Educational Gerrymandering to Avoid Racial Minorities According to a Committee on Education, in 2015 a law was enacted in New York City requiring schools to annually report school demographics in community schools and high schools. This means that New York, a relatively progressive city, is making sure that their schools can stay racially diverse because other school districts in the United States may not be doing so. Gerrymandering has been commonly associated with politics and getting a large amount of votes.
However, it is less known for splitting up school districts so racial minorities will not go to their school. It is then hurting the reputation of the schools that receive the minorities. This has been occurring silently, unnoticed, for a long amount of time in the U. S. , and very likely in other countries. With the following evidence, this paper will shed some light on this overlooked topic. Throughout the book Race: A History Beyond Black and White by Marc Aronson, it mentions discrimination and how whites never wanted blacks to acquire an education.
Today through gerrymandering, school officials are changing the boundaries of schools because they do not want the poorer kids/racial minorities to attend the school nd affect the school’s reputation. School officials are changing the boundaries, or gerrymandering, to avoid including racial minorities and/or poor neighborhoods. Furthermore, this is displaying the fact that whites are getting a better education through jagged education/schooling districts, and because certain schools receive the rest of minorities, they then get a bad reputation and a substandard education.
Gerrymandering educational districts obviously occurs today, but this paragraph will mainly focus on the history of changing school boundaries and how it got started. Marc Aronson writes, “Blacks were ungry to learn once slavery was abolished. In the brief period of Reconstruction after the war, when blacks controlled state governments in the South, they established the systems of public education of all that exist to this day” (Aronson, 2007, p. 166). This quote from Race shows that blacks had a need to learn, to become more educated, and they did all they could do, to acquire that intelligence.
This quote also shows that if blacks were given the opportunity to perform important jobs, they would do it wellI, because the systems they set up at the time are still used today. In addition, Aronson also wrote, “After hites had made sure that the Blair Bill, which paid for educating the blacks failed, the whites had succeeded in neglecting blacks. More than half of blacks in the South could not read, while eighty to ninety percent of whites could. Having made sure blacks could not learn, whites passed new laws that said you could vote only if you could read and explain a passage to the satisfaction of a local official” (Aronson, 2007, p. 67). Not only is this quote mentioning racism by making blacks unintelligible enough to not have the ability to vote, but it shows the beginning of gerrymandering educational districts. By hanging the boundaries of schools, blacks could not get the education they need, and unfortunately, that still occurs today at a less obvious standpoint. Now that the history of changing educational boundaries out of race/class has been established, this next paragraph will be going over facts and statistics that gerrymandering has today.
According to Salvatore Saporito of Social Science Research, “an analysis of 304 school districts, show that more irregularly shaped school attendance zones are zon correlated with lower levels of racial segregation in attendance zones after accounting for residential segregation” (Saporito, 015). To simplify, this quote is stating that schools with stranger boundaries, due to gerrymandering, tend to have a less racial diversity in their schools of the 304 districts surveyed.
If someone were to look into this further, they would see that because most of the rich, caucasian kids go to one school, the rest of the minorities would be forced to attend the schools that may be lacking in quality. To help further the facts that are being stated, Meredith Page of the University of Texas found, “Estimates suggest that, on average, school attendance zones and school districts are 15% and 14% less black-white diverse, espectively, than would be expected if their boundaries were not gerrymandered.
Findings suggest that the gerrymandering of boundaries adds another layer of segregation to public education institutions, which are already segregated by residency” (Page, 2012). In reference to race, this quote/fact is showing that without gerrymandering occurring, the schools inhabited by the children would be 15% to 14% more racially diverse. Yet, gerrymandering is segregating schools for the sole purpose of keeping blacks, or racial minorities, from getting a worthy education. With one last fact, Sarah Sparks of Education
Week has said, “Districts with neighborhoods highly segregated by race had less-gerrymandered school boundaries than districts with more integrated neighborhoods. Moreover, school districts that saw a rapid rise in the percentage of nonwhite students between 2000 and 2010 were more likely to be gerrymandered than districts without such a change” (Sparks, 2015). Again, with race, these gerrymandering instances do not just happen based on coincidence. With this fact even, it shows that neighborhoods already mostly segregated do not experience as much gerrymandering as the neighborhoods that re more integrated.
As mentioned in the first paragraph, educational gerrymandering has been occurring for decades. This final paragraph, will be covering the effects gerrymandering has on more than just racial diversity. Slightly unrelated to education but completely related to the results of gerrymandering, Lindsey Cook of US News says, “Black parents, most of whom are less educated than their white counterparts, do not expect their children to attain as much education as white parents expect.
Lower expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies, contributing to lower expectations from the tudent, less-positive attitudes toward school, fewer out-of- school learning opportunities and less parent-child communication about school” (Cook, 2015). Because of gerrymandering occurring, those racial minorities will not be able to achieve very much in life, and would not expect their kids to get farther than they did.
With this lack of support towards their children’s education, they can end up in the same position their parents are in, as part of a vicious cycle. David Ingram, author of Group Rights: Reconciling Equality and Difference wrote, “Although we have come a long way since the ilitary-like boarding schools run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1819 until the 1920’s, public schools still have difficulty accommodating the spiritual beliefs of Indian children within a secular setting” (Ingram, 2000, p. 19).
This passage mainly focuses on the schools that do receive the rest of the minorities after the other schools performed the gerrymandering. These schools are not giving enough attention to the minorities to make them feel special and because of that, those kids do not achieve as much as they could. If the schools can accommodate the kids and give them an inner drive to want to learn, then the inorities can afford to give their kids a better education.
Overall, blacks/racial minorities are not getting a good education at a young age because school officials are going out of their way to make jagged boundaries so less racial minorities go to their school. This paper has shed some light on the history of educational gerrymandering, the facts/statistics of educational gerrymandering, and the outcomes of educational gerrymandering. If this gerrymandering continues however, the United States as a country is heading in the opposite direction of becoming more progressive and modern.