No one supports it now: Among the fifty allied states, what makes New York—that is to say, the state of New York—the most heinous state of them all?
We'll admit that we still don't exactly know! In fairness, the authors in question seemed to offer and explanation at the start of their widely-cited 2014 report:
KUCSERA AND ORFIELD (page vi): New York [State] has the most segregated schools in the country: in 2009, black and Latino students in the state had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools (less than 10% white enrollment), the lowest exposure to white students, and the most uneven distribution with white students across schools.That passage is drawn from the Civil Rights Project's 2014 report, New York State’s Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future. To peruse that report, click here.
With that passage, Professors Kucsera and Orfield begin their Executive Summary. A footnote directs the reader to this earlier report from 2012, in which the Civil Rights Project had presented the voluminous data on which these later claims about the state of New York were based.
Those claims about the state of New York do indeed seem to be true, if we assume the accuracy of the Project's 2012 data, which are based on the 2009-2010 school year. That said, we're still not sure why Kucsera and Orfield were so determined to declare New York State the most heinous state of them all.
We say that because there seems to be little to choose in the professors' data between the state of New York and such states as California and Illinois. Consider black kids, for example.
It's true! During the school year under review, black kids in the state of New York had a "highe[r] concentration in intensely-segregated public schools (less than 10% white enrollment)" than their counterparts in Illinois.
New York [State] was worse than Illinois, but the margin was very slender. The numbers looked like this (page 46, 2012 report):
Percentage of black kids attending schools which were 90-100% nonwhite (2009-2010 school year):There isn't a great deal to choose there. Similarly, this was the difference between the two states when it came to black kids' exposure to white students:
Black kids in New York State: 63.6 percent
Black kids in Illinois: 62.1 percent
Percentage of white kids in the school of the typical black kid (2009-2010 school year):The typical black kid in Illinois attended a school which was 19 percent white. In the state of New York, the figure was 18 percent! There wasn't a whole lot of difference.
New York State: 17.7 percent
Illinois: 18.8 percent
There wasn't a lot of difference there. But take another look at these numbers, numbers we showed you yesterday:
Percentage of black kids attending schools which were 99-100% nonwhite (2009-2010 school year):Illinois' numbers were much more dismal in that ultimate measure of "racial isolation." When it comes to the racial isolation of black kids, we can't exactly see why you'd want to say that New York State was the most heinous state of them all.
Illinois: 41.4 percent
Michigan: 34.1 percent
New Jersey: 26.1 percent
Tennessee: 25.9 percent
New York State: 23.6 percent
It's also true that everyone knows why states like Illinois and New York appear at the top of the charts in measures like these. We'll arrive at that topic below.
Future experts with whom we've consulted tell us we're missing the point of all this. They say these reports about school "segregation" emerged as part of the so-called "Liberal Scold Culture" which dominated pseudo-progressive politics in the last few decades before the conflagration known, though only in the future, as Mister Trump's All-Inclusive War.
Showing great deference to Kucsera and Ofield, these experts blame the professors' "implicit biases" for many of their scholarly decisions. But the major point of these studies, these future experts say, was the way they let liberals and progressives engage in the widespread scolding of Everyone Else, especially on matters of gender and race, a practice our flailing political tribe had come to embrace and adore.
"New York was the perfect state to attack," these despondent future scholars have ruefully said. "As the reigning emblem of American liberalism, its apparent shortcomings let the performative pseudo-progressive complain that Amerika had failed to realize its principles in ways which went well beyond what Mother and Father had said."
We're reporting the views of thee future experts; you can decide on their merits. That said, we had to chuckle when these experts pointed to certain small passages in the 2014 report—passages in which the professors showed the world that they understood the reasons behind the heinous numbers on display for the heinous New York State.
Why in the world does New York State have so many racially-unbalanced ("segregated") schools? In truth, everyone knows the answer to that, including Kucsera and Orfield.
In a very few brief, shining moments, the scolding professors briefly agreed to explain. In the brief passage shown below, they described the remarkable concentration of this state's nonwhite students in one gigantic, major school district—the New York City Public Schools:
KUCSERA AND ORFIELD (page 57): These findings also indicate the extremely large proportion of minority students attending schools in New York City in comparison to other areas. Close to 60% of total black students, and over two-thirds of Latino and Asian students across the state[,] attended New York City schools in 2010 in comparison to only 10% of total white students across the state.As the professors note in that one brief passage, large percentages of New York Sate's "minority" kids were found in one gigantic school system at the southeastern tip of the (rather large) state. By way of contrast, a much smaller percentage of the state's white kids were attending school in that district.
White kids were found all over the state. Nonwhite kids were largely found in the New York City Public Schools, an entity serving the very large, well-known city where those kids' parents lived.
