State Puts 4 Magnet Schools On Notice

Christopher Peak PhotoThe Board of Education might have resolved to close a high school, but it hasn’t yet figured out how to attract enough racial diversity to keep the rest of its magnet schools open.

Currently, only two of New Haven’s regional magnet schools are keeping up with state requirements: Betsy Ross Arts Magnet, a middle school, and Engineering & Science University Magnet School, a combined middle and high school.

Fourteen other magnets are too “racially isolated,” meaning less than a quarter of the students in them are white, Asian, Native American or some mix of those races.

Those figures will have to change soon if the district hopes to continue receiving extra money, the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) told Superintendent Carol Birks earlier this month.

In a May 8 letter, the SDE said four schools could face financial penalties if their racial demographics don’t change next year. Ten other schools have until October 2021 to catch up or face penalties too.

Next year, New Haven expected to receive $35.31 million from the inter-district magnet program, about one-sixth of the school system’s general fund.

The schools get extra state funding — $7,085 per suburban pupil; $3,000 per local kid — to reserve at least a quarter of their seats for surrounding towns. Aside from those funds, state lawmakers tried to block magnet operators from charging tuition, and they send the Education Cost Sharing formula to the student’s home district, rather than where they attend school.

The 90 inter-district magnet schools across the state are the primary vehicle for the Connecticut’s desegregation effort.

Over the last decade in New Haven, the percentage of white students attending city public schools has ticked upward. In 2004-05, white students made up 11.1 percent. Diversity peaked in 2013-14, when white students made up 15.12 percent, but it’s been trending down ever since. This year, white students represent 13.3 percent.

Most of those white students go to inter-district magnet schools, a vocational school and a handful of traditional schools; most of the city’s neighborhood schools, on the other hand, are profoundly segregated.

That means the magnet program’s making progress toward desegregation, especially as the state’s demographics moved in the other direction, but it’s not nearly as much as the SDE had wanted.

Google MapsAccording to letters obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the SDE and New Haven have been talking about enrollment issues for months, with a back-and-forth about diversity goals and penalties, compliance challenges and solutions.

In October 2017, The SDE alerted Elm City officials about the stricter enforcement of “racial isolation” requirements, with a four-page explainer about new rules the legislature passed unanimously last summer. Those require no more than three-quarters of the student body to be black or brown or even half of those races.

That’s pretty much the same standard that Hartford’s inter-district magnet schools have long used. They needed it to comply with Sheff v. O’Neill, the landmark 1996 case that found Connecticut’s municipal-based school system violated students’ constitutional right to a “substantially equal educational opportunity.”

The recently revised law now sets one unified standard for the entire state. That means a higher bar for New Haven, which had previously needed only 20 percent white students.

The law does contain a waiver if the commissioner determines city schools are trending in the right direction on race or increasing diversity in other ways, such as integrating across geography, socioeconomics, English-language learner or special education status, achievement and other factors.

In November 2017, two weeks after SDE sent its first memo about the new process, the state asked New Haven to send in compliance plans. But Birks didn’t get to speak with the SDE about the changes until mid-April 2018, a month into taking over the job from Reggie Mayo, the interim superintendent.

Earlier this month, the SDE signed off on most of her plans — with the exception of Cortlandt V.R. Creed Health & Sports Science Magnet School, which it slapped with a $121,059 penalty for trending in the wrong direction.

Other schools, the SDE warned, needed to carry out their plans next school year or suffer the same sanctions.

Besides Creed, the four schools that the SDE scrutinized were L.W. Beecher Museum School of Arts and Sciences, John C. Daniels School of International Communication, Ross-Woodward Classical Studies School and West Rock STREAM Academy.

All of them opened after July 2005, when the expectations on racial diversity were made clear.

But for each, New Haven officials explained that it was tough to recruit suburban kids with a “lowered marketing budget” after state cuts, especially when already overcoming the hurdle of “transportation timing” from distant towns.

To offset the problems, Daniels hired a magnet coordinator that visited facilities in suburban areas, and Beecher asked for more help from its students and tutors from Southern Connecticut State University in recruiting drives, the letter said.

