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Connecticut Magnet Schools Are the Most Diverse In the Country

By: Isabella Carson

Schools around the country could learn a thing or two about diversity from the 84 magnet schools in Connecticut that celebrate it. These magnet schools are built on the principle that we are a diverse country and children should learn from others with different cultures. One school, the Metropolitan Learning Center in Bloomfield, CT is 50% black students, 25% white students, 16% Hispanic students, and the remaining 9% are students of multiple ethnic origins. Akbar Maliki, a student from Indonesia, states that it has been great but now he is nervous about leaving the school.

Maliki is a senior and will be graduating from Metropolitan this year. He thought about his time at the school and said that he is nervous to go out into the world because he knows that schools are not usually this diverse. He states when you look around the lunch room at Metropolitan you do not see a table with all white students or a corner where all black students sit. There are kids from every different background together all the time. He knows that he is not going to find this when he goes to college and it will be a hard adjustment for him. Maliki says that he generally tends to gravitate towards people who are not like him because he likes to learn about their different cultures.

In 1964 the Supreme Court made a ruling in the Brown v. Brown case and made a law that segregation in schools was to end. New laws came about that required school to integrate the students as much as possible. Those rules were relaxed a short while after and since the early 90s segregation has been popping up in schools all over the country again. The magnet school program in Connecticut was started in 2003 when funding was given to build the schools. They also have an interdistrict transfer program where students from lower income areas can transfer into suburban schools if they wish to and the students from the suburban schools can transfer to urban schools. The number of transfers allowed is limited so students put their names into a lottery and hope that their name is drawn. At this time there are over 40,000 students enrolled in a magnet school in Connecticut.

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