August 13, 2007

USA Today Imitates the Times

"Residents Returning to New Orleans; Blacks Hardest Hit"

No, that's not the actual headline, but the article is stock issue.

The New Orleans Index, a look at several indicators that show how the city and region are rebounding from the 2005 disaster, shows the city has regained 66% of its pre-Katrina population as of June 2007.

Progress in the schools has been slower, and beset with problems, and although the population has reached two thirds of pre-Katrina levels, school enrollment is still way down.

The number of students enrolled in public schools this spring in Orleans Parish, which includes New Orleans, has reached 40% of pre-Katrina enrollment of more than 66,000. The report notes that 1,700 students returned to the public school system in New Orleans between the 2006 and 2007 spring semesters...

...The report found that fewer black students are enrolling in New Orleans schools and that more Hispanic families are moving into outlying areas.

Though still the majority, black students now make up 89% of the student body in Orleans Parish, down from 93% pre-Katrina, possibly indicating black students are disproportionately struggling to return to New Orleans, the report said.

Is it just a given with these folks that everyone who left New Orleans plans or desires to return? And that those who have not must be "struggling" to do so?

Thousands of people have left the area, found employment elsewhere, settled in, and have decided not to return. You would think that the magnitude of the loss of over half of the total public school enrollment would render any meaningful analysis of racial head-counting statistics nearly impossible. Yet the study's authors venture an opinion that a drop from 93% to 89% in black enrollment, amid a 60% overall drop, possibly indicates that blacks are "disproportionately struggling" to return.

I'd guess that there are other conditions possibly indicated by this statistical blip as well, one of the most plausible of which would be that blacks, by a small margin, disproportionately decided not to return to New Orleans, for whatever reason. One reason might well be the public schools. What amazes is the formulaic tendency in liberal media to view this rather unremarkable social outcome through the prism of black victimhood.

Posted by dan at August 13, 2007 10:42 PM