Axios Boston

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It's Thursday already.

Today's weather: Rainy with a high near 60.

Today's newsletter is 834 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Segregation on the rise 70 years after Brown ruling

A line chart shows that the percentage of U.S. public schools with student bodies that are more than 90% non-white has steadily increased from 7.4% in 1988 to 19.8% in 2022.
Data: Orfield and Pfleger, 2024, "The Unfinished Battle for Integration in a Multiracial America"; Chart: Axios Visuals

Racial segregation in schools across the country has increased dramatically over the last three decades, according to two new reports and an Axios review of federal data.

Why it matters: As the U.S. marks the 70th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling on Friday, American public schools are growing more separate and unequal even though the country is more racially and ethnically diverse than ever.

  • Public schools across the Boston area are increasingly segregated, decades after Brown, the 1964 Civil Rights Act and after busing in Boston ended.

State of play: Schools on average have become less white and more Latino, Asian American and multiracial. But students of color are going to schools with fewer white students and fewer resources, a UCLA Civil Rights Project report found.

  • Though 45% of all U.S. students were white, the typical Black student attended a school that was 76% nonwhite in 2021.
  • The average Latino student went to a school that was 75% nonwhite.

Zoom in: Segregation levels in Boston more than doubled between 1991 and 2022 as white families move out into the suburbs and more Black and Latino families, including first-generation immigrants, migrate into the district, according to data from The Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University.

  • The number of schools with larger shares of nonwhite students also drops significantly from Boston's Roxbury neighborhood to neighboring Brookline, where most schools are majority-white.
  • Though Boston is a relatively well-resourced area, there are pockets of poverty and resource gaps that tend to affect Black and brown students more, due in part to de facto segregation through zoning and school policies, per a recent report from the project at Brandeis University.

Majority-white suburbs surrounding Boston are similarly segregated, with communities like Arlington, Newton and Braintree showing among the lowest proportions of nonwhite students compared to neighboring cities like Boston, Waltham, Chelsea, Brockton and Quincy, per the data.

  • The latter have far larger populations of Black, Latino and Asian families.

Keep reading: National desegregation trends.

2. 📈 Meme stocks soar on Brockton trader's rumored return

Keith Gill, known as Roaring Kitty. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Meme stocks briefly roared this week as speculation grew that Keith Gill, aka "Roaring Kitty" and "DeepF---kingValue" of WallStreetBets fame, was getting back in the game.

Why it matters: Brockton native and Stonehill grad Gill helped fuel the meme-stock craze of 2021 by rallying an army of retail traders, who sent shares of battered companies soaring. Then, he mostly went silent.

On Monday, speculation of his return hit the market, and GameStop, the name most closely associated with the trader, jumped more than 70%. Other popular 2021-era meme stocks, like AMC Entertainment, followed suit.

Yes, but: By yesterday, the stocks were in a slump.

Zoom in: The rumors of Gill's return was sparked by a post on X Sunday night that showed a sketch of a man leaning forward in a chair while holding a videogame controller, as if he were re-engaging.

Flashback: The Roaring Kitty character returned to the public in 2023, when the movie "Dumb Money" debuted.

  • The film portrayed the meme stock craze and featured the actor Paul Dano, who played Gill onscreen.

3. 🔙 BTMU: Celtics advance over Cleveland

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The Celtics are headed to the NBA Eastern conference finals after putting away the Cavaliers last night. (ESPN)

Another town has voted against altering zoning rules to allow for more housing construction. (WCVB)

  • Winthrop residents had voiced concern about overcrowding and will now lose out on state housing funds.

If you smell something rank in Swampscott, it's not just the breeze coming in from Lynn — it's a 40-foot humpback whale carcass rotting on Phillip's Beach. (MassLive)

  • The dead whale had already been removed from a Marblehead beach and washed back up a few miles away.

Tom Brady says he didn't like how his recent all-star roast, and the numerous jokes about his broken marriage, affected his children. (Boston25)

4. What's going up: New offices and bigger food halls

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A Chestnut Hill office park is set for a $41 million overhaul as Brookline considers rezoning the area.

  • The four buildings on 5.3 acres along Route 9 could become the site of a hotel, science labs, housing and some retail space.

The CambridgeSide mixed-use development, formerly the CambridgeSide mall, is opening a new "food hall," a collection of eateries formerly referred to as a food court.

  • 14 stalls will fill the CanalSide Food + Drink with familiar counters like anoush'ella, Caffé Nero, DalMoros Fresh Pasta To Go and Sapporo Ramen.
  • 💭Deehan's thought bubble: Courts are fancier than halls. But food halls are fancier than food courts for some reason. Under the Scooby Doo villain mask, I think this is just a food court at a mall.

Developer Rafi is cutting back on plans to expand its Somerville Ave. properties into a humongous campus.

  • Instead of 9-to-16-story towers, Rafi is looking at much shorter buildings that include housing.

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5. 🎸 Best of Boston Calling

A bracket shows the best Boston Calling artist based on the 2024 lineup according to Axios Boston readers. The chart shows 16 initial matchups, with artists scheduled to perform at the festival.Young The Giant, Leon Bridges, Megan thee Stallion and The Killers won the second round.
Bracket: Axios Visuals

And then there were four.

Our Best of Boston Calling 2024 bracket is down to two major matchups: Young The Giant vs. Leon Bridges and Megan Thee Stallion vs. The Killers.

What now: Voting is open for Round 3 of our bracket until 3pm today.

Deehan had a blast moderating a discussion about the real power on Beacon Hill at the Old South Meeting House yesterday.

Steph wonders if this actually counts as a "Storrowing."

This newsletter was edited by Jeff Weiner and copy edited by James Farrell.