Our City Online

Messageboard - General Columbus Discussion

NOTE: You are viewing an archived version of the Columbus Underground forums/messageboard. As of 05/22/16 they have been closed to new comments and replies, but will remain accessible for archived searches and reference. For more information CLICK HERE

Economic Segregation in Central Ohio

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Economic Segregation in Central Ohio

This topic contains 112 replies, has 29 voices, and was last updated by  jackoh 3 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 113 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1064756

    drew
    Participant

    Long story short, according to a new study put out by Richard Florida and his group, economic segregation is more pronounced in Columbus than it is just about anywhere else in the US. More here in the Washington Post.

    A new analysis from Richard Florida and Charlotta Mellander at the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute, which identifies the most and least economically segregated metropolitan areas in the United States, makes clear that economic segregation today is heavily shaped by the choices of people at the top: “It is not so much the size of the gap between the rich and poor that drives segregation,” they write, “as the ability of the super-wealthy to isolate and wall themselves off from the less well-to-do.”

    #1064759
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Since this study is a look at metro areas, does this mean that our wealthy suburban enclaves (The New Albanies and Powells and Dublins) are where the wealth is concentrated/isolated? Every large metro area has wealthy suburbs, so this isn’t a unique phenomenon here. I guess I didn’t realize it was more pronounced here.

    #1064768

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    Looking at the study, a few things stuck out. First, Columbus doesn’t seem to rank all that highly on segregating the poor, but rather the rich. I wish this was a city rather than metro ranking, but because it is a metro ranking, the exclusivity of communities like New Albany are certainly hurting Columbus’ ranking here. When you have entire communities built primarily to keep middle-lower class people out, it’s going to show up somewhere. I would tend to agree that the suburbs around Columbus are highly economically segregated, but I’m not sure I would say that for the city itself. Second, the study described Columbus in a group with other cities described as “mainly Rustbelt metros which have experienced considerable white flight and deindustrialization and which have not experienced a back to the city movement.” I know the key word may be “mainly”, but it makes it sound like Columbus is both Rust Belt and that it is not seeing urban growth, which of course is ridiculous.

    #1064771

    drew
    Participant

    Since this study is a look at metro areas, does this mean that our wealthy suburban enclaves (The New Albanies and Powells and Dublins) are where the wealth is concentrated/isolated? Every large metro area has wealthy suburbs, so this isn’t a unique phenomenon here. I guess I didn’t realize it was more pronounced here.

    I don’t think I really recognized it myself, but thinking back to having lived in Minneapolis (one of the least economically segregated regions) I can definitely see the difference.

    This study, as it relates to Columbus, seems to be of a piece with other recent studies about social mobility and racial segregation.

    In the aggregate, it makes me think that we as a city have some thinking to do about these things.

    #1064772
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    In the aggregate, it makes me think that we as a city have some thinking to do about these things.

    For sure. I’d just add that we as a *region* need to have some thinking to do about these things. I don’t know if Columbus can solve this issue alone if there’s no suburban involvement.

    #1064782

    drew
    Participant

    For sure. I’d just add that we as a *region* need to have some thinking to do about these things. I don’t know if Columbus can solve this issue alone if there’s no suburban involvement.

    Certainly the whole region is accountable to a certain extent, but if you take it as a given that every city has wealthy suburbs, then it stands to reason that the city of Columbus itself is what differentiates us from more integrated regions.

    Frankly, I think this is one of the rare occasions in which the root of a region-wide problem is easily identifiable (not to be confused with easily rectified) and almost entirely falls under the purview of the city: the schools. We segregate strongly based upon educational opportunity and the means to attain it.

    I’ve often thought of the lackluster state of the city’s schools as an education problem, but I’m starting to see the wider ramifications related to region-wide social dysfunction.

    #1064787

    How would you change school segregation? The district has dumped craptons of money and resources into schools in economically disadvantaged areas (to the tune of 18-19K per student). Performance and opportunity doesn’t seem to change.

    I suppose busing would mix it up, but I think most affluent parents would desert the system before putting their kids on a bus for 90 minutes.

    #1064788
    Chris Sunami
    Chris Sunami
    Participant

    Frankly, I think this is one of the rare occasions in which the root of a region-wide problem is easily identifiable (not to be confused with easily rectified) and almost entirely falls under the purview of the city: the schools. We segregate strongly based upon educational opportunity and the means to attain it.

    Historically, the main impetus behind the creation of modern suburbs nationwide was “white flight” –the bid to maintain racial segregation after school desegregation was made the law of the land. The book “Some of My Best Friends Are Black” has an excellent breakdown of how racial anxieties were inflamed by unscrupulous businessmen as a means of inflating the value of previously undesirable plots of land far from the city center.

    There are Columbus suburbs –namely Upper Arlington –which continue to be highly racially and socioeconomically segregated up into the present day because black and other non-white people (and other non-rich people) still continue to feel unwelcome there.

