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Integrating Schools in a Changing Society

New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation

Edited by Erica Frankenberg and yElizabeth DeBray

Publication Year: 2011

This volume of essays originated in a 2009 conference organized by UNC's Center for Civil Rights, which examined legal and policy options for school districts and community leaders wishing to promote integration in light of the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools (PICS) vs. Seattle School District No. 1. This decision prohibited student assignment solely for the purpose of achieving racial integration and refused to find compelling state interest in creating racially integrated schools. These decisions have been widely perceived among civil rights leaders, educational policymakers, and others as a fundamental rollback of the gains made since the landmark Brown decision, and to say they've roiled the national educational landscape would be a major understatement.Here, Frankenberg, DeBray, and a roster of top scholars and researchers in educational policy and related fields offer essays that reinforce the key benefits of racially integrated schools, examine remaining options and remedies to pursue integration, and discuss ways to build state and local support for these efforts. The volume is a vital contribution to the heated debates over school reform and the dangers of resegregation not just in the South but in the nation at large.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

The beginnings of this volume arose from a deeply enriching, collaborative planning process culminating in a conference in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in April 2009. Although far too many helped with that conference for us to fully acknowledge everyone, we want to particularly recognize the sponsors...

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Introduction: Looking to the Future

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pp. 1-10

Some social commentators and scholars have recently posited that policy makers’ lack of attention to furthering integration—outside of a paean to Brown v. Board of Education on anniversaries of that milestone decision—demonstrates that desegregation’s...

Part I: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Now?

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1. Standing at a Crossroads: The Future of Integrated Public Schooling in America

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pp. 13-31

Thirty-five years ago, Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote a profound dissenting opinion in the Detroit school desegregation case, Milliken v. Bradley, cautioning that “in the short run, it may seem to be the easier course to allow our great metropolitan areas to be divided up each into two cities—one white, the other...

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2. School Choice as a Civil Right: The Political Construction of a Claim and Its Implications for School Desegregation

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pp. 32-52

Over the past two decades, media outlets, advocates, and advocacy-based researchers have often described school choice as the sole remaining civil rights issue. While there is ideological diversity undergirding the school choice movement, conservative choice adherents typically believe the state should assume...

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3. Integration after Parents Involved: What Does Research Suggest about Available Options?

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pp. 53-74

In the aftermath of separate, lengthy opinions by five members of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Louisville and Seattle voluntary school integration cases, educators in local districts have pondered whether their desegregation policies are legal and what their options are for maintaining racial diversity....

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4. Advancing the Integration Agenda under the Obama Administration and Beyond

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pp. 75-87

When it comes to racial and ethnic integration in our nation’s public schools, it matters significantly whether the federal government is friend or foe. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Constitution does not guarantee a fundamental right to education, let alone an equal or racially integrated...

Part II: The Case for Integration

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5. School Racial and Ethnic Composition and Young Children’s Cognitive Development: Isolating Family, Neighborhood, and School Influences

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pp. 91-113

Racial and ethnic disparities in cognitive ability are evident even among very young children. Nonwhite and non-Asian students enter kindergarten academically behind their more advantaged peers,1 and these initial cognitive differences increase as children progress through school.2 Myriad explanations...

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6. Southern Graduates of School Desegregation: A Double Consciousness of Resegregation yet Hope

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pp. 114-130

Recent research on the graduates of school desegregation explores the complicated relationship between how individuals were fundamentally changed by their educational experiences in racially diverse schools and, paradoxically, how little our racially divided society has changed since they were in...

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7. Legally Viable Desegregation Strategies: The Case of Connecticut

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pp. 131-150

In this essay, we consider the impact of two school choice programs explicitly focused on reducing the racial and economic isolation of black and Latino students living in Connecticut’s cities. The programs, interdistrict magnet schools and Open Choice, are particularly relevant in the legal environment since...

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8. Regional Coalitions and Educational Policy: Lessons from the Nebraska Learning Community Agreement

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pp. 151-164

In May 2007, Nebraska’s governor signed a law requiring 11 public school districts in the Omaha metropolitan area to form a cooperative “Learning Community.” The agreement is distinctive in that it secured the commitment of all 11 school districts across two counties in the Omaha metro area to an interdistrict...

