Racial segregation remains rampant in D.C. schools despite the city’s efforts at diversity, states a report released this month by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The report — “Our Segregated Capital: An Increasingly Diverse City With Racially Polarized Schools,” authored by Gary Orfield and Jongyeon Ee — states the city’s white population increased by 35 percent between 1980 and 2010, while the black population declined by 31 percent.
“Washington has changed from a southern city with little distinction other than its governmental facilities to a sophisticated world capital, and the metropolitan complex has spread over vast areas that were farmland and small towns,” Orfield wrote in the report’s foreword. “After a civil rights revolution and nearly a half-century of major black leaders in the city and racial change in many suburbs, one would hope that segregation had been largely solved, or at least that it has been made to work. Sadly, it has not. It has spread far into parts of suburbia and it remains vicious and self-perpetuating even in the absence of current discrimination.”
The report notes that, from 1992 to 2013, the percentage of black students in D.C.’s public schools declined from 89 percent to 73 percent and that the percentage of white students increased from four percent to nine percent.
On the other hand, blacks made up just 23.6 percent of D.C.’s private-school students in 2012, compared to 55 percent in 2012.
Additionally, during the 2013-14 school year, the city’s traditional public schools served 43,307 students compared to charter schools, which enrolled 32,416 students that included about 93 percent African-American and Hispanic students, according to the report.