Racial Segregation and Busing

New York Times special report  supplements other recent findings that segregation in U.S schools has reached historic levels– those not seen since the 1970’s.

After the landmark ruling Brown v. Board of education in 1954, the federal government made a concerted effort to racially integrate neighborhoods through “busing”. This primarily involved the practice of taking African American kids out of predominantly black neighborhoods, and busing them to predominantly white neighborhood schools. Studies show that all children benefit in terms of school achievement when immersed in racially diverse environments.

However, after the case of Milken v. Bradley in 1974, federal courts found that most busing practices were unconstitutional;  schools did not have an explicit mandate to force integration upon people. After the ruling, white flight continued and today, in cities like New York City, half the schools are more than 90 percent black and Hispanic. Since the fall of busing, there has been a “steady and massive re-segregation”  in our school system.

Baltimore is no exception to the trend. The desegregation of Baltimore’s Polytechnic High School had national consequences but 50 years after Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”  speech, a majority of Baltimore City schools remain almost entirely black.

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Zachary Evans

Zachary Evans

This article was written by Zachary Evans and edited by Michael Snidal. Click here to meet our writing team.
Zachary Evans

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