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Is Desegregation Dead?

By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – On the recent anniversary of Brown vs Board of Education, David Kirp, in a May 19th New York Times op-ed piece, writes that we can’t ignore that “desegregation is effectively dead,” although there are hard data that show that desegregation can change the lives of black kids.

Studies show consistently that children in integrated education have fared better academically than those in segregated schools – making a significant difference in the lives of black children and their children as well.

Research showed them more likely to graduate from high school, go to college and graduate, healthier and more successful in their lives. He quotes research by Rucker Johnson finding that black youth who spent 5 years in desegregated schools earned 25% more than their peers in segregated schools.

Kirp reminds us that it’s known that achieving integration by crossing city and suburban boundaries, opening magnet schools for interested white and black students, a vocal integration constituency and rulings by the courts can close the achievement gap.

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