West Rock faced the additional “challenge of competition among other choice schools in New Haven,” since it goes up to only fourth grade and is located in the westernmost corner of the city. A monetary boost from a 2016 federal grant helped push up the numbers recently.

The district’s 10 other noncompliant inter-district magnets, which all opened before 2005, are facing similar issues —  “demographic makeup of the surrounding suburban towns,” “transportation ride times,” and “the amount of resources dedicated to marketing and retention efforts. They all have until October 2021 to get their numbers up.

Some, like Benjamin Jepson and Davis 21st Century, are close. Others, like New Haven Academy and King-Robinson, have a ways to go.

Sherri Davis-Googe, the director of New Haven’s school choice programs, said that the jumps at some schools are “kind of high,” but overall she feels that the compliance plans are “reasonable,” especially because the state allows her to prove diversity is being established in other ways.

“At the end of the day, it is the requirement, so we do have to work to meet it,” Davis-Googe explained. “Reduced isolation will continue to be a challenge because of the diversity of our surrounding districts. Outreach efforts to increase the number of towns participating in the program is also a challenge due to the extended amount of time students spend traveling to and from school. For these reasons, we will also be exploring other ways of assessing diversity that is specific to our schools and our geographic location, which the state gives us the leverage to do.”

After “productive meetings,” the SDE said it expects that New Haven will come into compliance.

“I look forward to the successful implementation of the strategies in the compliance plans,” Glen Peterson, the SDE’s director of choice programs, wrote in the letter to Birks. “Thank you for your cooperation and continuing partnership.”

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posted by: anonymous on May 24, 2018  11:25am

Who came up with this Sisyphean task? It seems hard to increase the numbers 1) if you are talking about closing the schools, 2) GOP leaders and some white suburban “democrats” are talking about further de-funding the schools (we don’t have to point out why), 3) every year, the child population is rapidly becoming more diverse and less white in towns throughout New Haven County, especially outside of New Haven proper, and 4) the district can’t recruit from communities much farther out that are still mostly white.

Where does the 25% standard come from? Is that an arbitrary number they set in 2005, or is it based on some kind of analysis of what is possible in 2020? 15-20% certainly seems better than 0% so maybe they can just do more waivers.

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on May 24, 2018  12:05pm

It looks as if Sheff magnets get about $6000 more per non-resident student than non-Sheff.  If we have to meet the Sheff standards, shouldn’t we also get the Sheff funding?

posted by: FacChec on May 24, 2018  12:24pm

In October 2017, The SDE alerted Elm City officials about the stricter enforcement of “racial isolation” requirements, with a four-page explainer about new rules the legislature passed unanimously last summer. Those require no more than three-quarters of the student body to be black or brown or even half of those races.


posted by: beaverhills on May 24, 2018  12:58pm

I hope that Dr. Birks and others are considering how to increase diversity by attracting families from within New Haven as well. My husband, daughter, and I are white and live in the Beecher area, and when our daughter starts school, as long as she makes it in through the lottery, she’ll go to Beecher, but there are plenty of white families in the neighborhood that do not send their children to public school. According to this, Beaver Hills is 29% white, and the Beecher area is likely whiter than Beaver Hills more broadly. Anyway, I hope that the DOE will think about this issue more broadly, as it is not just about attracting suburban students.

posted by: Patricia Kane on May 24, 2018  1:01pm

The underlying problem is segregation. Busing and magnet schools are an expensive attempt to remedy what racism and government policies have created: apartheid.
  We need a do-over that eliminates busing but integrates housing. Had banks not red-lined neighborhoods so people couldn’t get mortgages and home improvement loans, had gov’t policies not supported segregated low income housing, integration might have evolved, but it didn’t happen.
  Time for new thinking.

posted by: newhavenishome on May 24, 2018  1:40pm

I’m white, my kids are white. I live in New Haven. On multiple occasions I have submitted my kids into the magnet lottery (I refuse to call it choice) to get them into J C Daniels, Co-Op, Davis. I think I even tried Jepson. Never could get a seat.
How about we stop the madness ? Scale back the number of magnets and work on improving the many neighborhoods of New Haven. I bet we will then attract enlightened folks of all colors who want to live in a vibrant city. Organically, our schools can improve. #Demagnetize.

