State and City both: Why does New York State lead the nation, or allegedly lead the nation, when it comes to the prevalence of racially unbalanced public schools?
Everyone knows the answer to that question. But the answer was never the point.
According to leading anthropologists, the point lay in the heightened ability to promulgate our treasured Liberal Scold Culture. We refer to the fairly obvious point of the Civil Rights Project's 2014 report, in which two scolding scholars declared that "New York [State] has the most segregated schools in the country."
The basic point of this pleasing claim was lodged in its terminology. The scholars referred to "segregation," not to "racial imbalance" or to "racial isolation."
Schools which once would have been "all black" were now "apartheid schools." "The species was wired for choices like that," several top experts have told us.
That said, the basic point of the professors' claim was also lodged in a bit of tribally pleasing geography. When "New York" turned out to be most heinous of all, it set scold hearts afire. Here's what we mean by that:
When the professors' rambling, overstuffed, lazy report was released in March 2014, The Daily Beast didn't seem especially clear about what it actually said.
At the Huffington Post, Joy Resmovitz was more clear about the report's basic claim—but she very plainly got the professors' basic point. Headline included, this is the way the Huffington Post framed the report's basic message:
RESMOVITZ (3/26/14): The Nation’s Most Segregated Schools Aren’t Where You’d Think They’d BeSo cool! The nation's most "segregated" schools weren't in the Deep South at all! They were actually found in [the state of] New York, Resmovitz deliciously said.
The nation’s most segregated schools aren’t in the deep south—they’re in New York, according to a report released Tuesday by the University of California, Los Angeles’ Civil Rights Project.
That means that in 2009, black and Latino students in New York “had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools,” in which white students made up less than 10 percent of enrollment and “the lowest exposure to white students,” wrote John Kucsera, a UCLA researcher, and Gary Orfield, a UCLA professor and the project’s director. “For several decades, the state has been more segregated for blacks than any Southern state, though the South has a much higher percent of African American students,” the authors wrote. The report, “New York State’s Extreme School Segregation,” looked at 60 years of data up to 2010, from various demographics and other research.
Were we discussing the schools of New York State or the schools of New York City? The distinction became clear as Resmovitz continued, but that wasn't the basic point. The basic point involved the delicious claim that a bunch of high-minded Yankee liberals were the nation's biggest race villains, as opposed to the drooling, toothless racists traditionally found Down South.
Deliciously, Rebecca Klein extended the theme for HuffPo readers on April 1, 2016. Her delicious report appeared beneath these headlines that day, extending that wonderful point:
The South Isn’t The Reason Schools Are Still Segregated, New York IsSo cool! Within the realm of Progressive Scold Culture, the finding which emerged in 2014 had been a tribal godsend. It helped us make this scolding point:
New York City might be a liberal hub, but that doesn’t mean white parents want their children going to school with black kids.
These Yankee "liberals" are the true villains! Amerika has betrayed its promises in ways which go well beyond what Mother and Father said!
It felt so good to make this scolding point! According to future anthropologists, this reliable "scolding acts" continued right through the start of Mister Trump's Fully Inclusive War.
Was New York State really most heinous among the fifty states? To this day, we aren't entirely sure how Professors Kucsera and Orfield reached that pleasing conclusion.
As we showed you yesterday, it all depended on which of their ten thousand measures of "segregation" a person might choose to stress. When it came to black kids' attendance in "apartheid schools," for example, the most heinous states looked like this, according to the professors' data (click here, see page 46):
Percentage of black kids attending schools which were 99-100% nonwhite (2009-2010 school year):Was the heinous state of New York more heinous than Illinois? It all depended on which of the ten million beans the professors had counted you wanted to plant in your soil.
Black kids in Illinois: 41.4 percent
Black kids in Michigan: 34.1 percent
Black kids in New Jersey: 26.1 percent
Black kids in Tennessee: 25.9 percent
Black kids in New York State: 23.6 percent
Thanks to the UCLA professors' lazy, slipshod scholarship, we don't know the basis on which they said that New York State was worse than Illinois. In our view, UCLA should be embarrassed to see such lazy scholarship issued under its name on such an important topic.
That said, The Westwood Two's basic claim was a godsend for pseudo-progressive Scold Culture. Deliciously, we pseudo-progressives now got to complain about the phony liberals up north.
