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Segregation of Schools

Chelsea Dallman
We do not have the things
you have, the third grade
child named Alliyah told me
when she wrote to ask if I
would come and visit at her
school in the South Bronx.
Can you help us? America
owes that little girl and
millions like her a more
honorable answer than they
have received.
In the past, efforts to get rid
of separate and inherently
unequal education went
throughout courtrooms and
classrooms all over the
Now, that image is on its
way out. The majority of the
US schools in the last 10
years have become even
more segregated, instead of
Background- Court Cases
Where it all started over 100
years ago
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896):
Upheld the constitutionality
of racial segregation even in
public under separate but
Vote of 7-1
Remained intact until 1954

Background- Court Cases
Background- Court Cases
Brown v. Board of Education
of Topeka (1954):
Overturned the previous ruling
Reported that separate public
schools denied equal
educational opportunities for
Unanimous vote of 9-0
Made way for integration and
civil rights movement

Background- Court Cases
Background- Court Cases
Nationwide Information & Statistics
Nationwide Information & Statistics
As both the African-Americans and Latinos
move out into the suburbs, white people press
outwards to go further out as well
Schools go along with housing, if they are
densely segregated then so will the schools
Those court cases have no meaning if
the same issue is occurring today and
nothing is being done
Nationwide Information & Statistics
Schools filled mostly
with minorities and
the poor are often in
poor condition and
dont have enough
funding, unprepared
teachers, scarce
educational supplies,
and unchallenging
People must want to
help bring in more
money for the schools
so they can have equal
Case Study: Chicago
Became a problem after WWII,
African American neighborhoods
Population grew at great amounts
increased suburbanization, making
the white middle class willing to
leave (white flight)
Benjamin Willis wouldnt
acknowledge the need for
Installed Willis Wagons- portable
classrooms, created public outcry
Nothing ever accomplished
By 1990s 2/3rds of Chicagos
white students attended private
Willis interview:
Q: Do you believe that de facto
segregation does exist?
A: I refuse to answer that question

Q: Will you make a statement of
your own philosophy on
segregation in public schools?
A: I shall make no such statement.
Case Study: Chicago
Now and then:
a look at how
Americans feel
about the issue
in the past and
the present

In both cases,
the white
seems to think
its a good thing,
but not at their
own expense
Case Study: Chicago
African American Hispanic White
Case Study: Chicago
Yellow = 90-100%
African Americans
Blue = 90-98%
Gray = 90-100%
In Chicago, by the
academic year 2000-2001,
87% of public school
enrollment was black or
Hispanic; less than 10% of
children in the schools were
Case Study: Chicago
According to the Tribunes analysis
of 2008 population estimates, blacks
in Chicago are the most isolated
racial group in the nations largest
In order to completely integrate the
city of Chicago, 84% of the white or
black population would have to
move into a different neighborhood
Segregated neighborhoods have less
access to health care, quality
education, and employment
opportunities than white areas.
Percentages in Chicago:
African American 35%
White 28%
Hispanic 30%
Case Study:
Eye witness accounts of Brandon
Saunders and Amanda Cohen
Both live in Chicago
Brandons school- $11,000 spp
Amandas school- $17,000 spp
Both in Illinois Council of Students
Effort throughout the state to end
3/4 African American children and
2/3 Latino children in Illinois
attend school in a high-poverty
District Spending
Per Pupil
% Student
Pop by
% Low
Park and
$17,291 B+H:10
New Trier
$14,909 B+H:2
$14,563 B+H:1
$12,841 B+H:15
$10,301 B+H:2
$10,627 B+H:1
$10,935 B+H:2
Chicago $8,482 B+H:87
School funding in Chicago Area, 2002-2003
Case Study: Chicago
Student Bill of Rights
By the Illinois Council of Students
1. The right to qualified, engaged and passionate
teachers and access to textbooks and school
2. The right to be secure in their persons and
3. The right to an emotionally safe environment
4. The right to a physical space that encourages
5. The right to an honest, accessible, and engaged
6. The right to an appropriate student-teacher ratio
7. The right to programs that address academic and
social needs
8. The right to participate in clubs and sports
9. The right to fair and equal school policies, and
impartial enforcement of them
10. The right to freely express ideas and beliefs
The typical suburban Chicago black
student went to a school that was
51% black during the 1993-94 school
year. Today, that student goes to a
school that is 53% black. (Linda
Case Study: Chicago
What kind of childhood, it
may be asked, are we
designing for these children,
who already have so little
opportunity to play safely in
their neighborhoods, who
often live in cramped
apartments that have neither
porches nor backyards, whose
only place to play is
frequently the stairwell or the
hallways of their building?