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on May 24, 2018  1:53pm

The legislation’s sponsors represent Waterbury, New London and Meriden, with all of the public comments coming from New London.  Any idea why they wanted it?

Also, did NHPS’s lobbyist alert the district when this legislation was pending?  Why are none of the public comments from New Haven?

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on May 24, 2018  2:23pm

At least some of that is explained by the high numbers of Jewish families sending their children to private religious schools in Beaver Hills. Though there are likely many others like my family, who sent one child to Beecher, but when another sibling got into a magnet school through the lottery system was able to send each sibling to that magnet school.

Agreed, but that spatial organization took decades to create, and will likely take decades to undo, but before we even start addressing the issue, people will need to be informed and aware of the issue, which itself is a daunting task.

I suspect that one of the best ways to address many concerns is for parents to go door-to-door in their neighborhood (or send emails, or put up posters, or some other non-soliciting strategy) and talk to other parents about supporting neighborhood schools, starting after school daycare groups, tutoring groups, and other activities to build community around schools and other neighborhood issues. Perhaps the BOE can help facilitate these activities, but I wouldn’t put too much faith in a bureaucracy to replace good old fashion neighborliness and grassroots community organizing.

posted by: FacChec on May 24, 2018  2:24pm

@Jill- the- Pill: Not all testimony was from New Londoners and not all sponsors only represented Waterbury, New London and Meriden as you inaccurately commented.

Public Hearing Testimony:

To apply the reduced-isolation setting standards of the 2013 stipulation and order for Milo Sheff, et al. v. William A. O’Neill, et al., as extended, to all inter-district magnet schools in the state.

03/06/2017 CEA
03/06/2017 Connecticut Education Association
03/06/2017 McCoy , Kate , Executive Director Strategic Planning -New London Public Schools
03/06/2017 Rivera , Dr. Manuel , Superintendent -New London Public Schools
03/06/2017 Soto, Chris, State Representative
03/06/2017 Wentzell, Dianna R. , Commissioner-State Department of Education

And the Legislation’s sponsors were from multiple Senate and House districts districts..

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on May 24, 2018  2:59pm

Excuse me, Fac, I missed the rep from Stamford.  It’s a distinction without a difference—where is New Haven’s voice there?

posted by: 06511 on May 24, 2018  3:02pm

For every school that is closed we should vote out one member of the Board of Education.

posted by: Molly W on May 24, 2018  3:06pm

This is a real question: how can things change when currently the % of white kids in NHPS is at a depressing 12%? We have a reality of white people moving to the area for a job in New Haven but choosing suburbs “for the schools” and plenty of other white people that start as childless residents leave once their kids start school. We white people need to have honest conversations with each other about the role we play in causing problems city-wide. We must choose public schools for the important reasons of developing citizenship, growing children that see inequity, that understand racism and challenge their biases, and just participate in a system that is messed up, sure, but it’s our city’s messed up system. As for parents that make segregating choices due to the lack of “academic excellence” in their schools: academic excellence is our shared goal, but it can’t become our shroud in which to burn the house down.

Say our city cannot maintain compliance with magnet schools, do we return to neighborhood schools? That won’t help with integration unless the maps are drawn accordingly. I value magnet schools for the role they play in integration, but they seem to only feed white people’s approach to shopping around for the best school for their kid.

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on May 24, 2018  3:11pm

Ah!  Sorry, Fac.  I did not see your link.  That IS an interesting list of sponsors.  So, desirability of desegregation aside, why did these towns ask for a requirement with penalty to meet a standard they were already voluntarily approaching?

posted by: Molly W on May 24, 2018  3:33pm

Also, how would anyone be moved to stay enrolled or newly enroll in a school on the list when the issues of closures has been handled so boorishly? I think of a parent that works hard with a school to secure an IEP with anxiety of the school being closed- I imagine they will seek another school to set in place a firm IEP. I can think of any number of examples of general anxiety and especially considering how opaque and confusing it is to get your kid in to any school. I have white friends that are very happy at West Rock but are also concerned (every parent there is concerned)... they are contributing to trying to meet the magnet integration benchmarks… but how does any parent of any color stay there when the specter of closure keeps popping up?

