Report: ‘Alarming' Evidence of Racial Segregation in Boston Public Schools

A Boston Globe analysis of enrollment at Boston Public Schools has found what it calls "alarming" evidence of racial segregation.

The Globe reports that nearly 60 percent of the city's schools were considered "intensely segregated," in that students of color were in at least 90 percent of the school's seats, compared to two decades ago, when 42 percent of schools qualified as such. The newspaper also found that there are now more schools where the majority of students are white compared to two decades ago, with five now instead of two.

The Globe's review followed a Northeastern University study that found many black and Latino students were barred from the city's highest performing elementary and K-8 schools, and that white students living near the highest performing schools were more likely to be admitted to them.

Gary Orfield of the Civil Rights Project at the University of California Los Angeles told the Globe that the case of re-emerging racial segregation in Boston's schools is tragic because the city isn't pushing itself to have conversations about race and social issues.

"People want to be satisfied with the status quo and don't want to think about the long term," he said. "If you want a school system that prepares students for life, you have to think about diversity. Students need to learn how to function across racial and ethnic lines."

Boston's interim superintendent, Laura Perille, defended the way the school district assigns students to schools in a statement to the Globe.

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