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School segregation is a thing again, according to research

Linda Brown (front, center) sits in her segregated classroom in March, 1953 at the Monroe School before the Supreme Court ruled school segregation illegal. Photo by Carl Iwasaki/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.

Almost six decades after the landmark 1954 United States Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education led to school integration, new trends are creating more racially-segregated schools, according to a new study. Research published in the American Sociological Review contends that these trends –including fewer white students in majority-minority schools and more separate but unequal schools than there were in the pre-Brown v. Board of Education era — are among the factors leading to more segregated schools.

The study’s author is former teacher Jeremy Fiel, who, after growing up in a Texas school district with students from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, went to teach in Mississippi where he encountered a profound lack of diversity.

“Segregation there was the most extreme I’ve ever seen,” Fiel told The Atlantic. “There were literally less than five white kids in an entire public school.”

The PBS documentary series POV will be airing a film on race and education in February. American Promise follows two African American boys for more than a decade as they grow up and attend one of New York City’s most well-known private schools.

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