BOE and Superintendent Birks: you closed Creed after the school choice and enrollment time ended. Will you do the same to parents of the listed schools next year? How do you request residents make choices that move us into compliance (we could have such fruitful and important conversations about desegregation if they were fostered well!) yet conduct meetings and disseminate information as you have?

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 24, 2018  4:15pm

People wake Up.This Move is to Open the Door for the Charter Schools to come in.

posted by: concerned_neighbor on May 24, 2018  7:53pm

@beaverhills - why do your white neighbors choose not to send their kids to New Haven schools? what can NHPS do in order to convince them to patronize the schools that are funded by their high property taxes?

@patrica kane - I think you are right, economic segregation, arguably caused, in part, by redlining has created de facto racial segregation. during the last 40 or more years, the housing stock in the so-called red lined areas has not be cared for and is remains unattractive to whites for purchase and investment (that does not include the disincentive provided by the current crime rate). what new thinking do you propose? bulldoze it all and start over? a mass takings (like the silly Haven Mall project in West Haven) so that white families will buy, invest and move in? Whites fled New Haven en mass years ago for many reasons - upward mobility, land expansion, and for better opportunities. With that flight, they took economic and human capital from the city. What new thinking will encourage or entice them to return?

@newhavenishome is right - demagnetize. to borrow a favorite phrase of @threefifths, magnet schools are a classic three card monte. and with billions spent (and I mean billions with a b), New haven has very little to show for it.

posted by: Noteworthy on May 24, 2018  8:57pm

Financial Games:

1. This story is not about segregation or failure to meet state targets - it’s about the gross manipulation of state educational grants in pursuit of more state construction money, more ECS funds to fuel an overpriced, out of control school system.

2. All of the people in power when this scam was hatched knew they could not hope to meet the distribution of students. Their hope was that the state would not enforce the guidelines. And it didn’t for many years.

3. The longer the scam was allowed to continue, the more brazen the financing became. More new schools ever more expensive, less neighborhood schools -  until they were all wiped out, replaced by magnets housing students in a full blown lottery in order to make room for out of town kids.

4. Now the piper is due and white flight is taking hold, and the whites who once would have considered it, will not. Why? Their schools are better. The results are better and there is no reason to bus into New Haven for a mediocre education.

5. So now - what are we to do? Admit it and beg for mercy.

posted by: JDoe on May 25, 2018  5:27am

Don’t fall for the “divide and conquer” charter plan. The only color that matters here is green. Why better results in the suburbs? Better teachers? Great administration? The ever-widening wealth gap will further isolate urban youth and the answer is shuttering magnet schools? I guess some are ok with de facto segregation and ignoring the effects of 250 years of racism and unpaid labor. We could restore public budgets instead through more progressive taxation but fat chance of that when plutocrats control the legislature.  Can’t wait until the charters start opening with no financial oversight. NHPS are already turning into data production factories -a sure sign the charter folks are waiting in the wings. They can also outsource leadership to charter organizations from within a public school. These billionaires are agile and flexible and they will get your money so keep railing about evil magnets and other such nonsense - the charter folks love it.

posted by: NHLearner on May 25, 2018  8:00am

This is probably the most important article on the school system published in the last ten years. New Haven Schools has ADDED student population while the surrounding towns have decreased. They have designed schools that ATTRACTED suburban students and INCREASED diversity. They did it WITHOUT the extra SHEFF $$ that Hartford region magnets got. Yet…. the state doesn’t increase our ECS, the alders flat fund , and now the state decides to start fining us.
The magnet schools “set aside 25% of spots for suburban students” , but now the state wants 25% to be white?! When every single town AND New Haven is decreasing white population? We draw minorities from Hamden, West Haven, etc.. but now we have to focus on the white students?? This is absolutely insane, especially when the small number of white New Haven population just focus on the white majority schools (Edgewood, Hale, Hooker) they THINK are better or are in their neighborhood.
How about we get our state legislators to introduce a bill that fines the suburban towns for having schools not racially integrated enough? Every one of these small little towns that has their own Superintendent, central office, etc… for less than 1 tenth of our school population gets fined if THEY don’t have diverse schools.

