There aren’t enough whites to go around

School segregation remains a reality: “74 percent of African Americans still attend majority nonwhite schools, compared to just over 76 percent in the late 1960s,” writes The Nation‘s Greg Kauffman.

But there’s a demographic reality to consider, responds Matthew Yglesias in Slate. U.S. schools are running low on white kids.

Non-Hispanic whites were 54 percent of the under-18 population in 2010, compared to 74 percent in 1980, according to the Census Bureau. Furthermore, among kids under the age of 5, non-Hispanic whites are a minority.

Meanwhile, the white people are not distributed evenly across the country. You’re not going urban minority kids to Maine and Idaho or the Texas panhandle so that they can attend more integrated schools. Nor are we about to ban the practice of rich people (who are disproportionately white) from sending their kids to private schools.

So you’re going to face a situation where most schools are majority-minority and the vast majority of minority kids are in majority-minority schools and there’s not going to be anything you can do about it other than try to make those schools be really good schools.

We can’t integrate our way to better school performance, agrees Sara Mead. That includes socio-economic integration, the dream of “smart liberal school reformers in recent years.” Like whites, middle-class students from two-parent families are in short supply and not evenly distributed.

The challenge is to design schools to meet the needs of low-income, minority students. The no-excuses model adopted by some urban charter (and Catholic) schools can make a difference. Are there other models with evidence of success?

About Joanne


  1. My kids were in the Montgomery County, MD school system when they started their prized socioeconomic-integration program, through building of subsidized housing in the affluent areas of the county. Our MS immediately had a dramatic increase in disciplinary problems, including fights between/among both boys and girls (a few with knives, which had been nonexistent) They were all between the new arrivals; the white and Asian kids were pretty much ignored. At an adjacent school, with a significant black population (intact professional families) however, the newcomers really targeted the existing blacks; sellouts, oreos, Uncle Toms etc. I know black parents whose kids were so (negatively) affected by this (academic disinterest, attitude etc) that they had to put the kids into private schools. (and they were NOT happy about this) The idea was that the newcomers would magically adopt the behaviors and habits of their successful race-mates, but it apparently never occurred to the proponents that the situation might go in the reverse direction. Hispanics in schools with Hispanic newcomers had the same problems. Integration, by itself, is not a solution. In fact, some black authors have traced the black anti-academic attitudes back to the closure of black schools in the 60s; once blacks no longer ran the schools their kids attended, many kids and families disengaged. It’s an interesting idea, but the problem persists even in cities run by black politicians and educators for decades.

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    “No excuses?
    Excuses are an industry.

  3. I checked the definition of “segregation” and according to Merriam-Webster it is –

    1: the act or process of segregating : the state of being segregated
    2a : the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means
    b : the separation for special treatment or observation of individuals or items from a larger group

    Now Bill Moyers can certainly be forgiven for playing fast and loose with the definitions of words. He is, after all, a lefty so such constraints are of little importance.

    Mr. Moyers is about the holy task of indulging his conceits so trivialities like the definition of words, reality, the limits of human reach don’t shackle him. He’s going to find segregation even where it doesn’t exist so he can make a public spectacle of his splendid moral indignation.

    What could be more important then that?

  4. momof4;

    This is something Instanpundit goes on about, how so many “activists” have a cargo-cult conception of middle class life and academic success. The view is that these things are things that just cost money and so you can just give them to those who don’t have them, rather than seeing them as the results of habit, culture, and effort. That is, the activists think they can get the cause by handing out the result.

    • Of course. Just look at the housing market; because homeowners have certain traits and behaviors, the feel-good crowd “thought” (felt) that by giving people houses (they couldn’t afford), they’d magically acquire all those good things. It’s denial of reality and all of human history and/or ignorance of same.

    • With regard to housing welfare, the currently popular philosophy which asserts that putting poor people in wealthier neighborhoods will result in an osmotic transfer of attitudes and values. The poor will thus ascend to the middle class. This silly idea is the result of the utter failure of “project housing”.

      Every one of the thousands of videos showing some decaying hulk of a project high rise coming down was one less vote to put up their replacement. But lefties, unable to admit their error, found a new way to display their wonderful generosity with other people’s money and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit was born.

  5. Something like half of all people who self-identify as “Hispanic” apparently identify as “white” (different sources give different numbers). This includes my own kids, the offspring of a non-Hispanic white father (me) and a “mestiza” Hispanic mother. The idea that all or most white Hispanics are somehow “nonwhites” is a 20th century distinction that is already fading away. 50 years from now it will be as much of an anachronism as the idea that Jews are a minority.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      Mr. Smith.
      Ref yr last sentence: I hope so. But the diversity industry will suffer. As will those qualifying for AA benefits otherwise.
      Our society is gaited toward maintaining such distinctions. Too much rides on them.

  6. Yes, I think our high school principal has the model of success. I’m not sure of its origins.
    1. Eliminate nonparticipants and the violent by moving them to other placements (night, alternative, oss, etc)
    2. Use a security team, an officer in the high school, and the local justice system to maintain civility and personal safety.
    3. Offer double period remedial everything to those who can’t acheive an 85 on the Regent’s Exam and don’t qualify for special ed.. One period of this remedial is for homework completion and filling in missing skills.
    4. Eliminate electives.

    This of course means that high acheivers have nothing for senior year. Under this model, they should grad early or they should dual enroll special permission at a nearby college for senior year. I don’t know about you, but I ‘m not in favor of sending a 16 year old to college (Dec cutoff here)…but that is what the plan is for those who aren’t in need of remedial and ask about the AP classes or IB program that was offered before this principal arrived and the board turned the school into a low acheiving school.