Two schools, just 10 minutes (and a world) apart

Screenshot 2017-03-10 17.35.38I am starting to realize that the state of Connecticut’s school systems are much more segregated than I imagined.

According to the CT Mirror, in Hartford “last school year, 12,304 city residents were attending schools where more than three quarters of the students were either black or Hispanic. This school year 11,585 city students are in segregated schools.”

That’s 54 percent.

I have family in Hartford and I have family in West Hartford, and they tell me their schools are complete opposites in terms of diversity. My cousin in West Hartford went to Hall High School. My cousin in Hartford went to Hartford High. My Hall High cousin said his school is about 85 percent white kids and that he and his group of friends are among the only minorities in the school. My Hartford High cousin said his school was about 90 percent black kids and their schools are about 10 minutes away from each other, but because they live in two different districts they are not allowed to attend the same school.

The resources that Hall High has compared to Hartford High is incomparable. According to West Hartford’s district profile and performance report, West Hartford only has 783 African Americans in their school district which only amounts to 8 percent, while Hartford has 6,565 which amounts to 30.6 percent African Americans, along with Hispanic students, which make up 52.5 percent of the Hartford school district.

This alone shows that Connecticut is dealing with a major inequality problem in their school systems, and the same holds true for the rest of the state.

Screenshot 2017-03-10 17.36.42According to this chart, the number of segregated schools in Connecticut is shrinking, but there is still long way to go to have a completely desegregated state.

The data is alarming. However, I am not surprised. Connecticut has some of the richest towns in the country, including Fairfield and Greenwich, along with some of the poorest cities, such as New Haven and Bridgeport.

If we keep putting all of the good schools and all of the funding in rich districts, how do we expect the poorer school districts to get better? Let’s strive to raise the high school graduation rates of African Americans in Connecticut from 59.6 percent to 85 percent, and the rates for Hispanic students from 13.66 percent to at least 50 percent. This is possible if the state legislators and decision makers and the residents of Connecticut could meet on common ground of equal education for all.

By Tyler Jarrett

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