NC Residential Segregation Causes Unequal Education Opportunity
Start writing a post
Student Life

North Carolina's Residential Segregation Is Giving Unequal Educational Opportunities To Students

Decades of residential segregation in North Carolina leads to problems of unfair learning opportunities for students in the public school system in NC.

282
North Carolina's Residential Segregation Is Giving Unequal Educational Opportunities To Students
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu8eU34c8x0

While sitting through our history classes in middle and high school, I'm sure that we've all come across the Brown vs. Board of Education case. As a quick refresher, this Supreme Court case, which took place in 1954, ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. It's now 2019, 65 years after this ruling was made, and racial segregation within the North Carolina public school system is still prevalent. Studies show that "a third of the 168 [CMS] schools in the system are segregated by poverty, half are segregated by race and a fifth are hyper-segregated, meaning that 90 percent of their students are from a particular race."

I grew up in Mecklenburg County in NC and was aware of how racially divided my city was, but I was still shocked to hear actual statistics concerning the public school system. Studies show that the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) system would have to reassign 55% of its students to achieve racial parity. If you look at data from the racial dot map below, you can see how truly segregated Charlotte is. You can see how there is a triangle that ultimately separates the white part of Charlotte from the rest.

If you look at the key at the right, you can see how Charlotte has a problem with residential segregation.Source: Racial Dot Map

Cities like Charlotte did not become racially segregated overnight, and it stems from a history of residential segregation in the United States. Around the time that segregation was starting to be viewed as unconstitutional, a lot of people thought that the civil rights movement was moving too fast.

While school districts could not explicitly separate blacks and white, there was still a lot of racial discrimination by landlords and homeowners. Policies like "redlining" did not even allow colored families to get loans to buy homes. This led to a creation of certain neighborhoods that were comprised of upper-class white families, and other neighborhoods that had mainly minority families.

It is not fair for low-income students and students of color to have unequal opportunities compared to others, but that is ultimately what ends up happening. One article from NBC News claims that these low-income students often attend low-quality schools with facilities that lack equitable access to good teachers, instructional materials, physical maintenance, and technology. People nowadays are always talking about how students are starting to use more technology in the classroom, but that isn't a reality all across North Carolina.

These unequal opportunities happen because of the higher-income communities, which tend to have predominantly white school districts, which then leads to more tax revenue to fund their schools. The higher tax revenue allows for schools in predominantly white communities to have more facilities and learning opportunities. This inequality causes students in minority families to often perform worse than those in schools with a higher percentage of white students, with 82% of third graders reading at or above grade level in schools with a high population of white students, while only 29% of third graders read at or above their grade level in schools with high concentration of black students.

This has been a long-lasting problem, but that does not mean that it cannot be improved over time. With the creation of neighborhoods that have mixed income levels and socioeconomic backgrounds, we can create school systems that allow for people to go to schools with people from different backgrounds.

Students should not have their educational opportunities limited based on where they live. Instead of segregating young children based on their skin color, it's time for everyone to start working together. We can only move forward when everyone has equal access to education, transportation, and housing.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Ford Cars That We Love

There's a good chance we've all driven a Ford or spent a lot of time at Ford, but what are some of the best cars they've ever made?

2034
Ford Cars That We Love
Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

There are arguably few bigger automakers than Ford. They are a company that shaped the auto industry as we know it today and with a solid reputation in the industry, our wide range of Ford leases has always been a popular choice among drivers.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Prose: One Call

What if you had one call, but you could not say anything other than what you were told to say? In this short excerpt, Bethany finds herself at odds with her jailers and with the one she was told to call, the one she loves. What would you do when the conversation takes a turn off script?

2635
Prose: One Call
https://unsplash.com/s/photos/jail

With each incessant numbing ring of the phone call, I could feel the betrayal coiling around me like the phone line, squeezing me tighter.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review

Solid animation can't raise the newest entry in Sony's colorful monster series beyond the basics

65024
'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6suJohjIvfo

I take a slight issue with the idea that Adam Sandler didn’t have a good dramatic role until ‘Uncut Gems,’ what about ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (he says semi-seriously)?’

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

89494
4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

​Pets are Good for the Soul

Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

83560
Good for the Soul
Pets are Good for the Soul

America is going through a mental health crisis. This crisis predates the global pandemic, but has in many ways been dramatically exacerbated by it. In 2019, 19.86% of adults, or 50 million Americans, reported suffering from a mental illness. The emotional toll of the pandemic has been heavy, with over half of U.S. adults saying that they have experienced stress and worry related to Covid-19. Anxieties over work, uncertainty about the future and other triggers have intensified the mental health crisis. Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments