Segregation of Latino Students From White Peers Increased Over a Generation, Study Finds

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From the article: "In 1998, 7 percent of the average Latino child's classmates were white in big-city districtsand by 2010 that had dropped to 5 percent."

In 1998, the average Latino student in elementary school attended a school where 40 percent of her classmates were white.

But by 2015, the average young Latino student was attending a school with a student body of only 30 percent white students, demonstrating an increased level of ethnic segregation, according to a new analysis of student data. One factor is the growing share of Latino students among the elementary-school population, the study notes.

The isolation of Latinos is particularly high in large urban districts, said Bruce Fuller, a sociologist from the University of California Berkeley and a co-author of the study. In 1998, 7 percent of the average Latino child’s classmates were white in big-city districtsand by 2010 that had dropped to 5 percent.

At the same time, Fuller said, the study showed the diversity among Latino children, who today make up more than a quarter of the 35.5 million children in public elementary school. For example, Latino children whose mothers were born in the United States also attended less racially and ethnically segregated schools than Latino children whose mothers were foreign-born.

And the study showed that poor and middle income children are more likely to attend school together, irrespective of race. The average elementary student from a low-income family in 2015 attended a school where about 50 percent of peers were middle income. In 1998, that average poor child attended a school where only 40 percent of peers were middle income.

The findings, a collaboration between researchers from Berkeley; the University of Maryland; and the University of California Irvine were published Tuesday in the journal Educational Researcher.

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