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Segregated: A New Jersey Spotlight Report

Updated: Jul 20

A collaboration of news organizations across New Jersey is examining segregation in the state’s schools, both on a statewide basis and in individual cities and towns.

While both local and judicial actions following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 led a few New Jersey school districts to desegregate in the 1970s and since, the state’s public education system today is considered among the most segregated in the nation. The Latino Action Network and the NAACP are leading a group of plaintiffs seeking to end school segregation in New Jersey. A state Superior Court judge is expected to rule soon.

The following reports from nearly a dozen news partners tell the stories of their communities, and more will be added as the issue and news develops.

Spotlight on Segregation:

News organizations are examining the issue statewide and in individual cities and towns. John Mooney and Colleen O'Dea of NJ Spotlight News discuss the series with Brianna Vannozzi.

Experts Weigh In:

How many more generations of kids dare we going to leave behind? Host David Cruz leads a discussion about segregation.

NJ"s Segregated Schools:

Latino Action Network President Javier Robels and NJ Spotlight News Founding Editor John Mooney discuss the lack of diversity in New Jersey's public schools with host Brian Lehrer.

By the Numbers:

Maps and graphics show the extent of school segregation and how it has changed this country.

Potential Remedies:

Exploring the history of segregation, a pending lawsuit and potential remedies from both New Jersey and elsewhere.

Advanced Placement:

The majority of students in Advanced Placement courses at Montclair High School, and across the state are white. For students of color in these classes, treatment by teachers and classmates varies: Students say their work ethic is questioned, they feel isolated from their classroom communities and they avoid courses taught by teachers known to favor white students.

Data Deep Dive:

The impacts of segregation in New Jersey schools: test results, advanced classes, graduation rates and college enrollment.

Housing Helps Diversity:

The Somerset County community is a model of the diversity affordable housing could bring NJ's school districts.

Impact on Diversity:

In New Jersey, where you go to school is mostly determined by where you live. A 50-year old court ruling obligating municipalities to provide low-and moderate-income housing has largely been skirted by towns. But Franklin Township, Somerset County, is held up as a model for what the affordable doctrine can achieve-and boasts one of the most diverse school districts in the state.

Find the original Segregated Report here.

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