Educational apartheid?

In yet another of her articles attacking private schools, Jane Caro puts the shift to private schools as down to:

largely anxious middle-class parents who want to separate their kids from the mad, the bad and the sad (and, it seems, the ethnically diverse)

Having a somewhat traditional view of what constitutes good parenting, I think wanting to shield kids from the mad and the bad is worthy of praise rather than condemnation. (And if Caro thinks that a selling point of public schools is the opportunity to spend 5 days a week with mad and bad kids she is not the greatest advocate for her cause.)

Caro’s evidence for concern about ethnic diversity is a re-hash of last year’s white flight stories about white kids leaving schools with large Indigenous enrolments. As I pointed out at the time, if this is happening it probably has more to do with actual social and educational dysfunction among Indigenous students than prejudice.

But what of ethnic diversity in schools more generally? Since the white flight post last year, I have examined 2006 school attended census data on this issue. I used language spoken at home rather than ancestry as a proxy for ethnic diversity, to focus on the groups most likely to be weakly assimilated.
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