The Idea of an Essay, Volume 4

140 The Idea of an Essay: Volume 4 De Facto Segregation in Schools William Tomlinson Despite the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision ending legal racial segregation in educational institutions, the “separate but equal” ideology still permeates the education system. This phenomenon, known as “white flight”, occurs without JimCrow laws or racial oppression. Because of the freedoms that Americans have to choose their educational institutions, de facto segregation has occurred, where white families flee schools heavily populated by African-Americans. David Sikkink and Michael Emerson, Allison Roda and Amy Wells, and Kelly Rapp and Suzanne Eckes all address the issue of “white flight” in their articles: “School Choice And Racial Segregation In US Schools: The Role Of Parents’ Education”, “School Choice Policies And Racial Segregation: Where White Parents’ Good Intentions, Anxiety, And Privilege Collide”, and “Dispelling The Myth Of ‘White Flight’: An Examination Of Minority Enrollment In Charter Schools” respectively. Though all authors agree that de facto segregation occurs in the educational system, they disagree on the manifestation, motive, and solution. The concept of racial bias is not an old one. Racial prejudice will survive throughout all humanity, despite what well meaning, moral individuals attempt to extinguish it. Sikkink and Emerson, Roda and Wells, and Rapp and Eckes all realize that racial prejudice plays a role in education. Furthermore, all authors agree that, due to the actions of privileged, white families, segregation has taken root in education. However, Sikkink and Emerson and Roda and Wells disagree with Rapp and Eckes as to the method of segregation. Sikkink and Emerson base their hypothesis on the assumption that schools are generally segregated. They claim, “Whites in general will be more likely to select alternative schooling for their children in areas with a higher percentage black” (Sikkink and Emerson 277). Thus, Sikkink and Emerson ultimately conclude that segregation occurs when white parents choose alternative (i.e., charter) schools to escape heavily populated African-American public schools. Roda