Part III: Student Assignment Policy Choices and Evidence

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9. Socioeconomic School Integration: Preliminary Lessons from More Than 80 Districts

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pp. 167-186

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (PICS, 2007) restricting the ability of school districts to use race in student assignment has increased interest in using socioeconomic status, either as an alternative to race or as a supplement in designing...

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10. The Effects of Socioeconomic School Integration Policies on Racial School Desegregation

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pp. 187-207

Given the Supreme Court’s decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (PICS, 2007), the use of individual student race in voluntarily adopted school assignment plans (as opposed to court-ordered plans) is no longer legally permissible in most cases.1 However...

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11. Is Class Working? Socioeconomic Student Assignment Plans in Wake County, North Carolina, and Cambridge, Massachusetts

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pp. 208-222

Two forces—rapidly changing student demographics and a judicial system largely unreceptive to the implementation of racial desegregation, though not necessarily hostile to its underlying goals1—have combined to create a challenging environment for school districts interested in pursuing educational...

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12. Using Geography to Further Racial Integration

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pp. 223-231

In a recent decision regarding the use of voluntary race-conscious school assignment policies in Seattle, Washington, and Louisville, Kentucky, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly struck down the practice of using individual students’ race in the school assignment process.1 The Court’s decision was deeply...

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13. Magnet Schools, MSAP, and New Opportunities to Promote Diversity

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pp. 232-240

Magnet schools are public schools designed to attract parents and students through specialized curricular themes or instructional methods. Unlike traditional public schools that operate with student enrollment linked to specific neighborhood attendance zones, magnet schools enroll students from...

Part IV: The Pursuit of School-Level Equity

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14. Resource Allocation Post–Parents Involved

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pp. 243-254

Students are resources. In addition to the common pedagogical conception that the varied backgrounds of students represent instructional opportunities for teachers, students themselves contribute to the fiscal dynamics of schools. In some cases, the contribution is direct: poor children, for example, bring...

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15. Improving Teaching and Learning in Integrated Schools

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pp. 255-264

Effective teachers in racially and ethnically integrated schools, by definition, must be able to facilitate the learning of students who likely are culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse. In many cases, this diversity comes with substantial differences in students’ academic achievement. Indeed, one of...

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16. Latinos, Language, and Segregation: Options for a More Integrated Future

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pp. 265-277

Latinos are both the largest ethnic minority in the United States and the most segregated group in their schools. The Latino pubic school population nearly doubled in the United States between 1987 and 2007, from 11 percent to 21 percent of all students.1 Since 1987, it has grown more rapidly than any other...

Part V: Integrated Means toward Integrated Ends: Broadening Social Policies

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17. Federal Legislation to Promote Metropolitan Approaches to Educational and Housing Opportunity

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pp. 281-301

In this essay, we outline a proposal for new federal legislation to create a pilot grant program in selected southern metropolitan areas designed to promote voluntary approaches to expanding access to integrated education and housing. We argue that metropolitanwide solutions are critical to ameliorating...

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18. Linking Housing and School Integration to Growth Management

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pp. 302-313

School desegregation efforts are presently being dismantled. Where they are occurring, they are unlikely to be related to housing desegregation efforts. To the extent that white suburbs are today building affordable housing, this is much more likely to be occurring under growth management law than civil...

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Conclusion: Returning to First Principles

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pp. 314-326

Working on civil rights usually means sailing against the wind. The wind has been blowing harshly toward the shoals of resegregation for nearly two decades. The social scientists and legal scholars writing in this book tell us that there will be grave consequences if that continues, and that there are ways to...

Contributors

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pp. 327-330

Index

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pp. 331-341


E-ISBN-13: 9781469602585
E-ISBN-10: 146960258X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807835128
Print-ISBN-10: 0807835129

Page Count: 360
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • School integration -- United States.
  • Discrimination in education -- United States.
  • Multicultural education -- United States.
  • Educational equalization -- United States.
  • Education and state -- United States.
  • Educational law and legislation -- United States.
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