August 11 — 1:45 pm, 2011

Study finds Philly is segregated in schools, housing

Two studies from Brown University look at segregation in housing and schools, and find that Philadelphia is one of the most unequal regions in the country.

Daniel Denvir wrote about the study for the City Paper and highlighted some key points including:

  • that Philadelphia has the widest gap of any major U.S. city for average test scores of schools attended by Whites and those attended by Blacks, and
  • the average affluent Black or Hispanic household making more than $75,000 a year lives in a neighborhood that is poorer than the average White household making less than $40,000.

John Logan, co-author of the studies, explained that the study used 2004 data because the Department of Education “has yet to make public more current information.”

The Bush and Obama Administrations’ failure to produce this information is particularly striking because Logan’s findings indicate that “attacking this pattern by focusing on a few low-achieving schools,” which is the modus operandi of No Child Left Behind, “can have only marginal results.” The problem is segregation cannot be solved by pathologizing non-white schools and the people (say, teachers) who work there.

Brown University’s website also has an interactive map that allows you to view icons indicating school quality with overlays of different types of demographic data.

In the comments on the City Paper post, Helen Gym pointed out that analyzing categories by race and ethnicity could have revealed additional information. What strikes you about the study?

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