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Andrea

Demographics of Metro School Systems

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Here's something I threw together that y'all might find interesting. It's an interactive spreadsheet showing the demographic makeup of the major Metro Atlanta school systems.

If you know how to use spreadsheets, you can sort the data by any variable. For instance, you'll note that the systems with the highest percentage of Hispanic students are, in descending order, Marietta, Gwinnett, Cobb, Clayton and Fulton. The systems with the highest number of students in the "other" category (i.e., not White, Black or Hispanic) are Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb and DeKalb. DeKalb schools have by far the most black students, although the percentage of blacks is higher in Atlanta schools.

Forsyth and Cherokeee appear to have the most predominantly white systems, and Atlanta is the most predominantly black. Demographics seem to be more diverse in schools systems such as Douglas, Cobb, Rockdale, Gwinnett, Decatur and Fulton.

Interactive Metro School System Data

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Wow Cobb county schools are 38% Black and Hispanic.My cousins attended Walden High School in East Cobb( I think that's the name of the school) in the late 80's and they were one of a hand full of Black students in the whole high school. Things are really changing in Cobb County by the numbers that are shown in the spread sheet. I remember my cousins being picked on to the point they both had to go to counseling. As they progressed through high school they became more accepted and made friends who have turned out to be life long friends.

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There's a lot you can say about about structural racism and resesgregation from this kind of data, but here's one thought that jumps out at me.

In the city of Atlanta, whites constitute about 1/3 of the population. That would be somewhere around 150-160,000 people. Yet there are only about 3,600 white kids in the Atlanta school system. I'd be willing to bet no more than 500 or so of them are in city high schools. And that's compared to nearly 49,000 non-white kids!

So where are all the other white kids, in private school? That's quite a statistic when you take into account that Atlanta has some of the highest property taxes in the state, the bulk of which go to the school board. If folks are willing to bite off private school costs (which can easily run $10-20,000 per child) in addition to whopping taxes for schools they don't use, then they must be really motivated.

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There's another thing you could argue from this table. Despite the notion that the city is somehow more urbane and progressive than its suburbs, the actual data -- at least in terms of how we educate and raise our young people -- strongly suggest that the city lags way behind in social diversity.

Are those of us in the city simply paying lip service to these values, while the real work of promoting diversity and making it part of daily life goes on in the suburbs? The racial separation in our city schools far exceeds what's happening there.

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^ That's a good point. I've often wondered the same thing. People in the city (and I'm guilty of this) will often look down their collective noses at the people fleeing to the suburbs for better schools, etc., while saying, "what's wrong with the school down the street. It's a perfectly good school." But then when registration time comes around, little Tommy gets enrolled in a 10K a year school because it has such a good drama department, literature department, math department, etc. People will do anything for their kids. I guess I'd want my kid going to the best school I could afford.....

Those are great statitics btw. I would hope that one day all areas will be diverse areas. Where people can choose to live in the city because they like it or live in the suburbs because they like it---just real choices not based on fear.

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Interesting summary. Your data list Hispanic/Latino as a race or ethnicity. But, actually Hispanic/Latino is not a race or ethnicity.

It would be interesting to know how many white Hispanics there are in the system, how many black Hispanics there are in the system, Amerindian Hispanics there are in the system and Asian Hispanics there are in the system.

Here at this link of Seattle Public Schools on page 6 of 40, you will see the racial/ethnic make up of who are Hispanic/Latino

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/siso/di...5/DP05demog.pdf

Note: Seattle uses the term Chicano and Latino, instead of Hispanic and Latino.

Chicano is a cultural identity used primarily by Amerindian people of Mexican descent in the United States. It tends to refer to an Amerindian Mexican American (usually second- or third-generation) who has a strong sense of ethnic identity and an accompanying political consciousness. It is considered a term of ethnic pride, though not all Mexican Americans proud of their heritage necessarily consider themselves Chicano. The term Amerindian encompasses the inhabitants of the Americas before the European discovery of the Americas in the late 15th century, as well as many present-day Amerindian/Native American/American Indian/mestizo ethnic groups who identify themselves with those historical peoples.