posted by: beaverhills on May 25, 2018  8:09am

I’ve noticed a number of factors why privileged (mostly white) neighbors/others in New Haven don’t go to schools like Beecher (some do go to public schools though), and I’m sure there are others:
-Some send their kids to private preschool, and then when they get to the lottery for kindergarten (or PK4), they put their neighborhood school as their first choice, but there are no spaces available because of kids continuing on from preschool. They end up in overflow schools - some do go to the overflow schools, but others are successful getting a slot in the ACES lottery or choose private school.
-Some with kids at the younger end leave New Haven or move to an area in the city where their neighborhood school doesn’t have PK (like Edgewood) because they don’t think their kids are ready for school yet, and they know that if they wait until PK4 or kindergarten, they will have the challenge listed above.
-Some are OK with paying for private school, so they enter the lottery and put a magnet school like Elm City Montessori that doesn’t have neighborhood preference as their first choice. If they get in, they go there; if not, they go to private school.
-Some do go to Beecher, but take their kids out as they get older. Like Jonathan said, they may keep trying for other magnet schools. Some also opt for private schools at that point. I’ve heard concerns about classroom management/“behavior” most often as the factor for taking kids out, but I am guessing it depends on the family.
-Some assume that Hooker is the only “good” school in New Haven and choose to live in the Hooker area until all of their kids get in, and then move some place cheaper. I’ve also talked to people who live outside of the Hooker area who put it as their first choice with the plan to go to private school if they don’t get in.

Reforms to the lottery process could address some of these issues, but issues with perception of schools will take more time/investment from the schools/community.

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on May 25, 2018  8:33am

“If an interdistrict magnet school does not meet . . . the applicable RIS Standards promulgated by the Commissioner, the Commissioner may award a magnet operating grant to the magnet school for an additional year or years if the Commissioner determines that it is appropriate to continue the grant (a) for purposes of increasing access to reduced-isolation educational opportunities or (b) because the school has other indices of diversity, such as racial, geographic, socioeconomic, percentage of special education students and EL students, achievement and other factors.”

Wouldn’t you figure most of New Haven’s magnet schools have both (a) and (b)?

posted by: newhavenishome on May 25, 2018  8:45am

I find it interesting that the 2 magnets that are successful in meeting the diversity threshold (Ross and ESUMS) are middle and high school grades only.  I think this is a result of parents of all colors/demographics not wanting to send young children on an hour long bus ride to get to school.  They just want a decent school in the community where they live, surrounded by their neighbors and easy to access.  Maybe phase out some elementary magnets, and focus on marketing to surrounding communities in middle and high school age when the student actually can express a desire to attend a school focused on the Arts, Science, Writing etc.

posted by: Molly W on May 25, 2018  9:15am

@beaverhills: Ding ding ding! You lay out well the strategies used by white people to leverage their kids through the system. And your point about perception and work we NEED to do is important.

@NHLearner: “This is absolutely insane, especially when the small number of white New Haven population just focus on the white majority schools (Edgewood, Nathan Hale, Hooker) they THINK are better or are in their neighborhood.” This is true- though Edgewood isn’t majority white- but it is a very segregated school with most white kids leaving for ESUMS in the 6th grade (cue @beaverhills point about strategy).

