Segregated schools — not surprising

 Shocking, but not totally surprising:  56 years after the Supreme Court ruled that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” most of America’s large cities educate their children in classrooms that are still grossly segregated — the Boston and Springfield areas included. And the results are not good. In Massachusetts, every one of the state’s 35 underperforming schools is in a largely minority, largely poor, urban area.
 
   The new Northeastern University study that documents these trends (available at diversitydata.org) rightly points out that the biggest problem is residential segregation. People of color are in the cities and whites are in the suburbs, which have more money and political power. This generalization is especially true in Boston, where the core city has barely 10 percent of the metropolitan population, while other large cities typically make up a third or more of the regional population. But Boston is not going to annex Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville and Milton anytime soon.
 
   So progress requires redoubled efforts within the city school systems to offer quality education across districts and neighborhoods, combined with new initiatives to permit city-dwellers to take advantage of suburban resources.
 
   This will be hard politically, but Massachusetts’s justified pride in the top-rank performance of public school students statewide is tarnished by the stubbornly persistent racial gap that leaves too many students of color behind. Let’s hear from the candidates for governor on this.
    — By Bob

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