The 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education marks an important opportunity to consider the state of segregation in schools nationally and locally. UCLA’s Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles released a report today titled “Brown at 60: Great Progress, a Long Retreat and an Uncertain Future” that provides important context and analysis.
The report has two aims: “(1) to examine the large patterns of racial and ethnic transformation in American schools and (2) to provide evidence on whether we are going forward or backward in realizing the goals of the Brown decision.” Among the broad findings are that “Black and Latino students are an increasingly large percentage of suburban enrollment, particularly in larger metropolitan areas, and are moving to schools with relatively few white students,” and that “Black and Latino students tend to be in schools with a substantial majority of poor children, while white and Asian students typically attend middle class schools.”
Perhaps surprisingly, the Northeast is noted as the most segregated region for Black students in the United States, and the three most segregated states for Black students are New York, Illinois, and California. However, Virginia’s ratings are still cause for concern. The report ranks Virginia 20th in the nation in terms of most segregated states for Black students, and 16th in the nation of most segregated states for Latino students.
Another important finding for Virginia is that the U.S. South is now home to more Latino youth than Black students, with the authors referring to the South as “a profoundly tri-racial region.”