Education and Religion: Global Pressures, Local Responses

Graduate Certificate in Education
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Schools that the most disadvantaged black children attend are segregated because they are located in segregated high-poverty neighborhoods, far distant from truly middle-class neighborhoods. Living in such high-poverty neighborhoods for multiple generations adds an additional barrier to achievement, and multigenerational segregated poverty characterizes many African American children today. Education policy is constrained by housing policy: it is not possible to desegregate schools without desegregating both low-income and affluent neighborhoods.

Without awareness of the history of state-sponsored residential segregation, policymakers are unlikely to take meaningful steps to understand or fulfill the constitutional mandate to remedy the racial isolation of neighborhoods, or the school segregation that flows from it.

It must be addressed primarily by improving the social and economic conditions that bring too many children to school unprepared to take advantage of what even the best schools have to offer. As these and many other disadvantages accumulate, lower social class children inevitably have lower average achievement than middle class children, even with the highest quality instruction. It is inconceivable that significant gains can be made in the achievement of black children who are so severely isolated.

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Each group gave a different weighting to the eight areas, with children emphasing rules, while adults teachers and parents placed more importance on social adjustment. A further advantage is that teachers' remuneration would be trebled, which would be an incentive for more teachers to participate in the programmes. In schools, this takes the form of teacher leadership, in which teachers take responsibility for performing leadership roles. Implementation of control measures within the facility. What is the public health objective?

This school segregation mostly reflects neighborhood segregation. In urban areas, low-income white students are more likely to be integrated into middle-class neighborhoods and less likely to attend school predominantly with other disadvantaged students. Although immigrant low-income Hispanic students are also concentrated in schools, by the third generation their families are more likely to settle in more middle-class neighborhoods.

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Illustrative is that Latino immigrants who had resided in California for at least 30 years had a 65 percent homeownership rate prior to the burst of the housing bubble Myers, The racial segregation of schools has been intensifying because the segregation of neighborhoods has been intensifying. Analyzing Census data, Rutgers University Professor Paul Jargowsky has found that in , 7 percent of poor whites lived in high poverty neighborhoods, where more than 40 percent of the residents are poor, up from 4 percent in ; 15 percent of poor Hispanics lived in such high poverty neighborhoods in , up from 14 percent in ; and a breathtaking 23 percent of poor blacks lived in high poverty neighborhoods in , up from 19 percent in Jargowsky, A percent-poor neighborhood is still severely disadvantaged.

In such a neighborhood, many, if not most other residents are likely to have very low incomes, although not so low as to be below the official poverty line. Sharkey finds that young African Americans from 13 to 28 years old are now ten times as likely to live in poor neighborhoods, defined in this way, as young whites—66 percent of African Americans, compared to 6 percent of whites Sharkey, , p.

Sharkey shows that 67 percent of African American families hailing from the poorest quarter of neighborhoods a generation ago continue to live in such neighborhoods today. But only 40 percent of white families who lived in the poorest quarter of neighborhoods a generation ago still do so Sharkey, , p.

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Considering all black families, 48 percent have lived in poor neighborhoods over at least two generations, compared to 7 percent of white families Sharkey, , p. If a child grows up in a poor neighborhood, moving up and out to a middle-class area is typical for whites but an aberration for blacks. Black neighborhood poverty is thus more multigenerational while white neighborhood poverty is more episodic; black children in low-income neighborhoods are more likely than others to have parents who also grew up in such neighborhoods.

Using a survey that traces individuals and their offspring since , Sharkey shows that children who come from middle-class non-poor neighborhoods and whose mothers also grew up in middle-class neighborhoods score an average of on problem-solving tests. Children from poor neighborhoods whose mothers also grew up in poor neighborhoods score lower, an average of But children who live in middle-class neighborhoods—yet whose mothers grew up in poor neighborhoods—score an average of only 98 Sharkey , p.

Integrating disadvantaged black students into schools where more privileged students predominate can narrow the black-white achievement gap.

Evidence is especially impressive for long term outcomes for adolescents and young adults who have attended integrated schools e. Such schools are structurally selective on non-observables, at least, and frequently have high attrition rates Rothstein, , pp. In some small districts, or in areas of larger districts where ghetto and middle class neighborhoods adjoin, school integration can be accomplished by devices such as magnet schools, controlled choice, and attendance zone manipulations.

