Real Talk About Segregation in Boston Public Schools

Keri Rodrigues:

Here’s the executive summary:

White children are not smarter than black and brown children. Parachuting white families into majority “minority” schools will not automatically improve academic performance.

Black and Latino children ARE more than capable of achievement. Just because a school is majority “minority” does not make it a failing school.

Student diversity is positive and is linked to better student achievement for all students.
The segregation in Boston Public Schools has more to do with class and poverty than race, although systemic racism and income inequality perpetuating the cycle of poverty hits communities of color a hell of a lot harder than white families — especially in Boston. If you want to understand why a school might be poor performing, take a look at the income levels of the students’ families before you even think about the racial diversity of the students. Family income will tell you a whole lot more about the educational challenges of the kids than their race.
All of these things are true.

This is also true: People who can afford to buy $3 million condos in Boston are not going to send their children to underperforming schools in the opposite part of the city. They just AREN’T. Ever. No matter how progressive they claim to be. And if you think there is any amount of political pressure you can put on Marty Walsh to make him attempt to force it to happen — you’re nuts.

Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools.

We spend far more than most, yet have long tolerated disastrous reading results.