School segregation is a statewide problem

I applaud The Boston Globe for dedicating an entire section to the ongoing inequities and segregation in the Boston Public Schools system 50 years after court-ordered busing. Certainly, the city and BPS must do better. However, when only about 15 percent of the students are white, there are mathematical limits on the impact of changing school assignment practices. With Boston serving just 5 percent of public school students statewide, it becomes clear that school segregation is not just a Boston problem but also a Massachusetts problem. A new report by the state’s Racial Imbalance Advisory Committee found that nearly two-thirds of schools statewide are segregated.

Black and brown students are by far the most affected by segregation because it traps many of them in high-poverty, under-resourced school districts. But there is no doubt that widespread racial and ethnic segregation hurts all children and our common future. Predominantly white schools serving upper-income communities cannot properly prepare their students for the diverse workforce they will be entering. And slicing our small state into “good” and “bad” school districts drives up housing prices and reinforces the segregation we seek to reverse.

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