Why does the state of New York have so many "segregated" schools, as compared to most other states? As everyone knows, these data largely explain it:
Student enrollment, New York City Public Schools, as percentage of statewide enrollment (2010-2011 school year):Two-thirds of the state's Hispanic and Asian kids were attending school in this one school system, by far the nation's largest. Almost 60 percent of the state's black kids were enrolled there as well.
White kids: 141,105 (10.5%)
Black kids: 289,995 (58.8%)
Hispanic kids: 390,228 (66.5%)
Asian-American kids: 146,944 (67.3%)
Total enrollment: 973,136 (36.5%)
By nature of this system's enrollment, these kids' exposure to white schoolmates could only be quite limited. In the school year under review, only 14.5% of New York City's public school students were white. This explains why this state's "school segregation" numbers are worse than those found in other states which lack such demographic patterns in such giant metropolitan centers.
Presumably, New York City could find ways to limit "racial isolation" in its schools beyond the current state. We'll examine that topic next week.
But when it comes to the schools of New York State, there is no obvious way to address the residential concentrations which obtain across the state. At one pint, Kucsera and Orfield make a semi-comical reference to this fact:
KUCSERA AND ORFIELD (page 44): States have been ranked by the severity of school segregation trends (measured in three different ways) for many years. New York, Illinois, and Michigan have consistently topped the list of the most segregated states for black students, and California joined this list in 2009-10 (Table 18). The large and hyper-segregated metropolises of New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit, along with the high percentages of minority students who reside in them, likely influence these trends. A staggering two-fifths of black students in Illinois attend a school where less than 1% of the student body is white. In Michigan, more than a third of black students experience the same situation.The high percentages of minority students who reside in those "hyper-segregated" metropolises likely influence these public school trends?
"Sometimes you just have to laugh," future experts advised us.
As Kucsera and Orfield engage in their endless scolding about our "segregated" and "apartheid" schools, it's amazing to see how rarely they stop to explain why states with giant metropolitan centers (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago) will tend to have a larger number of racially unbalanced schools.
This is an American situation, one we must address as a nation. But the professors scold a great deal of the time, and they explain very rarely. This tracks the basic impulse of Liberal Scold Culture, an unattractive tribal approach which helped put Trump where he is.
For the record, there is no way for the state of New York to bus its way out of this situation. Nor do Kucsera and Orfield make any serious attempt to explain how the state or city of New York could improve their racial isolation numbers in a major way.
That said, we can all be certain of one thing as we continue to ponder this state of affairs. No one will say a word about any of this in our upcoming Democratic debates.
Candidate Biden was recently scored because he opposed mandated busing back in the 1970s. We pseudo-liberals rose on our haunches to voice our deep concern about his highly disturbing past conduct.
To peruse an extreme example of this "performative virtue," see this jeremiad from Slate. Meanwhile, an unintentionally comical moment occurs in this piece from TPM, in which we're told that the way Biden "argued his points" would be unacceptable among Democrats today.
According to various experts with whom we've consulted, this attack on The Ghost of Biden Past was merely the latest example of Liberal Scold Culture. Sadly, these future scholars turned to us with a basic question, one we couldn't answer:
"Can you name one Democrat, or one major liberal, who supports mandated busing today?"
In fact, no one cares about these topics at all, except as a way to engage in our trademark Scolding of Others. This is nowhere more clear than in the New York Times' ridiculous jihad concerning the schools of New York City, a topic we'll examine next week.
Simply put, our liberal tribe doesn't care about low-income kids, except to the extent that they allow us to stage our acts of performative virtue.
We don't care about their actual interests or about their actual lives. Down through the years, we've made this fact abundantly clear again and again and again.
Low-income schools won't be mentioned in the upcoming Democratic debates. Low-income schools, and the kids who attend them, won't be mentioned on MSNBC at any point in the next thousand years.
Meanwhile, racially unbalanced schools won't be going away in the foreseeable future. How can we best serve the kids who will continue to attend them?
Within our tribal councils, you'll never see that question asked! As we continue to scold The Others, the truth is we simply don't care.
Concerning the state of New York: Across the state of the New York, student enrollment looked like this in the 2017-2018 school year:
Student enrollment, New York State's public schools, 2017-2018:That's what the average (though not the typical) school is like in the (rather large) state of New York. That said, there's no way to bus kids around this large state to produce schools which all look like that.
White kids: 42.5%
Black kids: 17.1%
Hispanic kids: 27.0%
Asian-American kids: 9.6%
Multiracial kids: 2.4%
Native American kids: 0.7%
If you could produce a school like that, we'd call it a fabulous school. Thanks to our tribe's dominant culture, Kucsera and Orfield have a different term for a school like that:
They'd call that school "segregated!" Our floundering, failing, performative tribe may need to rethink such instincts.