Ethnic Group

People of an ethnic group are of the same race and the members identify with each other most times on the basis of a common genealogy or ancestry. Ethnic groups are also usually united by common cultural, behavioral, native linguistic, or religious practices. But this becomes a problem in the US, because various Latin American ethnic groups, blacks, Amerindians, Asians and whites are typically lumped together as "Hispanics/Latinos". They in fact do not share a common genealogy or ancestry. Most blacks in Latin American came there by the means of being enslaved by the European Spanish and Portuguese. Mulatto blacks in Latin America became mixed with European whites in the same way blacks in the US had offspring children by their slave owners of English, German, Scottish, Dutch, Spanish and French heritage. But, in the US mulatto people black. On the other hand the Amerindians of Latin America were colonized by the Spanish and Portuguese. The language spoken and names worn by these Latin Amerindians and blacks have their origin given to them by the Spanish and Portuguese whole colonized them or enslaved them. In Brazil (who are not Hispanic, but are Latino) and in other parts of Latin America, such as Brazil, many blacks worship African religions and Amerindians worship native American religions not of European origin. European Latin Americans and Amerindians in Mexico are Christian Catholics. Latin blacks from Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic tend to be followers of the Christian religion.

Demographics by race/ethnicity of the Hispanic/Latino population

Note: As of the 2005 Census Bureau estimate almost all the Amerindian Hispanics/Latinos from Mexico and South America are moved into the race category of White. Prior to 2005 Amerindian Hispanics/Latinos from Mexico and South America were counted under the following race/ethnic categories:

White

Some other race

Two or more races

Two races including Some other race

Two races excluding Some other race, and three or more races

Source: US Census Bureau

U.S. Census Bureau Guidance on the Presentation

and Comparison of Race and Hispanic Origin Data

Background

June 12, 2003

http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/compraceho.html

Traditional and current data collection and classification treat race and Hispanic origin as two separate and distinct concepts in accordance with guidelines from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In contrast, the practice of some organizations, researchers, and media is to show race and Hispanic origin together as one concept. The introduction of the option to report more than one race added more complexity to the presentation and comparison of these data. This document provides U.S. Census Bureau guidance to the user community on how to handle the interpretation of race and Hispanic origin data.

Hispanics or Latinos are those people who classified themselves in one of the specific Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino categories listed on the Census 2000 questionnaire -"Mexican, Mexican Am., Chicano," "Puerto Rican", or "Cuban"-as well as those who indicate that they are "other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino." Persons who indicated that they are "other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino" include those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, the Dominican Republic or people identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, Hispanic, Hispano, Latino, and so on. It is not a category of race or ethnicity.

United States Hispanic/Latino by Race

Estimate 2005

White: 39,488,517

Black or African American: 1,584,748

American Indian and Alaska Native: 630,079

Asian: 266,958

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 111,593

Two or more races: 605,329

Total Hispanic or Latino: 42,687,224

United States Hispanic/Latino by Race

Estimate 2004

White: 23,673,369

Black or African American: 629,827

American Indian and Alaska Native: 298,547

Asian: 141,880

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 39,176

Some other race: 14,223,537

Two or more races: 1,452,860

Two races including Some other race: 904,394

Two races excluding Some other race, and three or more races: 548,466

Total Hispanic or Latino: 40,459,196

United States Hispanic/Latino by Race

Estimate 2003

White: 23,682,745

Black or African American: 636,339

American Indian and Alaska Native: 310,566

Asian: 138,885

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 44,157

Some other race: 12,896,496

Two or more races: 1,485,649

Two races including Some other race: 945,940

Two races excluding Some other race, and three or more races: 539,709

Total Hispanic or Latino: 39,194,837

United States Hispanic/Latino by Race

Estimate 2002

White: 21,303,479

Black or African American: 592,587

American Indian and Alaska Native: 308,278

Asian: 99,822

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 34,246

Some other race: 13,531,921

Two or more races: 2,002,142

Two races including Some other race: 1,404,011

Two races excluding Some other race, and three or more races: 598,131

Total Hispanic or Latino: 37,872,475

United States Hispanic/Latino by Race

Estimate 2001

White: 21,365,294

Black or African American: 503,374

American Indian and Alaska Native: 264,170

Asian: 100,210

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 45,918

Some other race: 12,038,618

Two or more races: 1,883,197

Two races including Some other race: 1,334,220

Two races excluding Some other race, and three or more races: 548,977

Total Hispanic or Latino: 36,200,781

United States Hispanic/Latino by Race

Census 2000

White: 16,907,852

Black or African American: 710,353

American Indian and Alaska Native: 407,073

Asian: 119,829

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 45,326

Some other race: 14,891,303

Two or more races: 2,224,082

Total Hispanic or Latino: 35,305,818

Now here

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Interesting summary. Your data list Hispanic/Latino as a race or ethnicity. But, actually Hispanic/Latino is not a race or ethnicity.

