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Latin Times
Latin Times
Abel Rodríguez

Why a High School in Illinois Is Offering Segregated Classes For Black, Latino Students

A student works on a laptop. (Credit: Tim Gouw/Unsplash)

A school in Illinois has attracted the attention of the nation after announcing it would offer segregated classes for Latino and Black students.

Evanston Township High School, located just north of Chicago, began offering math and writing classes for only Black or Latino students taught by teachers of the same ethnicity. According to the Wall Street Journal, students can voluntarily sign up for these classes, which are meant to make them feel more comfortable in class.

Evanston is one of the larger Chicago area suburbs, with a population of over 75,000 residents, according to Census data. It is also one of the most racially diverse areas in the state, with 12% of the population identifying as Latino and 16% identifying as Black. The city is also a mix of wealthy households and low-income residents.

Evanston Township High School is also racially diverse, consisting of a student body that is 45% white, 23.4% Black and 20.3% Hispanic, according to data from the Illinois State Board of Education.

According to the Journal, there are some 200 students currently enrolled in the school's "affinity classes," which place Latino and Black students in single-race classes.

The classes were formed to reduce the education gap for Latino and Black students. On average, Black and Latino students score lower in standardized testing.

According to a Brookings Institute survey, Black and Latino students routinely score lower on the math section of the SAT, which can impact their college acceptance. According to the data, Black students scored an average of 454 and Latino students averaged 478 out of 800 on the SAT math section. White and Asian students scored above 530, the benchmark for college readiness.

The education gap extends into secondary education as well, as Black and Latino students are less likely to attend college and complete a bachelor's program than white students.

According to a study from Pew Research, Hispanic and Black Americans are the demographics least likely to attend college and hold a bachelor's degree. According to the data, only 33% of Black adults between the ages of 18 and 24 enroll in college, and Latino enrollment for secondary education stands at 32%. The survey also found that only 26% of all Black adults and 23% of Hispanic adults hold a bachelor's degree, while 45% of white adults hold one.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the benefits of the Evanston Township High School's affinity classes are not publicly known as the school has not fielded media requests; however, a student interviewed by the paper stated that she favored the optional single-race classes.

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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