Running head: KIDS IN CRISIS 1


Kids in Crisis: When Schools Don’t Work

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Kids in Crisis: When Schools Don’t Work


In the modern society, segregation and or discrimination has been a day to day affair. That is, the human generation is divided into ethnic or racial groups as some groups face prejudicial treatment from other groups that deem themselves superior in the day-to-day life (Nightengale, 2012). Even young children understand that people come from different ethnic backgrounds and that their racial parents understand which races are superior and which ones are referred to as inferior. The superiority and the inferiority of other young learners have resulted in a bigger problem, as seen in American schools (Grigoryeva and Ruef, 2015). Whereas we expect that the society may be free from such vices, but the children won't just get to understand that, they discriminate others every time. But what would be the work of a teacher who does not intervene and correct the situation? The schools are expected to involve their teachers in working towards eradicating the acts of discrimination and segregation among their children. This thus makes it more significant for me to study the current situation in American schools and the efforts being put in place to eradicate such vices.

I do believe that it is still rampant as teachers have done very little to curb this growing problem. I will, therefore, make use of the following resources; Decomposing School Resegregation: Social Closure, Racial Imbalance, and Racial Isolation by Jeremy E. Fiela and Race in American Public Schools: Rapidly Resegregating School Districts. The first article talks about how the resegregation issues are bringing very outrageous debate in the United States whereby some students are prevented by others from accessing and using certain resources. The second article looks at some district schools that are rapidly resegregating. Due to the relevance of the contents of these articles, I will use them as the basis for writing my research.

Fiela, J. (2013). Decomposing School Resegregation: Social Closure, Racial Imbalance,

and Racial Isolation.

Typically in the current society, minority students go to school together with a few whites as compared to the minorities in the 70s. Following the apparent resegregation in the United States schools, many scholars have opened outrage and debate towards the topic. From research by Fiela, most scholars blame the withdrawal of desegregation policies; the rapid change of the student populations racial composition. In his study, he focused on the link between the distributive segregation process, change in population and racial composition of schools by using school segregation as a social closure mode.

In his study, he measured exposure and racial imbalance through school-level data on racial composition. He also defined the processes attributed to racial imbalance at the local levels which nests several levels of organization at a school system in the metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties, public, private, district and charter schools. In the analysis of his findings, however, minorities and whites have become more equally distributed among the schools, the minority students have been increasingly facing isolation and little exposure to the white students. In theorizing segregation in schools as a mode of social closure, Fiela explains a way forward through describing the link between these two dimensions. He states that exclusionary processes of segregation in the course of group competition results to unequal distribution of various ethnic or racial groups as well as resources for schools. This brings about the racial imbalance that increases the levels of racial isolations hence reducing intergroup exposure.

Through his analysis of the contribution of distributive processes and changes in the composition of resegregation of schools between 1993 to 2010, he made various revelations. He explained that the reduction in the presence of whites in the schools of the minorities was great as a result of changes in the racial or ethnic composition of the student population and not its distributions across schools. Finally, Fiela relates his findings to the social closure theory that states that effects of segregation are also attributed to the unequal distribution of students and resources across schools. Distribution of students at the local levels can be directly linked to the distribution of resources across schools. Therefore, a relationship is seen to exist between inequality and segregation.

Erica, F., & Chungmei, L. (2002). Race in American Public Schools: Rapidly

Resegregating School Districts.. Mt. Auburn Street: Harvard Civil Rights Project.

The article by Erica and Chungmei (2002) aims at disaggregating the racial composition of schools at the district level so as to explore segregation patterns that affect students of United States. Erica and Chungmei examine the trends in segregation in large school districts across the nation and determining whether metropolitan districts across the country still exhibit integration. They also investigated whether the extent to which kids in district schools in the central city are segregated from kids from other ethnic groups and if any, the effects of the dramatic rise in enrolment of minorities in big suburban systems.

In their study, they analyzed the data on enrolment obtained by the United States Department of education for the year 2000 and 2001 that majored on the interracial exposure existing during those periods. They examined two hundred and thirty-nine districts that exhibited a more than twenty-five thousand total enrolments. They used exposure indices to calculate the racial isolation of various ethnic groups that included the Latino and Black students against the white students. That is calculation of the white students’ percentage in schools of typically Latino and Black students.

From their analysis, they were able to make various concluding findings. The discovered substantial and clear racial trends among the school districts under study. Generally, all the analyzed school districts showed very little inter-racial exposure since the year 1986 meaning a resegregation trend. They also mentioned that a number of these districts put up with a very high integration levels for around twenty-five or more years until the reversal of the desegregation policies. They also found out that regardless of an increasing racially diverse enrollment in public schools, white students in more than one-third of the districts under analysis were found to have become more segregated from the Latino and Black students. These levels of isolation could be attributed to poverty levels and increasing inequalities in test scores and rates of graduation.


In conclusion, segregation and discrimination are very common vices in our society, especially among children and students at the school. As evidenced by the two articles by Fiela and Erica & Chungmei, segregation of other students has taken center stage in institutions. This includes issues like social closure whereby other students bar other students belonging to other ethnic communities to enjoy from some resources that they have due to the differences, some teachers while admitting students may sideline with the institution's policy and mission.

I do believe that schools are meant to teach every learner the best way to relate to the rest. The teachers have all the responsibility to see that no any single student is discriminated in the sense that he or she comes from an ethnic background with different values. This also extends to our religious beliefs and practices. We don’t need to make accusations over others regarding their ethnic backgrounds.


Erica, F., & Chungmei, L. (2002). Race in American Public Schools: Rapidly Resegregating

School Districts.. Mt. Auburn Street: Harvard Civil Rights Project. Retrieved from

Fiela, J. (2013). Decomposing School Resegregation: Social Closure, Racial Imbalance, and Racial Isolation. Retrieved from

Grigoryeva, A. and Ruef, M. (2015). The historical demography of racial segregation.

American Sociological Review. 80: 814-842.

Nightengale, C.H. (2012). Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities. Chicago,

London: University of Chicago Press.

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