In order to help raise test scores to increase
funding for schools students are denied the
freedom of having recess
Major effect on childrens health,
physically and emotionally
In Chicago, as in other cities,
elementary schools that have no
recess are more likely to be those
that serve minority communities.
Case Study: Chicago
I visited a high school in East St.
Louis, Illinois, where the lab stations in
the science rooms had empty holes
where pipes were once attached. A foul
odor filled much of the building
because of an overflow of sewage that
had forced the city to shut down the
school the year before.

The letter that affected me the most,
however, had been written by a child
named Elizabeth. It is not fair that
other kids have a garden and new
things. But we dont have that, said
Elizabeth. I wish that this school was
the most beautiful school in the whole
why world.

Opinions and accounts from
those who are first hand witnesses
of the conditions of these schools
Only 5/42 segregated all black
elementary schools are actually
getting some form of help
This, he told me, pointing to the
garbage bag, then gesturing around
him at the other indications of
decay and disrepair one sees in
ghetto schools much like it
elsewhere,would not happen to
white children.
Case Study: Chicago
Chicago for several years had
claimed a graduation rate of 70%.
It was now revealed that more than
half the students in the system
failed to reach their senior year and
win diplomas.
New York City and Chicago,
notes Education Week, which
enroll 10% of the countrys
African-American male students,
fail to graduate more than 70% of
those students with entering
The economic crisis for working
people and people of color will continue
to accelerate unless something is done
to help the students
Conclusion- Quotes
Theres a saying, Hard cases
make bad law. If you start
with the hardest cases in the
country, youre not going to
come up with the right
answers. You dont need to
desegregate New York in order
to desegregate Des Moines!

The longer this goes on, the
further these two roads divide,
the more severe and routinized
these race-specific pedagogies
may become, the harder it will
be to find a place of common
ground on which the children of
the many ethnic groups and
social classes in our nations
public schools will ever meet.

Conclusion- What Can Be Done?
Raise awareness that a problem does in fact
exist, showcase the childrens responses out to
the public
Transform the schools into something that
students of any social class or race can use to
go to for the purpose of a good education and
to spark interests
Bring about reform in ways of protests and
boycotts to clearly get the message across
Teachers and principals should step up and
not let those not involved take over and tell
them what to do (example being the
Standardized tests that create pressure and
bring no immediate help should be not be as
Never give up and accept defeat on such an
important issue for the future of Americas

Such a campaign, he
continued, would be
disruptive and strongly
opposed, but then so was the
battle to desegregate lunch
counters. America has never
made progress on racial
issues unless there was
enough agitation to force
society to take action.

It humiliates you, said
Mireya, who went on to
make the interesting
statement that the school
provides solutions that dont
actually work.

Conclusion- Where else to look?
Write letters to local and state
government officials
Recognize the problem and talk
openly about it with others
Research the problems in your state
at libraries and other centers
Read Jonathan Kozols book,
Shame of the Nation for more
facts, statistics, and personal stories
Check out web sites for different
programs that help fund
educational institutions
Donate yourself in time or money
The Education Action Fund-
Cambridge Massachusetts