Alyssa Leahy: Divided we stand

aAs you drive through Connecticut, you may notice sudden changes in the atmosphere. One moment you can be touring the ritzy houses of Fairfield and the next minute you’re in the slums of Bridgeport. If you took a dive into their education system, you would notice one major difference: the lack of diversity.

According to some research,

Connecticut is populated primarily by white, middle to upper class, wealthy and educated individuals. 81.6 percent of the population is white, with 11.3 percent Black and 14.7 percent Latino.

The Connecticut public school enrollment is 68.56 percent White (non-Hispanic), 14.41 percent Black (non-Hispanic), 13.66 percent Hispanic, 3.12 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.25 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.

bAccording to RealizeTheDream.org, Connecticut is the sixteenth most segregated state for African Americans, with 32 percent of Black students learning in extremely segregated schools (those with a 90-100 percent minority student body), and the twelfth most segregated state for Hispanics, with 25.6 percent of Hispanic students in extremely segregated schools (those with a 90-100% minority student body).

Segregation sometimes occurs because families often feel more comfortable with other families in their community that usually are the same race and economic background. This can be attributed to home location, extracurricular activities, clubs, and religious temples, housing opportunities, and zoning schools.

Some people associated with more successful school systems worry that integration will be toxic to their students and test scores. However, according to NPR, the federal government released a report that said that after controlling for socioeconomic status, white students essentially had the same test scores whether they went to a school that was overwhelmingly white or one that was overwhelmingly black. In addition, integrated school systems could also raise students to become more empathetic and less prejudiced.

 

 

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