In Chicago’s Old Town, children who live north of North Avenue go to top-rated Lincoln Elementary (63 percent white, 14 percent low-income), while those south of the line go to low-rated Manierre (96 percent black, 4 percent, Latino, 93 percent low-income).
“At the end of the 2018–19 school year, not a single eighth grader from Manierre was proficient in reading, compared to 81 percent of Lincoln eighth graders,” writes Tim DeRoche on Quillette. The schools are one mile apart.
In many cities, the best public schools are open to children of affluent families, who pay a premium to live near “good” schools, he writes. Segregation by race and family income is enforced by school districts.
The district spent $19 million to expand Lincoln, when it was overcrowded, so no students would have to be sent to Manierre, writes DeRoche. Now there are some empty seats, but nobody south of the line is admitted.
Manierre has lost students to magnets, charters and private schools. The district had proposed closing it and sending students to another low-performing school in another gang’s neighborhood. That proved politically impossible