ARCHIVE FOR OCTOBER 2013
IELP AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT AT UCLA RELEASE TWO RELATED REPORTS ON SCHOOL SEGREGATION IN NEW JERSEY
On October 11, 2013, IELP and the Civil Rights Project at UCLA (CRP), co-founded and co-directed by Professor Gary Orfield, jointly released two reports, growing out of close collaboration between the research centers. Both reports found that the racial and socioeconomic divide in New Jersey public education has grown unabated and reflects a sharp split between urban and oftentimes adjacent suburban school districts.
The CRP report, entitled “A Status Quo of Segregation: Racial and Economic Imbalance in New Jersey Schools, 1989-2010,” reports that the state’s black and Latino students attend schools with triple the percentage of low-income students as the state’s schools overall, while more than 25% of black students in New Jersey attend schools that the report labels “apartheid schools,” with 99%-100% students of color, as compared to roughly 16% nationwide.
IELP’s report, “New Jersey’s Apartheid and Intensely Segregated Urban Schools: Powerful Evidence of an Inefficient and Unconstitutional State Education System,” finds that a greatly disproportionate number of the state’s black and Latino students are isolated in urban school districts, with virtually no white students but with a high concentration of poor children. Often, these urban districts are located in close proximity to overwhelmingly white suburban school districts with virtually no poor students. This raises serious constitutional, as well as moral and educational, issues.
Both reports provide a number of important recommendations for improving the educational and social circumstances of the great bulk of New Jersey students denied the opportunity to learn in a racially and socioeconomically diverse environment. Although the students suffer from their extreme isolation in enclaves largely defined by race and socioeconomic status, the state as a whole is also a big loser in terms of its diminished economic viability.