    Interestingly enough, I’ve always considered the center city area of Columbus to be genuinely and exceptionally well-integrated, at least racially speaking. Maybe all the racists moved out.

    How would you change school segregation? The district has dumped craptons of money and resources into schools in economically disadvantaged areas (to the tune of 18-19K per student).

    Throwing around money doesn’t solve a problem in the absence of any real social will to see it solved.

    #1064791
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Frankly, I think this is one of the rare occasions in which the root of a region-wide problem is easily identifiable (not to be confused with easily rectified) and almost entirely falls under the purview of the city: the schools. We segregate strongly based upon educational opportunity and the means to attain it.

    Honest question… are struggling inner-city schools a unique problem to Columbus? I’ve never done a done of comparable research, but I’ve read enough in passing to know that we’re not alone in facing many of the same types of issues that “white flight” has caused all over the country.

    What’s making it worse in Columbus than other places?

    #1064792
    MichaelC
    MichaelC
    Participant

    The homogenous student populations of Columbus schools are not unique to our city, nor the homogenous population of the suburban schools surrounding the city schools.

    There are unique challenges to overcoming this to Columbus, as there are to each city, but there is much overlap with other cities’ challenges, as well.

    Beyond that, to Walker’s question, struggling city school systems are also not unique to Columbus.

    Here lies an opportunity for Columbus to set a national model for improving city schools. Will we take it? There’s no single solution, nor an easy one.

    #1064803

    drew
    Participant

    How would you change school segregation? The district has dumped craptons of money and resources into schools in economically disadvantaged areas (to the tune of 18-19K per student). Performance and opportunity doesn’t seem to change.

    I think the image of the schools is the real problem… the things they do and say publicly and how that frames the perception of competency. Every article you post that illustrates the absurdity of the Columbus city schools administration and school board amounts to another reason for someone who truly cares about their children’s education (and has the means to do something about it) to move away from neighborhoods that fall under Columbus schools.

    I do tend to believe that school reform begins with parents, but I also believe that the schools should do the kinds of things that make parents feel as though their investment in the system won’t be in vain.

    #1064804

    drew
    Participant

    Historically, the main impetus behind the creation of modern suburbs nationwide was “white flight” –the bid to maintain racial segregation after school desegregation was made the law of the land. The book “Some of My Best Friends Are Black” has an excellent breakdown of how racial anxieties were inflamed by unscrupulous businessmen as a means of inflating the value of previously undesirable plots of land far from the city center.

    I totally get that, but I’m not entirely convinced that the things that created the problem are the things that are sustaining it.

    Interestingly enough, I’ve always considered the center city area of Columbus to be genuinely and exceptionally well-integrated, at least racially speaking.

    This leads to the part that really bothers me – I don’t see Columbusites as being especially inclined towards self-segregation at this point in time, and it bothers me that the results seem to imply an intent that might not be there. Center city is fairly well integrated, and I strongly suspect that areas further out would be similar if school quality wasn’t such a determining factor.

    #1064807

    drew
    Participant

    Honest question… are struggling inner-city schools a unique problem to Columbus?… What’s making it worse in Columbus than other places?

    One significant reason that it could be worse here is the atypical amount of land that falls within city limits. In other words, Columbus city schools aren’t just inner-city schools.

    #1064810

    drew
    Participant

    Here lies an opportunity for Columbus to set a national model for improving city schools.

    Or, possibly, to follow one that seems to work:

    In the 1960s, local districts and towns in the Twin Cities region offered competing tax breaks to lure in new businesses, diminishing their revenues and depleting their social services in an effort to steal jobs from elsewhere within the area. In 1971, the region came up with an ingenious plan that would help halt this race to the bottom, and also address widening inequality. The Minnesota state legislature passed a law requiring all of the region’s local governments—in Minneapolis and St. Paul and throughout their ring of suburbs—to contribute almost half of the growth in their commercial tax revenues to a regional pool, from which the money would be distributed to tax-poor areas. Today, business taxes are used to enrich some of the region’s poorest communities.

    Never before had such a plan—known as “fiscal equalization”—been tried at the metropolitan level. “In a typical U.S. metro, the disparities between the poor and rich areas are dramatic, because well-off suburbs don’t share the wealth they build,” says Bruce Katz, the director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. But for generations now, the Twin Cities’ downtown area, inner-ring neighborhoods, and tony suburbs have shared in the metro’s commercial success. By spreading the wealth to its poorest neighborhoods, the metro area provides more-equal services in low-income places, and keeps quality of life high just about everywhere.

    #1064824
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    One significant reason that it could be worse here is the atypical amount of land that falls within city limits. In other words, Columbus city schools aren’t just inner-city schools.

    Very true. If there are issues in North Linden or the Northland area (as an example), that would be a suburb’s problem in a different region where the central city has a much smaller boundaries.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 113 total)

The forum ‘General Columbus Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Subscribe below: