BOSTON (CBS) - Boston and Springfield have seen success participating in the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (Metco), a school-integration program, and educators are calling for an expansion of the program.
The program serves about 3,300 students between the two cities, sending them into schools in the suburbs.
The Pioneer Institute says the state should expand the program to urban areas.
In the "Expanding Metco and Closing Achievement Gaps" study, co-authors Kate Apfelbaum and Ken Ardon describe Metco's work as a limited but successful voluntary program to decrease racial imbalances in public schools, according to a Pioneer Institute report.
The report added that the study is a follow-up to a 2011 "Metco Merits More" report by Pioneer Institute and Harvard Law School's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice Justice.
Apfelbaum told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens that she was alarmed at what some of the data revealed in the latest study.
"I was shocked by the level of segregation," she said. "Not only that it still exists but you look across the country the northeast is the only region where we have increased segregation since the 1960s."
She says the program has been great for minority students in both cities over the years but it should be introduced to more communities.
"In Massachusetts, you see the intensity of segregation particularly in education exploding and it's unprecedented in the commonwealth to see what's happening with the racial and educational isolation we're seeing in schools at the moment," she said.
She added that Metco could be expanded to gateway cities and paid for through Chapter 70 funding from the state.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports:
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