Separating, but equal? : resegregation in newly unitary school districts
Morrow, Jeffrey Steven.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. The Supreme Court, in 1954's landmark Brown v. Board of Education, held that racially segregated schooling violated constitutional guarantees of equal protection. The opinion reflected the growing consensus that racially segregated schools consigned minority students to markedly inferior educational and social outcomes. In the decades since, the federal courts have actively supervised through court order hundreds of districts not yet in compliance with Brown's directive. Since the 1990s, dozens of those school districts once declared illegally segregated have been declared "unitary" by the federal courts.; What seems like a victory over segregation, however, may be producing counterintuitive results. Research has suggested that as these newly unitary districts emerge from judicial scrutiny, they may be resegregating, despite ostensibly unitary structures and decades of active effort to integrate. Could the legal dissolution of a desegregation order be spurring significant segregation? Using national data from the Department of Education's Common Core of Data and two different measures of segregation, this study finds a durable and significant relationship between declarations of unitary status and racial resegregation.; Unitary districts appear to resegregate—and to continue resegregating—more than other school districts, including comparable districts that remain under court order. The achievement of unitary status, then, highlights a troubling tension between the legal standards and policy goals of racial integration.
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