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Old 01-16-2020, 05:01 AM
 
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The only place in the Philly area with significant residential diversity is as you noted in the city in the Northeast.
How do you not ccount West Mt Airy in that category?

Quote:
White parents choose schools with lower test scores that are majority white over those that aren’t majority white.
THIS, I'd like to see more research on.

Given that top performing minority students also usually opt to attend charter or private schools, I don't think one can just look at data on paper. To know particularly why someone makes a decision (and whether that rationale is truly different from others making that same decision) you'd have to ask them personally.

Not being comfortable being in the majority, is not the same as not being pleased with the school's test scores, amenities, and performance.

Last edited by selhars; 01-16-2020 at 05:16 AM..
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
558 posts, read 251,063 times
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Originally Posted by BR Valentine View Post
Pointing out white people’s preferences regarding school demographics always hurts their feelings hence the defensiveness. White children are twice as segregated in public schools as white people are residentially. White parents choose schools with lower test scores that are majority white over those that aren’t majority white. The fact is that white parents are deeply uncomfortable with their children not being in the majority which is why school segregation isn’t accidental. BTW, gonna be a challenge for my fellow whiteys as white children are now only plurality of the child population in the US.

White people have significantly more generational wealth (to a considerable extent due to racist lending and zoning polices) which has a lot to do with why “other groups don’t move into those school districts”. Also you may not have noticed but when black folks move into “those school districts” white folks panic and leave and/or send their kids to private schools ... uh Cheltenham ring a bell my dude? We know from housing data that this is, sadly, a rational decision for white folks. We know from voluminous research that ten percent black population in a given neighborhood is the tipping point for house prices. When controlling for education and income there is a linear relationship between the depression of house prices and the black population once the threshold is exceeded.

And umm ... school district boundaries are drawn to ensure the preferences of white folks. Here’s a thought experiment. What do you think the white response would be to merging the Springfield and Cheltenham school districts?
I drove with my wife through Cheltenham and Springfield last weekend while we continued to look for a home to buy. It's a very nice, leafy area. I don't see us buying there, because the property taxes there are exorbitant.

I found Springfield township less charming but more affordable than Cheltenham because of the property taxes. So the self selection goes both ways, Cheltenham residents could move to Springfield but choose not to.

Your argument would be a lot better if taxes were much higher in Springfield to keep others out. It's the reverse.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:23 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
8,918 posts, read 11,996,158 times
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Originally Posted by TownDweller View Post
I drove with my wife through Cheltenham and Springfield last weekend while we continued to look for a home to buy. It's a very nice, leafy area. I don't see us buying there, because the property taxes there are exorbitant.

I found Springfield township less charming but more affordable than Cheltenham because of the property taxes. So the self selection goes both ways, Cheltenham residents could move to Springfield but choose not to.

Your argument would be a lot better if taxes were much higher in Springfield to keep others out. It's the reverse.
Springfield Township taxes are fairly reasonable, and property values appreciate over time, especially Chestnut Hill-adjacent “Old Wyndmoor” which I do find charming and is experiencing a renaissance. It’s basically an extension of eastern Chestnut Hill, and there’s a lot of sociocultural exchange—lopsided, of course, with Wyndmoor on the sending end and Chestnut Hill on the receiving side.

I’m guessing the rhetorical question was asked by virtue of geographic proximity, but Springfield Township has some diversity, largely in the form of a steadily growing black middle class population (with more Hispanics/Latinx and Asians moving in).

Springfield is also a very middling (though more than adequate, it would seem) suburban district with a very large percentage of families self-selecting into private schools. Consequently, it is a small (but not too small) district, which I see as a strength. At this point, I’d be comfortable sending my child there at least through middle school—not because I think the high school is bad but because nearby private schools like Springside Chestnut Hill Academy are so good. I guess that’s another reason I found the Springfield/Cheltenham merger idea amusing; other than perhaps harming their property values in the long run, the pearl-clutchers are already out of the equation.

Also, Cheltenham has been experiencing steady demographic turnover that isn’t white flight so much as white avoidance. Older white empty nesters downsize and die off and younger white families aren’t really moving in. White flight is inner Upper Darby in the ‘90s or Far East Mt. Airy (since Sandy’s here, I won’t dare call it Cedarbrook) in the late ‘60s. Obviously there are many other examples; those were just the first two that came to mind.

