Still Separate, After All These Years

Posted on May 12, 2005
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The achievement gap among black, Latino, and white high school seniors remains large despite modest reductions from 1972 to 1992, according to to the RAND Corporation.

During this time, schools became more racially segregated and authors believe "the convergence of black-white and Latino-white mathematics gaps might have been even greater if the minority composition of the schools black and Latino students attended had not increased over this 20 year period." Lead author Mark Berends told Education Week, "If the trends that we hear in the larger literature and from our own analysis hold up, that may be an explanation for the persistent inequality we see in black-white test scores over the last ten years."

RAND believes school choice, including vouchers, could help "promote desegregation in ways that provide educational opportunities and improve academic achievement." More than half a century after "separate but equal" officially ended, it's time, as Berends observes, "to think about extending opportunities not only to students but to parents of students in schools."

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