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Monday, June 07, 2010

'Black flight' changing the makeup of Dallas schools

I've always thought about the idea of "black flight" where for whatever reason blacks will leave urban communities and would be replaced by whites. I'm talking gentrification somewhat because that does appear to be what happens in changing minority or low-income communities.

Still whats going on in Dallas' school system:
The movement mirrors, on a smaller scale, massive white flight from the district in the 1970s.

Black students formed a majority in Dallas schools through the 1980s and '90s. Over the last 10 years, though, the number of black children has fallen by nearly 20,000, or about a third. Meanwhile, Hispanic children have filled their seats as the district's overall enrollment remains fairly flat at about 157,000.

Today, about 41,000 black students attend DISD schools. They make up 26 percent of the district compared with 106,000 Hispanic children, or 68 percent. White students are 5 percent of the district.

The trend seen in Dallas schools is part of a larger national move away from inner cities for many black families, but the plunge is steeper in Dallas ISD than other urban districts in Texas and is among the biggest declines nationally.

Interviews with dozens of parents reveal that the exodus is not fueled by a single reason, but by myriad forces including issues of race, class, perceptions of problems within DISD, an explosion of charter schools and the quest for the American dream in the suburbs.

Adelfa Callejo, a Latina civil rights activist, said it's like history repeating itself.

"They're doing exactly what the whites are doing, abandoning the school district," Callejo said. "That will leave us with a lack of black leadership. You need leaders of all races to make it happen."
I can understand the quest for better schools. When it was time to send me to high school once upon a time safety trumped quality. It was of less concern to my parents to send me to a better school than to insure that I would still be safely tucked away in the neighborhood. Thus I didn't go to a good school during my teenaged years. W

ell I still don't have to worry about sending any kids to school since I don't yet have any. At the same time I want the best education for those children I plan to have. It's unlikely that I would ever move to insure that since there are those schools in the public school system where my children could have a quality education.

I think Ms. Callejo makes a valid point about a lack of diverse leadership. Everone has a hand in making a public school system viable. Especially in an urban area where we hear all too often how the system has failed our young people.

Via Instapundit!

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