New York state has the most segregated public schools in the nation, with many black and Latino students attending schools with virtually no white classmates, according to a report released Wednesday.
The report by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles looks at enrollment trends from 1989 to 2010.
In New York City, the largest school system in the U.S. with 1.1 million pupils, the study notes that many of the charter schools created over the last dozen years are among the least diverse of all, with less than 1% white enrollment at 73% of charter schools.
"To create a whole new system that's even worse than what you've got really takes some effort," said Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project and an author of the report.
He and his fellow researchers say segregation has the effect of concentrating black and Latino students in schools with high ratios of poor students compared with the statewide average. Black and Latino students who attend schools that are integrated by race and income level perform significantly better than their peers in segregated schools, the authors note.
The study suggests that New York's segregation is largely due to housing patterns, but that it could be mitigated through policies intended to promote diversity.