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The Effect of Segregated Schools on African American Students at Dr. King Applied Magnet School in Syracuse, New York

  • Author(s): McKenzie, Sharlene Yvonne
  • Advisor(s): Noguera, Pedro A
  • et al.

During the 20-year period from 1934 – 1954 the Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower administrations created federal housing policies that made it easier for white middle-class families to secure home owner loans. These policies expanded the suburbs and simultaneously created segregated African American neighborhoods in urban areas, such as Syracuse, N.Y. Housing segregation gave birth to segregated schools. These segregated public schools created negative learning outcomes for African American students for several decades. During the 1960s Syracuse closed two of the three predominantly African American schools to force integration. Although African American parents fought to keep Dr. King open and demanded the school district integrate the student population, Dr. King School remained segregated due to the lack of cooperation from white middle-class parents, who refused to allow their children to be bused there. The unsuccessful attempts to integrate Dr. King School aren’t the only failures tethered to it. It has secured a position on New York State’s “Failing Schools” list for more than 10 consecutive years during this century. The schools placed on this list have consistently failed to prepare more than 10 percent of their students to demonstrate proficiency in Math and English Language Arts on state exams.

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