“Segregation, both economic and racial/ethnic, poses one of the most formidable barriers to educational equity. Under conditions of economic segregation, low-income students disproportionately attend schools with high concentrations of other low-income students. Schools that are marked by concentrated poverty often lack the human, material, and curricular resources to meet the academic and socioemotional needs of their populations. Segregation also brings racial differences in exposure to concentrated poverty, leading to nonwhite students being in schools with higher rates of concentrated poverty than other students. This situation exacerbates racial disparities in educational outcomes”.1
Segregation has been associated with limiting the opportunities that children need to develop important life skills, such as interacting effectively with diverse groups,2 as well as with limiting the resources available to students from racial/ethnic minority groups and low-income families.3, 4 This domain, Extent of Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Segregation, is examined in relation to one indicator— public elementary and secondary school students’ exposure to racial, ethnic, and economic segregation—using data from the Common Core of Data (CCD) and the Education Demographic and Geographic Estimates (EDGE) program. These indicators are based on recommendations in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) framework. The NASEM report notes that some of the recommended indicators have limitations. Currently, the Equity in Education Dashboard provides data based on published products. Because data in our published products do not always perfectly align with the recommended indicators in the NASEM report, we have indicated where our data differ from recommendations in the report. More findings will be added to the Equity in Education Dashboard over time. Whereas the NASEM report uses the term “segregation” in this domain, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports measures of the “concentration of low-income students and “racial concentration”; thus, the findings throughout this domain follow the terminology used in NCES reporting. Group differences in this domain are examined across two educational equity dimensions: race/ethnicity and school locale, wherever the data allow.5
The Segregation indicator examines two constructs: the concentration of poverty in schools; and racial segregation within and across schools
1 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2019). Monitoring Educational Equity (pp. 7-8). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25389.
2 Pettigrew, T.F., and Tropp, L.R. (2006). A Meta-Analytic Test of Intergroup Contact Theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(5), 751-783. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1681.
3 Owens, A., Reardon, S.F., and Jencks, C. (2016). Income Segregation Between Schools and School Districts. American Educational Research Journal, 53(4), 1159-1197. https://doi.org/10.3102%2F0002831216652722.
4 Rothwell, J.T., and Massey, D.S. (2010). Density Zoning and Class Segregation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas. Social Science Quarterly, 91(5), 1123-1143 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2010.00724.x.
5 Not all equity dimensions, such as race/ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status, English learner status, and disability status, are examined for all constructs.
6 Data exclude students in schools with missing locale information.
7 Within this domain, Pacific Islander includes data for Native Hawaiians and any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
8 Although the percentage of students of Two or more races who attended mid-high poverty schools was also higher than the national average (though both rounded to 22 percent), the percentage of students of Two or more races who attended high-poverty schools was lower than the national average.