Which High Schools are most racially diverse (Guest Post)
Another interesting guest post from HSObsessed about how racial diversity is somewhat scarce in CPS and comes largely as a result of the Tier (previously race) balancing system. Given the racial segregation of the city and relative lack of white students in the high schools, a true blend of races is difficult to achieve.
I’ve been thinking about racial diversity in the CPS high schools. Whether we admit it or not, I think it probably plays a role in the decision about which schools might be an option for our kids. But so many CPS high schools are not racially diverse, and by that I mean a decent mix of all the races. (I know, this raises issues about what exactly is a “decent mix”, what is “race” anyway, whether race is relevant today, the unfairness of multiracial kids being forced to choose as single race on school forms, whether socioeconomic status is more important in achieving diversity, how CPS’ racial makeup reflects a geographically segregated city population, etc, etc. All excellent topics and beyond the limited scope of what I’m going to bring up here, but feel free to discuss!)
As of October 2010, this was the racial enrollment for all of CPS:
African American 43%
When I look at the demographic data CPS supplies for its 140 or so high schools, the number of schools that are anywhere close to racially diverse looks to be about 19.
The high schools that are most diverse, in that they have at least 20 percent each Hispanic, African American and white are:
Chicago Arts HS
Ogden International HS (their data seems to include the lower grades, however)
If we loosen our standards to accepting as racially diverse a population of at least 15 percent each Hispanic, African American and white, we can add to the list two high schools (two special ed high schools, Vaughn Occupational and North Side Center, also meet this criteria):
Chicago Academy HS
If we are content with at least 10 percent each Hispanic, African American and white, then the following high schools are added:
Alcott Humanities HS
CICS – Northtown
Rickover Naval Academy
But maybe it isn’t about sending your kid to a school with a mix of races. Maybe the important thing is the concern that your kid won’t be the token African American kid, or the only Hispanic kid, or only white kid in the crowd. So let’s say the only criteria is that you’d like at least 10 percent of your kids’ fellow students to be the same race as your kid, and you’re open to any variety for the mix of the other 90 percent. How many high schools meet the criteria for each race?
African American 129
Of course, a huge number of CPS high schools are 90 percent or more composed of kids from a single race, and that’s not very diverse by most people’s standards. Also, geographic/commuting considerations and academic offerings/results factor in just a wee bit (ha ha), and so many of these numbers get reduced for a variety of reasons.
Charter school composition as of the 08/09 school year:
Af Am 65%