White Flight

White flight is a term for the migration of European peoples away from areas with non-European populations. It can refer to migration both inside a country and between countries.

Even in “integrated schools”, the different races self-segregate. “If a school has only a few minority students they have no choice but to mix with the majority. “When you get larger minority populations, they reach a size where you can have a viable single-race community,” explained James Moody of Ohio State University, who studies school integration. “At that point, students find enough friends within their own race and don’t tend to make cross-racial friendships.”

A 2006 study found that the greater the education of White parents, the more likely they will remove their children from public schools as the percentage of Black students increases. More-educated Whites also lived in more White neighborhoods than less-educated Whites.

At one time, “magnet schools” were supposed to solve the problem of white flight. The plan was to make urban public schools so attractive they would lure back whites who had fled to the suburbs. This policy has been an almost uniform failure, and Kansas City, Missouri, is only the most striking failure. A federal judge took over the school district in 1985, and imposed taxes to pay for the most grandiose public schools in America. Over the next 12 years, the city spent nearly $2 billion. Kansas City got 15 new schools with such things as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a model United Nations with simultaneous interpreting equipment, a robotics lab, a planetarium, a mock court room with jury deliberation rooms, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. A former Soviet Olympic fencing coach was recruited for a high school team. There was a $900,000 television campaign to alert whites to the remarkable new improvements. If white students were not on a bus route, the city sent taxis. It didn’t work. By 1997, when Kansas City finally gave up, it had the most extravagant schools in the country, but the percentage of white students was lower than ever and blacks’ scores had not budged.

More generally, contrary to popular belief, spending per pupil is actually higher for Black students than it is for White students.

Regarding the motivations for the school desegregation, which was an important cause of White flight, one early view was that the US Black-White measured IQ gap was caused by the segregated schools. Regarding this, see Race and intelligence: The genetics or not debate: Socioeconomic factors.

Regarding the expectation that the school desegregation and increased contact would improve race relations, see Contact hypothesis: Real-world applicability.


White Flight

Quality of life

White Mans Burden

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