True, Michigan doesn’t have any actual segregated schools on the books, those went out a long time ago. But de facto segregation is very real. And it’s hard to argue that we’re moving toward a post-racial society in Michigan when black kids mostly go to school with other black kids, Latinos with Latinos, whites with whites.
Gary Orfield directs the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. He says one thing people need to understand is it's almost never just segregation by race or ethnicity. "It's almost always what we call 'double segregation.' So high concentrated black or Latino schools tend to have concentrated poverty as well, so there’s a double level of segregation."
And for a lot of Latino students, Orfield says it’s triple segregation: segregation by race, poverty and language.
As I was working on yesterday's story about charter schools, I came across a problem that must be frustrating for many parents: It is incredibly difficult to find the right information to compare schools in Michigan. The information is all out there. It's just really hard to put it together in a way that makes sense.
The first problem is figuring out where to look. So, here are five resources to help start the search:
The Detroit News reported yesterday on the "quiet crisis" of homelessness affecting Michigan's schoolchildren. As of last school year, the News reports there were more than 37,500 homeless students in Michigan.
Erik Verdier's bed is a mattress on the floor of the windowless basement room he shares with his parents in a relative's Detroit home. Erik is one of thousands of newly homeless students in Michigan, which has seen a 66 percent rise over four years, to more than 37,500 in 2011-12, according to the state Department of Education.