But for African American students living in the ghettos of large cities, far distant from middle class suburbs, the racial isolation of their schools cannot be remedied without undoing the racial isolation of the neighborhoods in which they are located. In , the Supreme Court made integration even more difficult than it already was, when the Court prohibited the Louisville and Seattle school districts from making racial balance a factor in assigning students to schools, in situations where applicant numbers exceeded available seats Parents Involved in Community Schools v.

Seattle School District No. The plurality opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts decreed that student categorization by race for purposes of administering a choice program is unconstitutional unless it is designed to reverse effects of explicit rules that segregated students by race. Even the liberal dissenters in the Louisville-Seattle case, led by Justice Stephen Breyer, agreed with this characterization.

Breyer argued that school districts should be permitted voluntarily to address de facto racial homogeneity, even if not constitutionally required to do so. But he accepted that for the most part, Louisville and Seattle schools were not segregated by state action and thus not constitutionally required to desegregate. This is a dubious proposition. Certainly, Northern schools have not been segregated by policies assigning blacks to some schools and whites to others — at least not since the s; they are segregated because their neighborhoods are racially homogenous. Bradley , In any meaningful sense, neighborhoods and in consequence, schools, have been segregated de jure.

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The notion of de facto segregation is a myth, although widely accepted in a national consensus that wants to avoid confronting our racial history. The federal government led in the establishment and maintenance of residential segregation in metropolitan areas. From its New Deal inception and especially during and after World War II, federally funded public housing was explicitly racially segregated, both by federal and local governments. Not only in the South, but in the Northeast, Midwest, and West, projects were officially and publicly designated either for whites or for blacks.

Later, as white families left the projects for the suburbs, public housing became overwhelmingly black and in most cities was placed only in black neighborhoods, explicitly so. Gautreaux , ; Rothstein, This was de jure segregation.

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Once the housing shortage eased and material was freed for post-World War II civilian purposes, the federal government subsidized relocation of whites to suburbs and prohibited similar relocation of blacks. In addition to guaranteeing construction loans taken out by mass production suburban developers, the FHA, as a matter of explicit policy, also refused to insure individual mortgages for African Americans in white neighborhoods, or even to whites in neighborhoods that the FHA considered subject to possible integration in the future Hirsch, , pp.

Although a Supreme Court ruling barred courts from enforcing racial deed restrictions, the restrictions themselves were deemed lawful for another 30 years and the FHA knowingly continued, until the Fair Housing Act was passed in , to finance developers who constructed suburban developments that were closed to African-Americans Hirsch, , pp. Although specific zoning rules assigning blacks to some neighborhoods and whites to others were banned by the Supreme Court in , explicit racial zoning in some cities was enforced until the s.

Several large cities interpreted the ruling as inapplicable to their racial zoning laws because they prohibited only residence of blacks in white neighborhoods, not ownership. Some cities, Miami the most conspicuous example, continued to include racial zones in their master plans and issued development permits accordingly, even though neighborhoods themselves were not explicitly zoned for racial groups Mohl, ; Mohl, In other cities, following the Supreme Court decision, mayors and other public officials took the lead in organizing homeowners associations for the purpose of enacting racial deed restrictions.

Baltimore is one example where the mayor organized a municipal Committee on Segregation to maintain racial zones without an explicit ordinance that would violate the decision Power, ; Power, In the s, the Internal Revenue Service revoked the tax-exemption of Bob Jones University because it prohibited interracial dating. The IRS believed it was constitutionally required to refuse a tax subsidy to a university with racist practices.

Yet the IRS never challenged the pervasive use of tax-favoritism by universities, churches, and other non-profit organizations and institutions to enforce racial segregation. The IRS extended tax exemptions not only to churches where such associations were frequently based and whose clergy were their officers, but to the associations themselves, although their racial purposes were explicit and well-known.

Churches were not alone in benefitting from unconstitutional tax exemptions. Robert Hutchins, known to educators for reforms elevating the liberal arts in higher education, was president and chancellor of the tax-exempt University of Chicago from to Urban renewal programs of the mid-twentieth century often had similarly undisguised purposes: to force low-income black residents away from universities, hospital complexes, or business districts and into new ghettos. Relocation to stable and integrated neighborhoods was not provided; in most cases, housing quality for those whose homes were razed was diminished by making public housing high-rises or overcrowded ghettos the only relocation option Hirsch, , pp.