It would be interesting to now how many white Hispanics there are in the system, how many black Hispanics there are in the system, Amerindian Hispanics there are in the system and Asian Hispanics there are in the system.

Yes, it certainly would be interesting. The distinctions you are making are significant but I don't know where that information is for metro area school systems. Unfortunately the only publicly available data I found tend to follow the classifications of white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and sometimes American Indian or "other."

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Yes, it certainly would be interesting. The distinctions you are making are significant but I don't know where that information is for metro area school systems. Unfortunately the only publicly available data I found tend to follow the classifications of white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and sometimes American Indian or "other."

Many researches and statistics gathers tend to most often over abuse the term Hispanic/Latino and disregard that it does not define a race or ethnicity. It only defines ones place of origin. The data too often never speaks of that Hispanic/Latino includes those who are in fact black. But, then we will often hear there are more Hispanics than there are blacks. We will also over look the fact that the fastest growing race/ethnic group in the US is in fact those who are Amerindian.

It

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I know I sound like a one-note samba on this subject, but I truly think that the quality and diversity of schools are critical to a city's sustainability and its patterns of growth. They demonstrate where its priorities lie, and the values that it promotes. On a practical level, they also dictate where families (both traditional and non-traditional) put down roots.

I'd hate to see the City of Atlanta be the only part of the metro area that doesn't have a diverse and vibrant school system. So many neighborhoods which went into decline are getting new attention, and I hope they'll be in a position to compete with the suburbs.

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I believe the situation in the city of Atlanta (and many other cities nationwide) regarding the diversity (or lack thereof) of the public school system is directly correlated with the types of people we typically see moving back into the cities--childless young professionals and empty nesters.

It would be good to see this information overlaid with income levels as well.

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I believe the situation in the city of Atlanta (and many other cities nationwide) regarding the diversity (or lack thereof) of the public school system is directly correlated with the types of people we typically see moving back into the cities--childless young professionals and empty nesters.

It would be good to see this information overlaid with income levels as well.

Yes, although so far the "back to the city" movement has been a relative trickle. City schools have been racially segregated for a long time.

I wonder if empty nesters and childless young professionals is a sustainable model for cities like Atlanta. With the exception of the Peachtree Corridor, the dominant land use inside the city limits has been single family residential neighborhoods. For those areas to thrive, I think we need schools that are at least as attractive as those in the burbs.

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My own county, Douglas, doesn't really surprise me except I thought there was a higher percentage of Hispanics enrolled in the system.

Marietta, Cobb, and Gwinnett are probably the most diverse, interesting........ Rockdale is pretty balanced as well. Oddly enough, Atlanta is the most lopsided, but, for some reason, that doesn't surprise me. Cherokee, Forsyth, and Paulding are right behind Atlanta most likely.

Decatur is the most balanced school system in the white % vs. black % area. However, it has the smallest percentage of enrolled Hispanics of any system mentioned, but, for some reason, I am also not too surprised with this.

Just a few observations.

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Oddly enough, Atlanta is the most lopsided, but, for some reason, that doesn't surprise me.

It's primarly the legacy of the decentralization and structural racism which marked Atlanta's development during the 1950-80's era.

You'd get very different numbers in the City of Atlanta if you included the private schools that cater to city residents. The Big Five alone (Woodward, Pace, Lovett, Westminster and Marist) would come close to balancing the high school situation, and of course there are many other significant private schools as well.

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Atlanta city schools are going to have to work on their image. I don't think that they are all THAT bad. Some are and that needs to be addressed but the schools in the middle to upperclass neighborhoods tend to have decent scores.

I think the image is one barrier to the school system having a more balanced student populace. Look at the Gwinnett and Fayette systems. They are both viewed as the top systems in the metro area when in fact Fulton has an overall better program. Even Fulton's lowest performing schools are not the lowest in the metro. Yet Gwinnett says hello to hundreds of more students each school year because of the preception that Gwinnett schools are better than the rest of the metro systems.

If Atlanta wants to change the tide of the schools, it will have to work on becoming the premier school system of the state. Perhaps more magnet schools or technical schools are in order. Not every child is meant to go to Harvard but every child should get the best education possible and one tailored for them. Once the preception of is improved, I think that more families will move in. These families would not all be black and therefore the demographic makeup will change. Also, some of the people who can barely afford to send their children to Westminster or the Lovett School may consider sending their child(ren) to public schools.

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Also, some of the people who can barely afford to send their children to Westminster or the Lovett School may consider sending their child(ren) to public schools.

