For the first time this fall, minorities are expected to make up the majority of students attending American public schools, putting an end to the majority white population that has long served as the face of American schools.
According to a report from the U.S. Education Department, the percentage of white students will drop this fall from 51% in 2012 to 49.7 %. The report also reveals that minority students are expected to make up 54.7 % of the public school population by 2022, while white students make up 45.3%.
But don’t let these numbers fool you into thinking that this fall there will be more of a diverse mix of students in the classroom. Several studies, such as the UCLA’s Civil Rights Project released earlier this year show that 60 years after the case of Brown v. Board of Education, segregation in the school system is still very much of an issue today. According to the report, black and Latino students tend to be isolated in schools where there is a substantial number of low-income students, while white and Asian students tend to attend middle class schools. The report also shows that segregation for black students is the highest in the Northeast region and in major metropolitan areas, with New York, Illinois, and California coming in as the worst states for isolating black students.
Hopefully, with a shift in the demographic breakdown of the public school system, educators will make the necessary provisions to close the achievement gap and provide equal educational resources to all students across the nation.