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Where integrated or mostly-black neighborhoods were too close to white communities or central business districts, interstate highways were routed by federal and local officials to raze those neighborhoods for the explicit purpose of relocating black populations to more distant ghettos or of creating barriers between white and black neighborhoods.

They introduced amendments in the House and Senate requiring that public housing be operated in a non-segregated manner, knowing that if such amendments were adopted, public housing would lose its Southern Democratic support and the entire program would go down to defeat. The Senate and House each then considered and defeated proposed amendments that would have prohibited segregation and racial discrimination in federally funded public housing programs, and the Housing Act, with its provisions for federal finance of public housing, was adopted Davies, , p.

It permitted local authorities in the North as well as the South to design separate public housing projects for blacks and whites, or to segregate blacks and whites within projects. And they did so. Although there was an enormous national housing shortage at the time, one that denied millions of African Americans a decent place to live, it remains an open question whether it really was in their best interests to be herded into segregated projects, where their poverty was concentrated and isolated from the American mainstream.

It was not, however, federal policy alone that segregated the metropolitan landscape. State policy contributed as well. Real estate is a highly regulated industry.

State governments require brokers to take courses in ethics and exams to keep their licenses. State commissions suspend or even lift licenses for professional and personal infractions — from mishandling escrow accounts to failing to pay personal child support.

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This misuse of regulatory authority was, and is, de jure segregation. Local officials also played roles in violation of their constitutional obligations. Public police and prosecutorial power was used nationwide to enforce racial boundaries. Illustrations are legion. In the Chicago area, police forcibly evicted blacks who moved into an apartment in a white neighborhood; in Louisville, the locus of Parents Involved , the state prosecuted and convicted later reversed a white seller for sedition after he sold his white-neighborhood home to a black family Braden, This officially sanctioned abuse of the police power also constituted de jure segregation.

An example from Culver City, a suburb of Los Angeles, illustrates how purposeful state action to promote racial segregation could be. Other forms abound of racially explicit state action to segregate the urban landscape, in violation of the Fifth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The term, and its implied theory of private causation, hobbles our motivation to address de jure segregation as explicitly as Jim Crow was addressed in the South or apartheid was addressed in South Africa.

Private prejudice certainly played a very large role.

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But even here, unconstitutional government action not only reflected but helped to create and sustain private prejudice. Seeing slum conditions invariably associated with African Americans, white homeowners had a reasonable fear that if African Americans moved into their neighborhoods, these refugees from urban slums would bring the slum conditions with them.

In the ghetto,. This was de jure segregation , but white homeowners came to see these conditions as characteristics of black residents themselves, not as the results of racially motivated municipal policy. Even those who understand this dramatic history of de jure segregation may think that because these policies are those of the past, there is no longer a public policy bar that prevents African Americans from moving to white neighborhoods.

Thus, they say, although these policies were unfortunate, we no longer have de jure segregation. This unaffordability was also created by federal, state, and local policy that prevented African Americans in the mid-twentieth century from accumulating the capital needed to invest in home ownership in middle-class neighborhoods, and then from benefiting from the equity appreciation that followed in the ensuing decades.

Federal labor market and income policies were racially discriminatory until only a few decades ago. In consequence, most black families, who in the mid-twentieth century could have joined their white peers in the suburbs, can no longer afford to do so. The federal civil service was first segregated in the twentieth century, by the administration of President Woodrow Wilson. Under rules then adopted, no black civil servant could be in a position of authority over white civil servants, and in consequence, African Americans were restricted and demoted to the most poorly paid jobs King, The federal government recognized separate black and white government employee unions well into the second half of the twentieth century.

For example, black letter carriers were not admitted to membership in the white postal service union. At the behest of Southern segregationist Senators and Congressmen, New Deal labor standards laws, like the National Labor Relations Act and the minimum wage law, excluded from coverage, for undisguised racial purposes, occupations in which black workers predominated Katznelson, The National Labor Relations Board certified segregated private sector unions, and unions that entirely excluded African Americans from their trades, into the s Foner, ; Hill, ; Independent Metal Workers , State and local governments maintained separate, and lower, salary schedules for black public employees through the s e.

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