Not only that, but there's a waiting list to get your kids into many of the Big Five schools. And the cost is not negligible -- if you wanted to send your kids to, say, Woodward Academy, from pre-K through high school, you'll need about half a million (after-tax) dollars per child. That's on top of some fairly stiff property taxes, the bulk of which go to the public school system. A middle class home inside the city of Atlanta can easily get tagged for $5-10,000 per year in property taxes, and larger homes can run two or three times that much.

There's certainly no reason that intown neighborhoods shouldn't have excellent public shools. We've got a fantastic elementary school down the street from me, and it's the community's pride and joy.

Quality schools are one of the primary markers of a community's success. Good schools also have practical value -- our elementary school is one of the first things that people put in real estate listings around here, and it's a major drawing card.

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You'd get very different numbers in the City of Atlanta if you included the private schools that cater to city residents. The Big Five alone (Woodward, Pace, Lovett, Westminster and Marist) would come close to balancing the high school situation, and of course there are many other significant private schools as well.

Indeed, I would not be too surprised if that happened.

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Wow Cobb county schools are 38% Black and Hispanic.My cousins attended Walden High School in East Cobb( I think that's the name of the school) in the late 80's and they were one of a hand full of Black students in the whole high school. Things are really changing in Cobb County by the numbers that are shown in the spread sheet. I remember my cousins being picked on to the point they both had to go to counseling. As they progressed through high school they became more accepted and made friends who have turned out to be life long friends.

Am Ind. Asian Black Hispa Multiracial White

Harrison High School 0% 1% 6% 2% <1% 90%

Lassiter High School <1% 4% 5% 3% 2% 86%

Pope High School <1% 6% 6% 3% 1% 85%

Walton High School <1% 12% 4% 2% 1% 82%

Kennesaw Mountain High School <1% 3% 14% 5% 2% 75%

Kell High School <1% 4% 15% 6% 3% 72%

Sprayberry High School <1% 7% 20% 7% 3% 63%

North Cobb High School <1% 4% 25% 7% 5% 59%

McEachern High School <1% 1% 41% 4% 3% 51%

Oakwood High School 0% 2% 35% 10% 5% 49%

Wheeler High School <1% 8% 34% 9% 5% 44%

South Cobb High School <1% 1% 54% 9% 3% 32%

Marietta High School <1% 3% 48% 15% 3% 31%

Campbell High School <1% 4% 46% 18% 3% 29%

Osborne High School <1% 4% 50% 26% 2% 18%

Pebblebrook High School <1% <1% 70% 12% 2% 15%

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It's primarly the legacy of the decentralization and structural racism which marked Atlanta's development during the 1950-80's era.

You'd get very different numbers in the City of Atlanta if you included the private schools that cater to city residents. The Big Five alone (Woodward, Pace, Lovett, Westminster and Marist) would come close to balancing the high school situation, and of course there are many other significant private schools as well.

Blame your "structural racism" all you want, but the reality is that very few whites within the city of Atanta have kids. We're talking about yuppies, college kids, DINKS, empty nesters, and gays. The few who have kids have them in private schools, or they have them attend one of the okay schools, such as Grady High, Inman Middle, or a handful of elementary schools throughout Buckhead, or the east side. Not much to say. Would you put your child at Southside High, Booker T. Washington High, King Middle, etc.? Most likely not.

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... the reality is that very few whites within the city of Atanta have kids. We're talking about yuppies, college kids, DINKS, empty nesters, and gays.

Oh, that's not true at all. There are *lots* of white families with kids within the city of Atlanta. If you don't think so, just drop by places like Frankie Allen Park or the NYO at Chastain and check out the zillions of little leaguers. There are scads of white kids in the city, including my grandchildren.

Edited to add: Lots of yuppies have kids, as do gay people. I could easily name you dozens of people in both categories who have kids, are white, and who live inside the city limits.

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^ I think it's like two members of a household who both work and have no kids. I guess I'm a DINK!!! :)

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Scraper Enthusiast wrote: "... the reality is that very few whites within the city of Atanta have kids. We're talking about yuppies, college kids, DINKS, empty nesters, and gays."

And I replied:

"Oh, that's not true at all. There are *lots* of white families with kids within the city of Atlanta. If you don't think so, just drop by places like Frankie Allen Park or the NYO at Chastain and check out the zillions of little leaguers. There are scads of white kids in the city, including my grandchildren."

I should add to that the Arizona Avenue Soccer Fields. I was out there today and and there were about a dozen games going on simultaneously until well into the afternoon. Mostly white kids. One of the coaches told me there about 1,000 children involved in their program this fall.

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Add Grant Park to the list. It also has lots of white families with kids.

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