Reaffirming earlier research, new studies of the voucher programs in Cleveland (.pdf) and Milwaukee (.pdf) find that private voucher schools are less racially segregated than the public schools in their districts.
This should come as no surprise. Economist Thomas Nechyba (.pdf) has shown that public schools’ geographically-based student assignment system lowers not only school-level integration, but neighborhood integration as well. By de-coupling school choice from place of residence, considerably higher levels of integration become possible and, as the research shows, actually take place.
As in so many other cases, the argument that government-run schooling is necessary to promote integration is precisely backward. Government schools are an impediment to integration and to the achievement of minority students.
Anyone who truly believes in the ideals of public education should support the free market reforms that can actually fulfill those ideals, and abandon the government-run monopoly system that so consistently fails to advance them.