ETS Policy Notes — School Segregation: A Focus on Hispanic/Latino Children

Laosa, Luis
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Court litigation educational policy elementary secondary education equal education ethnicity Hispanic Americans immigrants limited English speaking neighborhoods Puerto Ricans racial discrimination racial segregation school desegregation school segregation school size socioeconomic influences


This issue of ETS Policy Notes (Volume 10, No. 1) reviews national demographic trends in school segregation, summarizing research findings. Though the national debate on school segregation emphasizes Blacks and Whites, present-day school segregation includes segregation by socioeconomic level, ethnicity, and native language. The research study examined features of the ecology of schools, describing elementary schools attended by children who migrated from Puerto Rico to New Jersey with a focus on racial/ethnic composition, linguistic composition, socioeconomic characteristics, neighborhood type, school size and crowdedness, and interrelationships among these characteristics. Results found that school segregation by race/ethnicity and language closely related to segregation by poverty and parental education. Segregation was associated with crowded schools. A second article addresses policies and judicial trends regarding school desegregation, highlighting the segregation of Hispanic students. It examines the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson which affirmed a vision of a rigidly segregated society, and the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which said that separate but equal facilities had no place in public education. Finally, it discusses segregation of Hispanics (questions for the courts), recent efforts against mandatory school desegregation, and the need for public awareness, policies, and leadership. ED 454 327

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