California Scholars Have Developed a School Segregation Index

A new project from researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Education and the University of Southern California shows American schools remain highly racially and economically segregated and that segregation is growing in the nation’s largest school districts.

The Segregation Index shows that White-Black segregation between schools within large school districts increased 35 percent, and segregation between poor and non-poor students increased by 47 percent over the past 30 years.

Researchers said most school segregation in the U.S. occurs between school districts. In other words, students are unevenly enrolled across school districts by race/ethnicity or economic status. For example, the Los Angeles Unified School District is 74 percent Latino and 11 percent White, while neighboring Beverly Hills Unified School District is only 9 percent Latino and 69 percent White.

However, “we found racial/ethnic and economic school segregation between schools, within the same school districts, has also increased over the past three decades in large districts,” said Ann Owens, professor of sociology and public policy at the University of Southern California.

“We know segregation leads to unequal educational opportunities and outcomes, so the rapid growth of segregation in large districts indicates that we need a renewed focus on reducing segregation and equalizing educational opportunity,” said Sean Reardon, professor of poverty and inequality in education at Stanford Graduate School of Education.

The creators of the Segregation Index acknowledge that educational policymakers can’t control things like housing affordability, income inequality, the racial wealth gap, migration patterns or families’ neighborhood choices, all of which contribute to school segregation. But, they say, school districts can implement enrollment policies to mitigate segregation, including voluntary integration programs, socioeconomic-based student assignment policies, and school choice policies that affirmatively promote integration.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Four Black Scholars Selected for Dean Positions

The dean appointments are Chukwuka Onwumechili at Howard University, Myra Bozeman at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, Joan Tilghman at Coppin State University in Baltimore, and Omolola Eniola-Adefeso at the University of Illinois.

Voorhees University Launches Its First Doctor of Education Degree Program

The new doctor of education in leadership program will offer two specialized tracks for students, preparing them to become successful leaders in their chosen educational field. Students can choose to focus their studies on either PK-12 education or higher education administration.

Fielding Graduate University Honors Ronald Mason for Lifetime Achievements in HBCU Leadership

Ronald Mason has served as president of three HBCUs: Jackson State University, Southern University and A&M College, and the University of the District of Columbia, where he was the longest tenured president in the university's history.

Tuskegee Partners with UTHealth Houston for Accelerated Graduate Program in Biomedical Informatics

Tuskegee University has partnered with UTHealth to provide students with an accelerated graduate degree in biomedical informations. The "4+1" program will allow students to potentially earn a bachelor's degree, graduate certificate, and master's degree in just five years.

Featured Jobs