May 17, 2024 - News

Segregation in some Colorado public schools has increased the past three decades

Choropleth map of U.S. counties showing the estimated level of segregation between Black and white students in K-12 public schools. Schools in counties in the southern U.S., southern California and Northeast tend to be more segregated than counties in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest.
Data: Stanford Education Data Archive; Note: Index ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 implies no segregation (all schools have identical proportions of Black and white students) while 1 implies complete segregation (no Black student attends a school with any white students, and vice versa); Map: Axios Visuals

Some Colorado public schools have become more segregated over the last three decades — albeit less significantly than other parts of the U.S., according to a new report.

Why it matters: Researchers have found school segregation disproportionately hurts Black and Latino students since those schools tend to have fewer resources, more teacher shortages, and fewer advanced classes.

Zoom in: Segregation in Denver Public Schools peaked in 2004 and has remained steady from 2010 through 2022, a Stanford and University of Southern California study shows.

By the numbers: In 1991, DPS had a segregation rating of 0.27 for Black and white students and 0.21 for Hispanic and white students.

  • By 2022, those ratings had jumped to 0.4 for Black and white students and 0.43 for Hispanic and white students.
  • The rating measures segregation by exposure of students of different races and ethnicities, with 0 being the least segregated and 1 being the most segregated.

The big picture: Nationwide, segregation between white and Black students has risen 64% since 1988 in the 100 largest districts, the study found.

Choropleth map of U.S. counties showing the estimated level of segregation between Black and white students in K-12 public schools. Schools in counties in the southern U.S., southern California and Northeast tend to be more segregated than counties in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest.
Data: Stanford Education Data Archive; Note: Index ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 implies no segregation (all schools have identical proportions of Black and white students) while 1 implies complete segregation (no Black student attends a school with any white students, and vice versa); Map: Axios Visuals
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.

More Denver stories