Share your experiences with school segregation Live
The Baltimore area is growing more diverse, but the schools are getting more segregated by race and class. Is your child in a segregated or integrated school? We'd like to hear about your experiences. Share your thoughts here.
Thank you for this series - it is well written and thought-provoking. We are a white, middle class family. I think often and hard about segregation, integration, and other challenges facing City Schools. For PreK, we sent our son to our neighborhood school, which is about 98% African American, and like Henderson-Hopkins, has a brand new, beautiful building. The first day after moving to the City from out of state, I volunteered at the school, painting the walls in preparation for the new school year. I was committed to being active in the school and in the education advocacy community. Despite ideals, commitment, advocacy, and beautiful facilities, our family encountered numerous and significant problems with the school, my son had a rough year, and we moved him to a charter school in kindergarten that has a student population that is about half black and half white. The difference was night and day. His current school is diverse, joyful, intentional, and high performing. One by one, I've observed other involved, middle class families formerly committed to our neighborhood school and to racial/socioeconomic integration move their children to other schools. New facilities, resources, and involved parents do not always result in a thriving school community despite best intentions.
I have a younger child. I had hoped to send her to the Henderson-Hopkins Early Childhood Center after learning about it (I applied for a spot for my son at the new school in kindergarten; we were far down on the waiting list). The Early Childhood Center has Head Start slots for low-income children and tuition-based slots. Unfortunately, with a $19,000/year price tag, the tuition-based slots are only accessible to upper-income families, not middle class families. Recognizing this, a foundation stepped forward at one point and offered subsidies to middle class families to enroll their children in the center. I applied for one such subsidy, and never heard back. I understand that the subsidies have now been discontinued. Thus there's a mismatch between the intention of integration, and the reality of a business model that needs $19,000/year from tuition-paying families to be sustainable.
Looks like there has been no improvement at all in the last 30 years if you look at the graph "With integration the achievement gap shrinks" Maybe the early gains of integration seen only in the black students from the late 70's to 1990 have already been captured. I think the burden of proof lies on the proponents of even more integration to show the benefits. These graphs show no benefits to achievement for white students. Black students have seem to have also plateaued after 1990. Do black student test scores correlate to the % of white students in a school? Is there some optimum % white students that is most beneficial to black students? Look more closely at the data. Informed opinion does not seem to be the point of this article. I also strongly object to the indiscriminate use of racial identifiers of people quoted; bad editing.
Thank you for this deeply researched and deeply moving article. It is incredibly saddening to hear that the opportunity to build meaningful integration was squashed. With school 'choice' taking over the driver's seat in the national education narrative, articles like yours are ever more critical. I did want to share that, despite what we hear over and again, there ARE families who do value integration, and who are deliberately opting in to integrated/integrating schools. My (white) children, now in middle school, attend an overwhelmingly minority school, and one that is also over 90% free/reduced lunch. And yes, they are doing very well both academically and socially. Having advocated for integration hyperlocally for over a decade, I have partnered with like-minded parents across the country to lift up the benefits of integration and to build a grassroots movement to support it. If anyone out there is interested, join us! IntegratedSchools dot org