Baltimore Region Is Moving Towards Greater Economic School Segregation

Baltimore Region Is Moving Towards Greater Economic School Segregation

Baltimore schools are increasingly segregated along racial and socioeconomic lines, contributing to negative effects on the academic performance of many students. These findings have been documented by economist and urban policy expert David Rusk in a report for the Abell Foundation. In the fall issue of The Abell Report (8 pages, PDF), Rusk writes that low-income children who attend schools where most of their classmates are from wealthier backgrounds scored close to the national average on standardized tests in 2001 and 2002, while their peers who attend schools with mostly low-income students scored significantly lower. In addition, 75 percent of students who attend one of the 125 elementary schools in the area that have a majority of black students are from low-income families, compared with 21 percent from the 247 schools that enroll mostly white students. Rusk concludes his article with several recommendations designed to achieve greater racial and economic integration in Baltimore's public schools, including the adoption of inclusionary zoning laws.