New racial makeup of Metro schools revealed

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 8:59pm

The first effects of Metro Schools' controversial new Student Assignment Plan were presented Tuesday night, and contrary to the charges of “resegregation” which have surfaced in the face of the plan, the student shuffle appears to have lowered the number of Metro schools with a single demographic majority.

The data released to Board of Education members compared the demographics of the first 20 days of the 2009-10 academic year with data from October 2008.

According to those figures, this year 62 schools in the district have a majority of black students, a decrease of six schools from last year; two schools currently have a Hispanic majority, three schools less than 2008's figures; and the data says 27 schools in the district have a majority of white students, two less than last year. With the shift, 46 schools in the district currently have no majority race, which represents a 13-school increase.

“We don't feel the report shows any extreme variations in the change in diversity of these schools, and as well, when you look at the capacity, it will show we're actually better utilizing our facilities,” Chris Weber, the district's director of student assignment services told the board.

The plan, which ends mandatory busing of students from north Nashville to Hillsboro and Hillwood high schools has had an effect on those two locations, according to the data. Hillsboro's Asian population dropped to 2.3 percent from 2.9 percent last year; the school's black population increased to 55.7 percent from 53.4 percent; its Hispanic population rose to 4.3 percent from 4.0 percent; and its white population dropped to 37.6 percent from 39.2 percent last year.

Hillwood this year has seen an increase in Asian population to 7.5 percent from 4.6 percent last year; the black population has dropped to 38.9 percent from 47.3 percent; the Hispanic demographic rose to 7.1 percent from 6.0 percent; and its white population rose to 46.1 percent from 41.6 percent last year.

In his presentation, Weber pointed out the data is still being analyzed.

“This is really still unofficial data. We're doing everything we can to pull data as early as possible. And really until this data is prepared and clean enough for us to submit reports to the state, we want to continue to consider it unofficial until that point,” he said. “But we do feel the data is very accurate and we recognize the need for us to begin analyzing this data as soon as possible.”

Following the presentation, School Board Chair David Fox read a statement saying the plan “is not discrimination” and that the recent NAACP-backed lawsuit challenging the organization has no merit.

7 Comments on this post:

By: idgaf on 9/22/09 at 11:42

How can the majority claim minority status?

What we should be doing is going to neighborhood schools and stop wasting money on busing that can be used somewhere else.

If they walked or biked to school perhaps we wouldn't have so many chunky kids and they would be interacting with others that live in the neighborhood and get some ballsgames going.

By: dogmrb on 9/23/09 at 6:58

While it's nice to point out the changes at Hillsboro High School, it has nothing to do with the rezoning in the Hillwood cluster.

By: Time for Truth on 9/23/09 at 7:58

No surprises here. And id, Nashville Metro is still majority white, some of those rural services schools are probably in excess of 80 percent white. Not to mention private school flight largely by whites who are wealthy, Catholics or religious evangelicals.

Would be interesting to see the numbers district-wide. Numbers for two schools doesn't really give the full picture other than showing that the plan had little effect on the numbers at those schools. There are plenty of non-white families in West Meade, Green Hills and surrounding areas already in the cluster.

id, there are some schools where walking and biking aren't feasible, but otherwise I agree with you on that one. Unfortunately most of Nashville is not bike-friendly or even pedestrian friendly.

By: govskeptic on 9/23/09 at 9:17

Correct hard facts should win the day on this one.
Winning the TV camera time or press coverage proves nothing.

By: millenboy on 9/23/09 at 10:43

U.S. Census 2005-2007 Nashville-Davidson County:
White - 64.8%
Black - 28.3%
Hispanic -any race- 7.3%
Asian 3.1%

MNPS Fact sheet 2007-2008
STUDENT ETHNIC COMPOSITION (DISTRICTWIDE):
Asian - 3.16%
Black - 48.18%
Hispanic -14.35%
White -34.06%

You cannot racial balance with these numbers.

By: idgaf on 9/23/09 at 11:36

Bottom line blacks are the MAJORITY not the minority therefor incapable of being discriminated against.

Heres a plan let the blacks pick where they want to go to school, then the illegals , then let the whites fill in. See what happens then. Many blacks don't want to be bused across town either and it is costing us a fortune with no real return for the money.

Discrimination is a manufactured problem that don't stand up to facts.

Don't hear the true minority complaining do you? (The illegals (or children of the illegals)) Wait until they start.

By: Time for Truth on 9/23/09 at 11:58

What I think this survey shows is that diversity can be achieved without busing, at least within 10 miles of downtown. And it would be silly to bring someone living at the edge of the county in to an urban school unless they wanted to and tested well enough to attend Hume Fogg or MLK.

What millenboy's numbers show is that white flight to private schools is even more prevalent than I thought. While I know this will meet with some disagreement, imo this is an argument for investing in the public school system rather than vouchers (or a silly-ass convention center for that matter).