Researcher: School boundaries and segregation are linked

Roger McKinney:

He said each instance where schools are rezoned can be an opportunity to address segregation. He said very few districts draw bad boundaries that exacerbate racial segregation.

He said many studies show that the achievement gap between black and white students is closed when schools are desegregated and the gap widens when they are segregated. The achievement gap has been a persistent issue in Columbia Public Schools.

“School districts desegregate when it seems to be badly needed,” Monarrez said. “Desegregation involves more travel. This is sort of the price of desegregating the school.”

He said it’s a trade-off that districts can consider.

“The only way to desegregate schools is to make people travel farther,” he said. Monarrez said districts seem to think about these issues when they’re drawing boundaries.

Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools.