During a recent discussion about desegregation and neighborhood schools, the question arose: Just how effective was the court order to integrate Buffalo's schools?
Board of Ed member Pamela Cahill said she wasn't too impressed; most of the schools she's been in seem either practically all white or all black or Hispanic.
Ralph Hernandez disagreed. The schools have been successfully integrated, he said.
Well, which is it?
I don't know what the measure of "integrated" is, so I don't know how to answer that. Instead, I'll give you the data and let you decide for yourself. (If you're interested, a couple observations from me are posted below the database, so scroll down a bit once you're done poking around the data yourself.)
But why limit this to Buffalo? The data's out there, so we might as well broaden the discussion. Here's the racial breakdown for every traditional public and charter school in Western New York. (Click here to do a new search.) Click on a column header to sort by that column.
A couple of the things that struck me as interesting:
- Of the six whitest schools in Buffalo, five are in South Buffalo (Discovery, Lorraine Elementary, Southside Elementary, South Buffalo Charter and Hillery Park Academy). The other one is City Honors. At each school, at least 64 percent of the students are white.
- The four schools with the highest percentage of black students -- 96 percent or higher -- are all charter schools (Buffalo United Charter, King Center Charter, Westminster Community Charter and Community Charter).
What strikes you as interesting? Drop me a line and let me know.
And if anyone out there happens to have racial breakdowns for each of the city schools prior to the desegregation order in the mid-1970s, let me know. I think it would be fascinating to compare today's numbers with those.
- Mary Pasciak