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Are Schools More Segregated Than In the 50s? What Does the Data Say?

Conventional wisdom in education circles is that school segregation is worse today than before the Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that separate schools for whites and blacks were unconstitutional. Many in media are citing statistics from a May 2014 report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. Slate’s Jamelle Bouie wrote that it shows, “minority students across the country are more likely to attend majority-minority schools than they were a generation ago.”

But federal data from the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) don’t entirely support this narrative that segregation is getting worse.