Lancaster, Pennsylvania– A high school has defended its decision to segregate students by race and gender.
The scheme, at McCaskey East High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, separates black students from the rest of the school pupils, and then further breaks it down into black females and black males.
The separation is only for a short period – six minutes each day and 20 minutes twice a month – but it has drawn criticism for raising the spectre of racial segregation.
Bill Jimenez said the school noticed that black students were not performing as well as other students, and that research had shown that same-race classes with strong same-race role models led to better academic results.
The idea came from Angela Tilghman, an instructional coach at McCaskey East.
She said research had shown that grouping black students by gender with a strong role model could boost both academic achievement and self-esteem.