Clinton, Mississippi Promotes Diversity: District Schools Battle Student Segregation With Integrated Education

By Samantha Finch, Parent Herald April 20, 08:54 pm

Student segregation in schools is one of the biggest issues the United States face. It was in the 1950s when the Supreme Court put an end to school segregation, which divided students based on their races. Despite the efforts to promote integrated education, segregation still occur in the nation's schools.

Data from UCLA's Civil Rights Project found that only 23.2 percent of black students are studying in white southern schools by 2011. Apparently, it's not just blacks who are divided from their peers.

The gap between white students and Latinos also increased by 24 percent. In 2011, the most segregated schools in the U.S. have high numbers of Latino students, even if there are 25 percent of Latinos in the country's 48.7 million public school students.

Mississippi District Pushes To Have More Integrated Schools

Race and income are the main reason for the divide between students in U.S. schools. New York City, for example, separates students based on race. Reports have already outlined the positive effects of integrated schools for both white and colored students.

Some of the benefits of integrated schools are stronger test scores, enhanced critical-thinking skills and increased chances of the students attending college, according to a report from the Century Foundation. A town in central Mississippi is making significant efforts to create a more integrated school system, the Huffington Post reported.

Clinton, Mississippi has high school students who have been classmates since they were in kindergarten. The schools in this district are organized by grade level and economic income - some of the kids came from affluent families and some live in poorer neighborhoods.

Diverse Classrooms Help Children's Future In The Workforce

Studying with peers of different races and income also urge children to be more compassionate, less prejudiced to others and have the tendency to work even harder. A 2011 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research stated that integrated schools produce students who have higher educational accomplishments and salaries when they enter the workforce.

Diverse classrooms also influence these children's working conditions later in their lives. Employers tend to prioritize applicants who are able to have good camaraderie with other races and excel in diverse environment.

The ability to adapt to these conditions begins to develop early on in a person's life, specifically in schools and neighborhoods. Parents and policymakers support the idea of a diverse classroom, but efforts to create racially and socioeconomically integrated school districts remain insufficient.

A professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, named Amy Stuart Wells, said that some parents and guardians are hesitant to support integrated schools because they commonly judge schools based on their neighbors' advice. They also evaluate schools based on the income and living conditions of the children who study there, the Huffington Post wrote.

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