Cheltenham has killer taxes and property values don’t really appreciate. I’m sure that’s in large part a consequence of ongoing white avoidance.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:30 AM
 
903 posts, read 430,859 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BR Valentine View Post
Pointing out white people’s preferences regarding school demographics always hurts their feelings hence the defensiveness. White children are twice as segregated in public schools as white people are residentially. White parents choose schools with lower test scores that are majority white over those that aren’t majority white. The fact is that white parents are deeply uncomfortable with their children not being in the majority which is why school segregation isn’t accidental. BTW, gonna be a challenge for my fellow whiteys as white children are now only plurality of the child population in the US.

White people have significantly more generational wealth (to a considerable extent due to racist lending and zoning polices) which has a lot to do with why “other groups don’t move into those school districts”. Also you may not have noticed but when black folks move into “those school districts” white folks panic and leave and/or send their kids to private schools ... uh Cheltenham ring a bell my dude? We know from housing data that this is, sadly, a rational decision for white folks. We know from voluminous research that ten percent black population in a given neighborhood is the tipping point for house prices. When controlling for education and income there is a linear relationship between the depression of house prices and the black population once the threshold is exceeded.

And umm ... school district boundaries are drawn to ensure the preferences of white folks. Here’s a thought experiment. What do you think the white response would be to merging the Springfield and Cheltenham school districts?
Is this a case of selectively interpreting stats? After all, I keep seeing stats showing that AAs are much more likely to be a heavily AA school than whites are to be in a heavily white school. Your typical Philadelphia public school is going to be less diverse than a typical suburban school. It's just not the right kind of diversity, eh?

What I do see all the time, especially in the suburban districts, people discounting the presence of Asians and South Asians as effectively "honorable" whites and don't count in the greater scheme of diversity. Even Hispanics are largely in this category these days. We all know racial politics and diversity in the US is driven solely by one thing: whether or not there are enough blacks. No one cares about the other races because, as I said, they're just honorary whites.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by selhars View Post
How do you not ccount West Mt Airy in that category?

THIS, I'd like to see more research on.

Given that top performing minority students also usually opt to attend charter or private schools, I don't think one can just look at data on paper. To know particularly why someone makes a decision (and whether that rationale is truly different from others making that same decision) you'd have to ask them personally.

Not being comfortable being in the majority, is not the same as not being pleased with the school's test scores, amenities, and performance.
The top performing schools in the city of Philadelphia, Masterman and Central, are plenty diverse and have lots of white kids too, along with other races.

I find it irritating these days that people still talk in blanket terms of "whites" without accepting that like everything else, it's a hugely diverse group of people who broadly fall under the umbrella of "white." Which is rather ironic as the people who talk about "white" this and "white" that are often the same people who are the first to declare how dare anyone can talk about "black" this and "black" that (or insert any other race). No race is a monolithic bloc.

And the other uncomfortable factor is cultural and class. The latter two are increasingly far more important factors behind how people segregate in today's world. But no one wants to talk about class, despite that the Philadelphia region is even more divided by class than it is by race. This whole race thing is so 1960s.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Originally Posted by DXBtoFL View Post

What I do see all the time, especially in the suburban districts, people discounting the presence of Asians and South Asians as effectively "honorable" whites and don't count in the greater scheme of diversity. Even Hispanics are largely in this category these days. We all know racial politics and diversity in the US is driven solely by one thing: whether or not there are enough blacks. No one cares about the other races because, as I said, they're just honorary whites.
There was a time when Southern and Eastern Europeans weren't white either. Ditto the Irish.

See a pattern here?

I remarked once upon a time that every human society (and polity) divides itself into an Us and a Them.

They are the receptacle into which We deposit Our fears and shortcomings; We project Our worst qualities onto Them.

Some societies define Us narrowly (this is actually the more typical pattern). Others define Them narrowly.

Because of our history, this country has defined Them narrowly - and we blacks are the designated Them. Many of us have successfully inserted ourselves into the Us, but even we get reminded on occasion that in spite of this, we remain Them in the eyes of many.* Others who arrive on these shores from elsewhere go through a period of Them-ness before getting absorbed into Us after a generation or two.

I will grant that this glosses over a whole cavalcade of injustices done unto others when they were Them, and it also ignores the original Them, the ones we bought and seized the country from. But the pattern I've just outlined here strikes me as pretty consistent throughout our history, and there is a two-steps-forward, one-step-back character to how the (heretofore) dominant group has dealt with the blacks in its midst.