Professor Theoharis was still making this pleasing point in a fiery New York Times guest scold this past Martin Luther King Day. "Such was their burial of Hector, breaker of horses," future experts weirdly say.
The allegedly liberal state of New York was most heinous of all! The finding electrified Liberal Scold Culture, as did the professors' dispassionate use of such terms as "segregation" and "apartheid school." Indeed, the professors were so deep in their cups, they now defined "segregation" in such a way as to categorize this hypothetical glorious site as a "segregated school:"
Student enrollment, Public School SThat hellhole would be a "segregated school," Kucsera and Orfield declared. Despondently, rueful scholars despairingly say that this type of "scoldcentric behavior" helped bring on Mister Trump's War.
White kids: 40 percent
Black kids: 20 percent
Hispanic kids: 20 percent
Asian-American kids: 20 percent
The point of the professors' claim involved the gruesome hypocrisy of all modern Amerikans except themselves and their friends. That said, everyone knows why states like New York and Illinois have so many racially unbalanced schools, even if the professors made little attempt to explain.
In the case of New York State, you might want to recall a joking claim James Carville once made about Pennsylvania. On a political basis, the state was "Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between," the consultant jokingly said.
Demographically, the state of New York is somewhat similar. On a demographic basis, you might say that New York State is New York City and Buffalo, with Colorado in between—though we of course intend no insult to that western state.
Why does New York State have no many racially unbalanced schools? Duh! Let's split the (rather large) state into two parts. Let's consider New York City on the one hand, the rest of the state on the other.
New York City is home to the nation's largest school system. As of the 2010-2011 school year—a year for which Kucsera and Orfield produce mountains of data—that giant school system contained a walloping 36.5 percent of New York State's public school students!
That said, the student enrollment of that giant school system was heavily "nonwhite." That stood in stark contrast to the student enrollment of the rest of the (rather large) state.
Below, you see the data in question. These numbers come from the data-clogged 2014 report. Click here, see pages 34 and 56.
Simply put—and everyone knows this—there is no way to "integrate" the public schools of this (rather large) state in the soaring way we Liberal Scolds insist on imagining in our least insightful dreams:
Student enrollment, New York City, 2010-2011:Down in the southeastern corner of the state, New York City's public school kids were 85% "nonwhite." Across the rest of the rather large state, their counterparts were 71% white.
White kids: 141,105 (14.5%)
Black kids: 289,995 (29.8%)
Hispanic kids: 390,228 (40.1%)
Asian-American kids: 146,944 (15.1%)
(Total enrollment: 973,136)
Student enrollment, the rest of New York State, 2010-2011:
White kids: 1,196,956 (70.7%)
Black kids: 203,115 (12.0%)
Hispanic kids: 196,173 (11.6%)
Asian-American kids: 71,624 (4.2%)
(Total enrollment: 1,692,324)
Everybody understands the following basic point. Given that distribution of public school students, there is no way to "desegregate" the schools of this (rather large) state in the dull-witted way our "tribe of scolds" likes to imagine.
Don't misunderstand! There are plenty of "extra" white kids in the public schools found in many of New York State's 62 counties. But those counties may be hundreds of miles from New York City, whose public schools have plenty of "extra" nonwhite kids.
Given these geographic realities, there is no way to wave a magic wand and produce "desegregated" schools across this most heinous state. Meanwhile, stating the obvious:
The numbers Kucsera and Orfield like to cite are largely the result of the concentration of nonwhite kids in that one gigantic school system way down in the southeast corner of the state.
As we'll see next week, it would be possible to produce greater racial balance within New York City's public schools. But if you waved a magic wand and created perfect racial distribution across that city's schools, every school would be dangerously close to being "intensely segregated," according to the professors' definitions.
At any rate, there is no way to "desegregate" the public schools of New York State! The numbers the Civil Rights Project scolds us with are the result of student residential and enrollment patterns over which no one has any obvious control.
No, Elmira! You can't "bus" your way out of those rather well-known geographical realities. You can, of course, scold Amerika about such matters, thereby producing tribal delight but helping to fuel Mister Trump's Onrushing War.
Tomorrow: Stupid old Biden opposed it back then. No one supports it now!
Next week: The Times sets out to "integrate" the handful of children it likes