Segregated schools are not necessarily racist

New York City public schools are one of the most segregated in the country.  Yet few ask why that is so (“New York Schools Are Segregated. Will the Next Mayor Change That?” The New York Times, Jan. 30).  Instead, it is assumed that the reason is bigotry.

The hard truth is that some students of all races and from all socioeconomic backgrounds possess the wherewithal to achieve only modest academic success.  As a result, enrollment based on aptitude reflects that reality.  It has nothing at all to do with racism.

When I was teaching in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I had white students from affluence who were mediocre at best.  Conversely, I had Black and Hispanic students from low-income backgrounds who excelled.  Differentiating among those students by placing them in schools in line with their abilities would invite charges of bigotry.  I say it merely reflects individual differences.

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