*Edited to add: One of the best books dealing with this dynamic is sociologist Elijah Anderson's "The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race, Class and Civility in Everyday Life." I recommend the book's last three chapters to anyone, especially Chapter 8, "The N****r Moment." Anderson is now on the Yale faculty, but I understand he maintains his residence in West Mt. Airy and still uses Philadelphia as his primary laboratory for research. Most of the research for "The Cosmopolitan Canopy" took place in and around Rittenhouse Square, in the Reading Terminal Market - the "cosmopolitan canopy" of the book title - and in the adjacent Gallery, which he identified as part of "the iconic ghetto."
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:21 AM
 
Location: East Aurora, NY
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Originally Posted by selhars View Post
How do you not ccount West Mt Airy in that category?
Or South Philadelphia.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:31 AM
 
710 posts, read 631,575 times
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Dear white folks,

Take your heads out of your collective well-intended but delusional tushies.

Asians: white folks have more tolerance for them than black or Hispanic people but there’s a definite limit. Whitey has abandoned my neighborhood’s schools because ... too many Asians. The elementary school my kids attended is almost entirely Asian now because white families won’t buy a house zoned for a school with too many (for white parents liking) Asian kids. The school was ~90% white 15 years ago and transitioned from majority white to majority Asian while my kids were enrolled. I had a first hand seat to watch white folks nope the hell out of the school because of rapidly growing Asian enrollment. There aren’t enough Asians in the Philly metro to create majority Asian schools. That’s the only reason why they don’t exist in the region.

Hispanics: a majority of Hispanic children in the US attend a highly segregated school where 90%+ of the students are Hispanic. This isn’t a coincidence. Non-Hispanic whites don’t want their kids enrolled in a school with a predominantly Hispanic population. So, Hispanic kids mostly attend segregated schools with their fellow Hispanic children.

Black folks: the fundamental racial divide in the US is black/white. Black children disproportionately attend highly segregated majority black schools because white families don’t want their children in schools that are plurality, or heaven forbid, majority black schools. Cheltenham is a majority white township with a majority black school district. The issue isn’t by any means entirely white avoidance of the township. It’s avoidance of white parents from black children to a very significant extent. Cheltenham has the highest private school attendance rate of any township in Montgomery County despite being far from the most affluent township in the county.

Also, most “high performing” black children attend public schools, not private or charter. Private schools are overwhelmingly white and charter schools enroll just six percent of all school age children.

Racism and segregation aren’t so “1960s”. They are alive and well in 2020. Every time white racist habits regarding school enrollment are mentioned white folks race to find excuses why race isn’t the reason for school segregation. Newsflash: racism is the reason schools are segregated. The only period in US history during which schools integrated was under court enforced order. As soon as courts stopped mandating integration schools resegregated because that’s what white parents parents desire. So no, it’s not class or culture or any other excuse.

Re Masterman and Central: they are vastly more white and Asian and much less low income than the rest of the district. White (and Asian) folks have much more tolerance for racial diversity in selective admission schools. That’s the conundrum of magnet schools. They do foster racial and ethnic integration but they do so at the expense of economic, linguistic and special education segregation.

Oh and yes, West Mt. Airy and some other parts of the city are reasonably integrated though I don’t think there is any reasonable argument that the Northeast has by far the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. That said, the city is overall quite segregated as is the US as a whole.

Last edited by BR Valentine; 01-16-2020 at 09:44 AM..
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DXBtoFL View Post
When I look at Philadelphia culture:

Rich white people in Center City.

White hipsters in West Philadelphia and around the periphery of center city, with their identikit coffee shop, bicycle and progressive politics lifestyle.

Poor black people in most of the city. Some poor white trash in Kensington and South Philadelphia

Some pockets of immigrants here and there.

And none of them hang out with each other.

My, it's a culturally diverse city? Whoa! Won't you slay me down!
The other forumers, imo, were discussing diversity in terms of raising children here. If you look at the composition of public schools it's far more diverse than statewide. Greenfield - where my kids are - is the Rittenhouse Square/Fitler Square catchment school (nothing south of South Street) - by your statement "rich white people" - but in fact the school's demo is majority minority at 48% white, About 25% black, 15% Asian, and so on. This is reflective in my kid's little league and soccer teams - who they play with at the park - and who they are friends with. Just take our word for it - it's far more diverse than the average suburban experience.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:44 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
8,918 posts, read 11,996,158 times
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Originally Posted by BR Valentine View Post
Cheltenham is a majority white township with a majority black school district. The issue isn’t by any means entirely white avoidance of the township. It’s avoidance of white parents from black children to a very significant extent. Cheltenham has the highest private school attendance rate of any township in Montgomery County despite being far from the most affluent township in the county.
As far as younger white families that remain and/or continue to move in, I agree. There has definitely been white flight from the public schools. IIRC, Cheltenham public schools functioned fairly well at all levels until the past ~5 years. Now many nonwhite families are opting out as well.

Last edited by ElijahAstin; 01-16-2020 at 09:59 AM..
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