The speak of classroom management and behavior is partly true (increase resources!), partly race code, and partly white people forgetting that middle school kinda stinks cuz being an adolescent kinda stinks (when did white people start thinking school was supposed to be something very specific?). As for Hale and Hooker, with the largest white populations in the city, they are also two of the three dedicated neighborhood schools (the third is Troup) in the city… not sure how we’ll get numbers moving around as long as those remain as they are. As long as magnet schools have neighborhood preference- they are all listed as such-  a certain number of slots for preference- something like that maintains the white kids number at Edgewood, though doesn’t guarantee their acceptance. I’m not saying we should change that, I don’t know enough about all of this, but it will keep numbers locked up.

It’s worth mentioning that all but three schools (Edgewood, Nathan Hale, Hooker) have uniforms.

I’d love to see Hooker get redistricted. What’s up with living on Canner across from Celentano School yet being zoned for Hooker? Yeah, nope.

posted by: beaverhills on May 25, 2018  9:18am

Also, if it was not clear already, since almost all of the elementary magnet schools have neighborhood preference (, they aren’t really magnet schools if you are a New Haven resident because your chance of getting into most of them is very low if you live outside of their area. I know others who choose to live in other towns where they can apply and have a chance to get into any interdistrict magnet school in NH.

posted by: FacChec on May 25, 2018  9:22am

@NHLearner, you got most of your comments racially twisted, for example:

“New Haven Schools has ADDED student population while the surrounding towns have decreased. They have designed schools that ATTRACTED suburban students and INCREASED diversity. They did it WITHOUT the extra SHEFF $$ that Hartford ‘

The article reads:

“Next year, New Haven expected to receive $35.31 million from the inter-district magnet program, about one-sixth of the school system’s general fund.
The schools get extra state funding — $7,085 per suburban pupil; $3,000 per local kid — to reserve at least a quarter of their seats for surrounding towns. Aside from those funds, state lawmakers tried to block magnet operators from charging tuition, and they send the Education Cost Sharing formula to the student’s home district, rather than where they attend school.

You said:
“How about we get our state legislators to introduce a bill that fines the suburban towns for having schools not racially integrated enough?

Suburban schools do not qualify for grants because most do not meet the current magnet school parameters and the law.

From the current Law -

“the commissioner may award a grant for good cause, for one year, on behalf of an otherwise eligible interdistrict magnet school program, if more than seventy-five per cent of the total enrollment is from one district or less than twenty-five or more than seventy-five per cent of the students enrolled are pupils of racial minorities. The commissioner may not award grants.”

Finally, while the district is 87%minority, the teachers or educators are 76% white and from the suburbs. So New Haven does have a form of integration, but not the kind that SDE is considering.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on May 25, 2018  10:19am

In “The Color of Law”, Richard Rothstein makes the compelling argument that the racial segregation of our current metro regions is not “de facto”, but is instead “de jure”, or, in other words, it was mandated by public policy. While private realtor practices, individual choices, economic forces, personal preference, market research, and other “de facto” factors certainly played a role in creating today’s racially and economically segregated metropolitan spatial hierarchy, it now seems evident to me that public policy - backed by the police power - also played a major role. As far as what can be done about it, Rothstein offers some ideas that likely won’t be politically tenable for some time and that assumes his ideas are good ones.

I suspect that the 2020 US Census will reveal that the Dixwell neighborhood’s black population is decreasing while the white, asian, and hispanic populations are increasing. As the area between Mansfield and Winchester, Winchester Lofts, and 201 Munson Street continue to attract students, young professionals, and real estate investment, Dixwell will become much more diverse. So, in some ways, whites may already be “integrating” into traditionally minority neighborhoods like Dixwell. Unfortunately, this change is often facilitated by out-of-town real estate investors marketing rental properties to transient populations, or buying cheap from existing residents and flipping properties to be sold to new higher-income homeowners. In any case, it is often the investors who are benefiting from change rather than the long-term residents, which begs the question about whether this is truly integration or just gentrification. I think there is opportunity in this demographic shift, but only if we can figure out a way to facilitate existing long-term residents to be the agents, investors, and benefactors of this change, rather than the passive witnesses or victims of it. And, no, large scale redevelopment in not the answer.

posted by: newhavenishome on May 25, 2018  12:00pm

Molly W says “The speak of classroom management and behavior is partly true (increase resources!), partly race code, and partly white people forgetting that middle school kinda stinks cuz being an adolescent kinda stinks (when did white people start thinking school was supposed to be something very specific?)”

