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10

things to know about segregation effecting education in Boston written/illustrated Jae Eun (Jane) Cho


10

things to know about segregation effecting education in Boston written/illustrated Jae Eun (Jane) Cho


Intro The purpose of this book is to raise issues of segregation effecting education system in Boston. Boston may be renowned to have spectacular education in colleges and universities but with public schools, there exists many problems including discrimination towards the minorities. Even after Massachusetts Legislative outlawed racially segregated schools since 1855, segregation still proceeds today where minorities get less opportunity for accessing proper education. Although bringing up the issue of segregation in the historic times may have brought vast attention and ideas to create a better, diverse environment, segregation is still happening today with many people not acknowledging this specific issue. This idea of segregation in education needs to be addressed to education committee especially in one of the most diverse city in United States. There are many organizations and people who try to improve this situation but it would be much more effective and cooperative if one learns about the origin and how it is preceded today. Beginning chapters will explore the historic events and as it proceeds, it will touch upon the situation in modern days. Abstract painting illustrations of each page shows generalized idea of each chapter. There are 4 colors in the painting to represent each race, which are white, black, red (Hispanic), and yellow (Asian).


Contents

1

Outlawing Boston’s School Segregation (1850)

4

Development and implement of Busing

7

Attendance of students in public schools

2

Brown V. Board of Education (1954)

5

Revisiting segregation today

8

Increase of poverty effecting education for minorities

10

Treatment of minority students/teachers

3

Racial Imbalance Act & METCO Establishment

6

Segregation of minorities across school districts

9

More minority students, fewer teachers of color


1

Outlawing Boston’s School Segregation (1850)

In 1848, the case of Roberts vs The City of Boston started when Benjamin Roberts sued Boston for not letting her 5-yearold daughter, Sarah Roberts, attend any of the local primary school because she was black. His daughter was forced to walk past five schools to get to “colored” school. The Massachusetts Supreme Court heard the suit of an assault on America’s segregated educational system. The African American community took care of the lawsuit organizing with great effort to end racially segregated schools. In 1845, a city ordinance was passed and said any child “unlawfully excluded from the public schools” could recover

damagers, which meant that they could sue the city. All Sarah’s lawyers had to do was to prove that she had been rejected from those other schools unlawfully since Benjamin Roberts had not violated any law when he took his daughter to be enrolled. To prove that Roberts was “unlawfully excluded,” her legal team declares that all persons stand equal before the law, regardless of race or color. However, the school authorities disputed that special provisions had been made for “colored” students. Although they lost the trial and Boston still remained to maintain racially segregated schools, this was a significant event because it brought up the issue of segregation to public.


2

Brown V. Board of Education (1954)

In 1896, there was a suitcase by Plessy v Ferguson because Plessy, a ‘creole’ was arrested for sitting on the white section, which led the case go all the way to the United States Supreme Court. However, it held that segregated public facilities were constitutional so long as the black and white facilities were equal to each other. Thus, The “separate but equal” doctrine was covered in many areas of public life, such as restaurants, theaters, restrooms and public schools. Brown v Board of Education filed against the Topeka. Oliver Brown, parent of one of the children denied access to Topeka’s white schools. He said that Topeka’s racial segregation violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause because the city’s black and white schools were not equal to each other and never could be. However, the federal district court dismissed his claim saying that ruling the segregated public schools was “substantially” equal enough to constitutional under Plessy doctrine. Court reviewed psychological studies

showing black girls having very low racial self-esteem in segregated schools. They concluded separating children on based on the race creates dangerous inferiority complexes that may harmfully affect black children’s ability to learn. Finally, they stated that even if physical facilities were equal between the black and white schools, racial segregation in schools in “inherently unequal” and will always be unlawful. Fortunately, in the context of public schools, Plessy v. Ferguson was overruled. Brown v. Board of Education, is recognized as one of the greatest Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century, held that the racial segregation of children in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Even though the decision did not accomplish in fully desegregating public education in the United States, it gave the Constitution on the side of racial equality and stimulated the promising civil rights movements into a full revolution.


3

Racial Imbalance Act & METCO Establishment

In 1848, the case of Roberts vs The City of Boston started when Benjamin Roberts sued Boston for not letting her 5-yearold daughter, Sarah Roberts, attend any of the local primary school because she was black. His daughter was forced to walk past five schools to get to “colored” school. The Massachusetts Supreme Court heard the suit of an assault on America’s segregated educational system. The African American community took care of the lawsuit organizing with great effort to end racially segregated schools. In 1845, a city ordinance was passed and said any child “unlawfully excluded from the public schools” could recover

damagers, which meant that they could sue the city. All Sarah’s lawyers had to do was to prove that she had been rejected from those other schools unlawfully since Benjamin Roberts had not violated any law when he took his daughter to be enrolled. To prove that Roberts was “unlawfully excluded,” her legal team declares that all persons stand equal before the law, regardless of race or color. However, the school authorities disputed that special provisions had been made for “colored” students. Although they lost the trial and Boston still remained to maintain racially segregated schools, this was a significant event because it brought up the issue of segregation to public.


