black & Latino students attend schools that are more than ten percent White.

***

I am not saying that things are great, or that we should stop building bridges, or that more work doesn't need to be done. But the Newsweek article made it sound like we're at ground zero.
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Old 03-27-2018, 07:39 PM
NDL
 
Location: Gaston County
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More info here:

https://statisticalatlas.com/place/N...-and-Ethnicity

***
Again, I am not saying that more work doesn't need to be done, but I am proud of what we've accomplished thus far. We need to continue to build bridges...Yet instead of encouraging us to continue in the right direction, the Newsweek piece had a rather negative tone.
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:45 PM
NDL
 
Location: Gaston County
3,189 posts, read 3,651,341 times
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Once again, the more I ponder over the issue of race relations, the more I wonder: "what's the solution?"

I do firmly believe that diversity in our schools is an asset. And, unlike the source article, I believe we're on the right track - which leads us to: "how do we keep the momentum moving in the right direction?"
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:51 PM
NDL
 
Location: Gaston County
3,189 posts, read 3,651,341 times
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More:

"...Research we’ve done at The Atlantic has looked at big cities across the country: We find an enormous gap in the share of white versus African American versus Hispanic kids who are in schools where most of their classes qualify as poor or low-income. The concentration of economic poverty here in Charlotte is: 23 percent of white kids are in schools where a majority of the students qualify as poor or low-income, 77 percent of African American kids are in such schools, and 80 percent of Hispanic kids are. Can changes inside the four walls of a school overcome that? Or if you have that level of concentrated poverty, are you unlikely to get the results that you want?"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics...rlotte/487499/

***

Bearing the above facts in mind, I wonder: yesteryear's segregation was largely race based, while how much of today's segregation is more a matter of socioeconomic segregation, than it is race based segregation?

And again, what are the solutions?
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:09 AM
 
1,985 posts, read 1,395,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfalz View Post
Efforts to desegregate schools is like treating a symptom and ignoring the disease. The problem is we live in segregated communities. We've not fooling anyone (even the kids) with the hypocrisy of saying kids need to integrate but refusing to do so ourselves. Let's address the root cause - societal segregation and the symptom, school segregation, will fade away.

As a practical matter the busing efforts of the 70's are impossible now. In the 70's Charlotte had a population of under 300k, a big portion of which was in what are now considered the inner ring suburbs (as the article notes, only 12.5% of the county's land had been developed in 1976). The distances required to travel were relatively short and there were also plenty of roads under capacity that buses could move about on. Today there is a much larger, more spread out population and no spare road capacity. We'd need huge improvements infrastructure before even considering busing today.

Good post.

You're right that returning to bussing as designed in the past would be much more challenging/expensive due to our growth. No one is proposing that the school district return to bussing. The most I hear it brought up is by fear mongering politicians and school board members who wish to sway opinion using fears of integration. I think the discussion of bussing helps lead us to a different "root" issue.

There are countless examples of schools in the past that would have been MORE diverse if they served students based on proximity, but maintained attendance boundaries to preserve their student population ratios. Where was the stress/value of proximity in these scenarios?

While I agree with you that segregated communities lead to segregated schools - I would implore you to go one step further - segregated communities aren't designed/maintained on their own. People choose them. Whether folks want to confront their bias' or not - the root cause of much of our segregation is based on racism - some of it hidden/subconscious and some more explicit.

If we can work to resolve racism, it will lead to more diverse neighborhoods and more diverse schools. Tall order, I know, but I don't think we can have either without the former. Unfortunately, segregated childhoods lead to much less empathy for the "other" and whenever I see/hear the "r" word come up, it's often met with extreme defensiveness and understandable fatigue since many apply the word obsessively.

It's difficult to have candid, crucial conversations today without being derailed by outrage/political correctness. Seems there is way too much blame and vitriol to have productive exchanges - even when the history and facts are documented in plain view. That is one reason I am a bit pessimistic in seeing the path of re-segregation change course. It's appalling that integration requires advocacy in this day - don't we see where we have been!? Much of it is a result of our focus on standardized test performance at all costs - as if that measure is the only one that matters in school/life for success. The budget cuts to school civics programs, social studies, and non STEM subjects is amplifying the lack of values beyond test performance. It's tough because the entire college application process is geared towards these test that greatly limit our social/civic development - and no one is interested in changing them. I hope we see our err before it gets much worse.

Last edited by Essequamvideri; 03-28-2018 at 08:48 AM..
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