Really, you don’t know any non white people that have moved their kids from a school due to classroom management and behavior? Most of my black friends expect far more than I ever have in these areas, and a few have moved their kids out of schools for these very reasons.  Take a look at New Haven parochial schools,they are filled with black and hispanic families that do not want their kids attending NHPS schools. Please think before you post , further division really isn’t needed. This is a New Haven problem, it isn’t a problem of white people having unrealistic expectations of classroom management.

posted by: NHLearner on May 25, 2018  12:10pm

@FacChec…. actually, Hartford magnet schools get MORE per suburban student due to the Sheff case. This new 2017 law apparently makes New Haven responsible for Sheff type desegregation goals without the extra funding.
New Haven HAS added more students in the past several years while getting flat funding from the state ECS and the alders.
You also quoted part of a law that makes it seem as if the state could waive the fines on New Haven for not meeting desegregation goals, but apparently, they are not choosing to do so.
Finally, my cheeky suggestion that CT small white suburban towns be held to the same desegregation standards as New Haven now is can just be taken as an idea. As is pointed out by others, to meet these insane goals that the state is now expecting New Haven to meet, we would have to either dismantle all magnets,
somehow only recruit suburban white students in a time of increasing minority populations,
or dismantle our three “white” neighborhood schools and spread those students across the city.
Setting New Haven up to fail, while giving Hartford extra funds, extra support and bailouts doesn’t seem fair, does it?

posted by: Perspective on May 25, 2018  12:18pm

I find it amusing many are using the term ‘white flight’ to describe the white skinned people who leave the city for the suburbs. What term is used when a person of color moves to the suburbs? Are only white people moving out of the city?  Many people of all colors have moved out of the cities to area towns for a variety of reasons. Some real; others perceived: schooling, safer environment, taxes, job location, etc. The goal of integration should not be simply getting more whites in the classroom, but establishing a strong learning environment regardless of color.  Unfortunately, as others have posted resolving this issue goes beyond the walls of the classroom

posted by: Molly W on May 25, 2018  2:25pm

@newhavenishome: Sure, put everyone you mention in the first category I made of the classroom management behavior issue being real and that more resources are needed. My remark on real conversations that I hear real white people having isn’t further dividing people. When white people talk about the kids of color taking up too much classroom time or being fed up with their kids’ benign boredom in the classroom but then never talk about the myriad lessons their kids are learning in either of those situations, that divides people.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on May 25, 2018  3:43pm

“White flight” refers to the wave of urban out-migration to the suburbs that occurred in the mid-20th century, which was subsidized by the Federal government through the GI Bill, the Federal Housing Administration, and a series of other public programs that were only made available to white households. Newhallville, for instance, where former Mayor Richard C. Lee grew up and served as an alderman, was a white neighborhood into the middle of the 20th century. The old Elm Haven public housing project on Dixwell Avenue was segregated by building - some were set aside for white families only while others were set aside for black families only. After World War Two, white families could qualify for federally-secured mortgages for new suburban houses. Often times, the publicly-subsidized mortgages were less then monthly rental payments. Many black families, prohibited from buying FHA-insured new suburban houses despite being financially capable of doing so, resorted to buying houses from white families in Newhallville then those white families moved to the suburbs. This process happened very rapidly in the mid-20th century. Eventually, the practice of prohibiting non-whites from FHA-backed mortgages and discriminating against them in the housing market became illegal through court cases and subsequent legislation in the late 1960s, but for a couple decades this process fundamentally shaped today’s segregated metropolitan region. While “de facto”  forces like economics, personal preferences, and private realtor strategies have also shaped the spatial hierarchies for time immemorial, no small part of today’s segregation can be attributed to mid-20th century public policy. Then there’s the whole issue of suburban property value appreciation, and urban property depreciation and the resulting black-white wealth gap, but I would just check out Rothstein’s book “The Color of Law” for a more comprehensive view, if you’re interested.