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Click the tabs “Opportunity,” “Discipline,” “Segregation” and “Achievement Gap” and answer these two simple questions: What do you notice? (These are the same questions we ask as part of our “What’s Going On in This Graph? Next, click the tabs “Black” and “Hispanic.” What do you notice? Zyahna Bryant and Trinity Hughes, high school seniors, have been friends since they were 6, raised by blue-collar families in this affluent college town.They played on the same T-ball and softball teams, and were in the same church group.Does this funding inequality have anything to do with lingering segregation in public schools? A New York Times article published in February begins: School districts that predominantly serve students of color received billion less in funding than mostly white school districts in the United States in 2016, despite serving the same number of students, a new report found. • On the other hand, did anything in the article strike you as unsurprising? Research your local school district budget, using public records or local media, such as newspapers or television reporting. How does that budget compare with the state average? Do the results of your research suggest any correlations? A Times article from August reports on a wave of lawsuits that argue that states are violating their constitutions by denying children a quality education.
To get started: Scroll down to the interactive map of the United States in this Pro Publica database and then answer the following questions:1. Search for your school or district in the database. Then write an essay, create an oral presentation or make an annotated map on segregation and educational inequity in your community, using data from the Miseducation database._________Activity #2: Explore a case study: schools in Charlottesville, Va.According to a recent Times article, “More than half of the nation’s schoolchildren are in racially concentrated districts, where over 75 percent of students are either white or nonwhite.” In addition, school districts are often segregated by income.The nexus of racial and economic segregation has intensified educational gaps between rich and poor students, and between white students and students of color. “That’s a shame because an abundance of research shows that integration is still one of the most effective tools that we have for achieving racial equity.”The teaching activities below, written directly to students, use recent Times articles as a way to grapple with segregation and educational inequality in the present.To learn more about this story, listen to this episode of The Daily.For more information, read these Op-Ed essays and editorials offering different perspectives on the problem and possible solutions. Read and discuss “The Resegregation of Jefferson County.” How does this story confirm, challenge or complicate your understanding of the topic?But like many African-American children in Charlottesville, Trinity lived on the south side of town and went to a predominantly black neighborhood elementary school.Zyahna lived across the train tracks, on the north side, and was zoned to a mostly white school, near the University of Virginia campus, that boasts the city’s highest reading scores.Before you read the rest of the article, and learn about the experiences of Zyahna and Trinity, answer the following questions based on your own knowledge, experience and opinions:• What is the purpose of public education?• Do all children in America receive the same quality of education?How does this perspective confirm, challenge, or complicate your understanding of the topic? Read and discuss the article and study the map and graphs in “Why Are New York’s Schools Segregated?It’s Not as Simple as Housing.” How does “school choice” confirm, challenge or complicate your understanding of segregation and educational inequity? Only a tiny number of black students were offered admission to the highly selective public high schools in New York City in 2019, raising the pressure on officials to confront the decades-old challenge of integrating New York’s elite public schools.