4

Development and implement of Busing

On June 1974, Judge W. Arther Garrity ruled that Boston public schools had been systematically segregated and ordered to end it through court-ordered busing. Thus, Boston Public Schools were under court control to desegregate through busing students. The court control of the desegregation plan lasted for over a decade. Unfortunately, the call for desegregation and the first years of its implementation brought to a series of racial protests and riots that felt they were being forced to bus their children. Organization such as ‘Restore Our Alienated Rights (ROAR),’ an anti-desegregation busing organization showed racist vigilante actions against nonwhite citizens of Boston. Due to many protests, City officials had to put an intense effort to make sure that all students were

transported to school safely. Jean McGuire, who was a bus safety monitor, recalled what happened during the busing. “I remember riding the buses to protect the kids going up to South Boston High School, and the bricks through the window. Signs hanging out of those buildings, ‘Nigger Go Home.’ Pictures of monkeys. The words. The spit. People just felt it was all right to attack children.” In the beginning of days of schools, few or no whites attended the schools in Boston. The whole busing system influenced Boston politics and contributed to as well as demographic shifts of Boston’s schoolage population, but it resulted a decline of public-school enrollment and many white populations moved to the suburbs.


5

Revisiting segregation today

In 2000, Boston School Committee votes 5 to 2 to drop race as a factor in deciding which school at student may attend. The committee voted under pressure from pending Federal lawsuit that states that the current system discriminates against white children. The racial make up of Boston’s schools has changed a lot since busing began. This caused white population to migrate to suburbs while city’s overall transformed into more of a mixture of Hispanic, Asian, black and white. Only 15% of Boston Public School students are white, compared with 60% back in the 1970s. Today, the outer suburbs are full of good schools attended by well-off students who are mostly white. In contrast, city is full of

failing schools attended by poor children who are mostly black and Latino. According to bostonglobe, “By a number of measures, segregation seems to have gotten worse. One way to see this is by looking at the growth of ‘highly segregated ‘schools, meaning those schools were at least 90 percent of the student body is non-white. Massachusetts now has seven times as many highly segregated schools as it had two decades ago. And while, in 1980, just one in fifty black students attended such a highlysegregated school, the number is now one in four.”


6

Segregation of minorities across school districts

Boston is a “majority-minority� city with minority children in the region, especially black and Hispanic children highly segregated from other children where poverty are the norm in schools of metropolis. They are excluded from the more advantaged suburban portion of the metropolis. The white population almost completely escaped the City of Boston or those remaining in the city live in advantaged city neighborhoods including Back Bay/ Beacon Hill, South Boston and parts of central Boston, and half of them attend

private schools. High number of them live in the suburbs and they grow up in neighborhoods and attend schools that are typically 90% white. On the other hand, the minorities live in Boston’s high poverty neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and East Boston. A pattern of continual segregation and inequality diminishes the life chances for minority children, even for those families who found homes in suburban areas because everyone is not experiencing any diversity.


7

Attendance of students in public schools

The study released by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project explores school segregation trends in Massachusetts since the peak of desegregation in the 1980s. They noticed that student enrollment in MA public schools is growing more diverse, but school themselves are becoming very segregated along race and class lines. The inequality of educational opportunities and outcomes is shown and racially segregated schools are schools of concentrated poverty. White students remain to attend schools with overwhelmingly white classmates while black and Latino attends schools with fewer shares of white students. Moreover,

Black and Latino students in Boston attend school with two to three times as large a share of low-income students as white students. While white student goes to a school where 21.9% of his/her classmates are low income, black students are 58.7% and Latino students are 63.5%. This reveals uneven distribution of low-income students to schools where black and Latino students are enrolled, which stresses the double segregation that black and Latino students experience by attending schools that are segregated not only by race but also by class.


8

Increase of poverty effecting education for minorities

Today, Boston’s economy reflects an increase in wealthy, well-educated residents rather than a decline in poverty, along with widening inequality and severe racial/ethnic disparities. There is a strong racial/ethnic factor in Boston’s income inequality. More than 1/3 of families of color had annual incomes of less than $25,000 and 10% had less than $10,000. On the other hand, half of Boston’s white families had annual incomes of $100,000 or more and only 10% had less than $25,000. In the 2010/2011 school year, 56,000 of the school-age children attending Boston Public Schools, 41,700(74%) live in

households earning 185% of or less than the Federal Poverty Standard. More than 2/3 of Boston Public schools or 38,640 (69%) live in households earning less than 130% of the Federal Poverty Standard. In highly segregated schools, 85% of students are shown low-income. This situation has gotten worse over the time because 15 years ago, there was 70% of low income. 40% of Latino, 35% of African American and 31% of Asian children lived in poverty compared to 10% of white children. One can see a link between segregation and poverty exceeding in these extremely segregated schools.


