"Arrangement of the deck chairs on the titanic."
Report: San Diego Schools More Segregated
March 18, 2011
by Emily Alpert
Voice of San Diego
Southern California schools have grown more segregated for black and Latino
students as the number of Latino students surged, a new report from the Civil
Rights Project at UCLA finds.
Today, more than two out of five Latino students and nearly one-third of all
black students in the region enroll in intensely segregated learning
environments — schools where 90-100% of students are from
underrepresented minority backgrounds. Just 5% of Southern California's Asian
students attend intensely segregated schools, and 2% of the region's white
students do the same
For instance, the report found that the average African American student in
San Diego County went to a school that was 42.5 percent white in 1980 — but
only 20 percent white in 2000. Almost a quarter of Latino students in San Diego
County go to schools that are more than 90 percent underrepresented
minorities. (The study considered African American, Latino and American Indian
students to be underrepresented minorities.)
One pattern is more striking in San Diego Unified compared to the whole county:
[T]he level of isolation for black students depends on whether or not they enroll
in SDUSD, the largest district in the county. Eighteen percent of black students
attending SDUSD are in 90-100% minority schools, compared to 6% of county
black students enrolled in non-SDUSD districts.
Racial segregation was mirrored by economic and language segregation, the
researchers found. That could be a problem for English learners, because they
don't get exposed to many fluent classmates.
Academics and politicians debate, here and elsewhere, about whether
integration matters to school achievement. The Civil Rights Project argues that
Southern California schools were never truly desegregated after the civil rights
era, despite busing programs like the one in San Diego. And they contend it
has real academic impact, especially when racial segregation is overlaid with
poverty or language:
People can say sitting next to a white or Asian child makes no difference, but
being in a middle-class school — where most of the students head to college,
experienced and expert teachers offer many college credit AP courses, your
friends are fluent native English speakers, and colleges and employers seek
out their well-prepared students — actually makes a decisive difference in the
educational and life opportunities afforded to students.
The report found that students in intensely segregated schools were almost
three times as likely to have a teacher who lacked full qualifications than
students in largely white or Asian schools. They are also less likely to offer
advanced mathematics classes.
This is an issue I'm really interested in, especially as San Diego Unified pushes
for more neighborhood schooling. How will integration be impacted? Is the route
to a more diverse society to put black, white, Latino and Asian kids side by side
in school? Or something else? I recently asked San Diego State University
professor emeritus of education Alberto Ochoa about this issue. Here was his
If we truly want integration in our society, I'd rather have a school that appears
to be of one of two minorities, that has academic rigor and enables them to go
to college, the assumption being with a college degree you'd have more access
to live anywhere in the city and really integrate our community — as opposed to
integrating our schools symbolically and then when the bell rings, we have
In Northern Ireland, a Wave of Immigrants Is Met
By DOUGLAS DALBY
New York Times
NOV. 28, 2014
A loyalist mural in east Belfast. Racially motivated offenses in Northern Ireland
have increased by 43 percent in the past year, with most of them occurring in
Belfast, the authorities said.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland — More than 16 years after the Good Friday peace
deal brought real hope that Protestants and Roman Catholics could live together
in relative harmony, Northern Ireland is being racked by another wave of
But this time it is not driven by the sectarian divide, but by animosity toward a
fast-growing population of immigrants — adding one more challenge as Europe
struggles to cope with the combination of intense economic strain and rapid
“This is a society that always prides itself on being very friendly, but it is
becoming less and less welcoming, particularly to certain types of people,” said
Jayne Olorunda, 36, whose father was Nigerian, and though she grew up in
Northern Ireland said her color has always marked her as an outsider.
The expanding problem appears to be partly racial and partly directed at
immigrants of all backgrounds at a time when open borders in the European
Union have led more legal migrants to Britain and Ireland in search of work. At
the same time, war and economic deprivation have driven waves of legal and
illegal migrants toward Europe from Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The more
recent immigrants from Eastern Europe and parts of Africa tell stories similar to
those of people from China, India and Pakistan who have lived here for decades.
...The official figures and anecdotal evidence indicate that the severity and
frequency of attacks in Northern Ireland have increased in recent years.
On average, almost three racial hate crimes a day are reported to the police.
Between 2013 and 2014 there was a 43 percent increase in racially motivated
offenses, 70 percent of them in Belfast. Immigrant groups assert — and the
police concede — that the real figure is much higher, with many attacks going
unrecorded because of fear of reprisals or a lack of faith in the justice system.
Continue reading the main story
According to a recent report by the Northern Ireland Commission for Ethnic
Minorities, just 12 of 14,000 race-related crimes reported over the past five
years ended in a successful prosecution.
The police say paramilitary groups are cynically manipulating xenophobia to gain
support in their communities by targeting migrants. In April, a senior police
officer, Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr, said the rise in the number and
severity of racial hate crimes in Protestant loyalist areas left “the unpleasant
taste of a bit of ethnic cleansing.”
But Patrick Yu, the executive director of the Northern Ireland Commission for
Ethnic Minorities, said it is simplistic to brand certain communities intrinsically
“Most of the available housing stock for private rental just happens to be in
loyalist areas where there is already a wariness of outsiders and a feeling of
being left behind by Catholics who they believe have benefited
disproportionately from the Good Friday Agreement,” he said. “There is still
huge deprivation in these areas, and I believe sectarianism and racism are two
sides of the same coin — both need to be tackled.”
Although less prevalent, attacks have also taken place in Catholic west Belfast.
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by Maura Larkins