John Oliver Tackles School Segregation on ‘Last Week Tonight’

John Oliver took on the topic of the continuing segregation of schools in America during a recent episode of Last Week Tonight, calling out the fact that segregation is still a widespread issue throughout the United States.

Oliver started his examination of America’s school structure as it relates to race by hitting his audience with some cold hard facts. “Even as our society has grown more diverse, nearly 7000 schools have the same racial makeup as the audience of your average Tyler Perry movie,” he said after citing a report that showed that in 2011, the number of schools where 1% or less of the student population is white (aka apartheid schools) increased to 6,727 from there only being 2,762 in 1988.

Before citizens of the northern states started tuning out, thinking his segment will be focused on the racist South, Oliver was quick to use a news clip to point out that the South is actually “the least segregated region for black students.” New York owns the title of most segregated state for students in America, largely because of New York City specifically.

Oliver also broke down the trickle down effect of education, saying that inexperienced teachers in turn produce inexperienced students- and those students are generally black and latino children. “Black and Latino children are more likely to attend schools with inexperienced teachers, which are then less likely to offer a college-prep curriculum on top of which, because race and class are inextricably linked, those students are 6 times as likely to be in high-poverty schools,” he said. “And while there are teachers and students working incredibly hard in those places, they are often doing so with fewer resources.”

The almost 18-minute dig into America’s educational system and its racial bias is another example of just how ingrained systemic racism is into our country. Take a look at the full eye-opening segment below:

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