9

More minority students, fewer teachers of color

87% of students of color at Boston Public Schools show most racially and ethnically diverse student body. Ironically, only 38% of teachers are minorities and 80% of teachers are white. In fact, more students of color are filling classrooms while number of minority teachers has been gradually declining for the last decade. As student population increases to be more diverse, some attention has been received to the fact that schools that are high-minority or urban areas still remain “separate but unequal.” It somewhat pays less attention to the fact that percentage of

minority students increase and percentage of minority teachers consistently decrease. Tito Jackson, chairman of the City Council’s education committee mentions that “The underlying issue at the Boston Public Schools currently is we’re losing teachers of color who are older faster than we are actually attracting new teachers of color.” Black teacher in Boston are retiring at a rate 3 times faster than the district is hiring replacement. There is a phenomenon called “the disappearing black teacher,” showing recruiting new minority teacher is a problem nationwide.

Public School Teacher and Student Populations by Race (2011-12) 63.1 41.8 36.5 9.5

21.3

5.6

7.9

11.7

asian student

asian teacher

hispanic student

hispanic teacher

black student

black teacher

white student

white teacher

Source: Albert Shanker Institute


10

Treatment of minority students/teachers

U.S Education Department that include data from every U.S school district found out that public school students of color got more punishment and less access to veteran teachers than their white students. Black students are suspended or expelled at triple the rate of their white students, according to the U.S Education Department’s 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection. Only 5% of white students were suspended annually compared to 16% of black students. Meanwhile, minority students have less access to experienced teachers who fail to meet license and certification requirements. Most minority students

and English learners are stuck in schools with the most new teachers. In Âź school districts, teachers in less-diverse high schools receive $5,000 more than in schools with higher black and Latino student enrollment. Such discrimination results in lowering academic performance for minority students and puts them at greater risk of dropping out of school. This will eventually lead to consequences in increasing gap in class and academic performance between the white and minorities.


Conclusion Segregation in education continues to be unequal due to minorities living in poorer neighborhoods with fewer resources than do whites with comparable incomes. As the pattern proceeds, minority children are most strongly experiencing disparities. The children’s experiences in the neighborhoods and schools they attend are very important for child’s development. In addition, education is vital for these children to experience chances for achievement for their adult lives. There are such big gap within the metropolis between City of Boston and suburbs. The exclusion of minorities from suburban

neighborhoods and schools is the significant point to racial inequality in the Boston region. Even after 30 years when court ordered Boston’s city school to desegregate, segregation in schools continue to be a major obstacle to make opportunity for minority children in Boston metropolis. Boston policies have such limited impacts that are only implemented within city boundaries. Black and Hispanics population persist to become concentrated in the City of Boston while residential suburbs where whites hardly become exposed to ethnic and racial diversity.


Works cited Balonon-Rosen, Peter. “Boston School Desegregation And Busing: A Timeline Of Events.” Learninglab. N.p., 05 Sept. 2014. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

B. Kahn, Charlotte, and Jessica K. Martin. The Measure of Poverty. St. Paul, MN: Association of Minnesota Counties, 1983. Tbf.org. 2011. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. C. Fox, Jeremy. “Boston Public Schools Works to Increase Teacher Diversity - The Boston Globe.” BostonGlobe.com. N.p., 24 Aug. 2015. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. E. Irons, Meghan, Shelley Murphy, and Jenna Russell. “History Rolled in on a Yellow School Bus.” Boston Globe. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2015. Gellerman, Bruce. “‘It Was Like A War Zone’: Busing In Boston.” It Was Like A War Zone Busing In Boston RSS 20. Wbur, 5 Sept. 2014. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. Goldberg, Carey. “Busing’s Day Ends: Boston Drops Race In Pupil Placement.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 14 July 1999. Web. 27 Sept. 2015. Green, Adrienne. “More Minority Students, Fewer Teachers of Color.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 19 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. Horowitz, Evan. “If Segregation Ended 60 Years Ago, How Come It’s Getting Worse?” BostonGlobe.com. N.p., 19 May 2014. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. Louie, Josephine. We Don’t Feel Welcome Here: African Americans and Hispanics in Metro Boston. Rep. N.p., 1 Apr. 2015. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. McBride, Alex. “Brown v. Board of Education (1954)Brown v. Board of Education (1954).” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. Resmovits, Joy. “American Schools Are STILL Racist, Government Report Finds.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Mar. 2014. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. R. Logan, John, Deirdre Oakley, and Jacob Towell. Segregation in Neighborhoods and Schools: Impacts on Minority Children in the Boston Region. Rep. N.p., 1 Sept. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. Finding Aid for the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Inc. Records. Northeastern University Libraries, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. “Roberts vs. City of Boston Begins.” Roberts vs. City of Boston Begins. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.


Jae Eun (Jane) Cho Dawn Barret GD II: Making Meaning 2015 October

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