IntegratedSchools.org

families CHOOSING integration

Resources…

>>  this is very much a work in progress…  but here is something of a short and scattered set of resources.  please add more!!!!  >>>

What to do If the School says NO Tour

Some questions to ask every school you are considering!

 

New to thinking about school integration???

This American Life podcast “The Problem We All Live With.” (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/562/the-problem-we-all-live-with). Listen to both episodes. Then listen again.

Frontline film (2014) Separate and Unequal (runnting time 27: 14) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/separate-and-unequal/

Must Reads…

Kahlenberg, Richard (2012) The Future of School Integration: Socioeconomic Diversity as an Education Reform Strategy, Century Foundation Press.

Kahlenberg, Richard (2012) From All Walks of Life: New Hope for Integration, American Educator, Winter 2012-13. https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/periodicals/Kahlenberg.pdf

Kozol, Jonathon (2005) The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schools in America. Random House.

Petrilli, Michael (2012) The Diverse Schools Dilemma: A Parent’s Guide to Socioeconomically Mixed Public Schools, Thomas B. Fordham Institute.   (An interesting overview aimed at parents and rich with data.)

Putnam, Robert (2015) Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. Simon & Schuster

How Racially Diverse Schools and Classrooms Can Benefit All Students, The Century Foundation

Tefara, Adai, Erica Frankenberg, Genevieve Siegal-Hawley, Gina Chirichigno (2011) Integrating Suburban Schools: How to Benefit from Growing Diversity and Avoid Segregation, UCLA Civil Rights Project https://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/integration-and-diversity/integrating-suburban-schools-how-to-benefit-from-growing-diversity-and-avoid-segregation/tefera-suburban-manual-2011.pdf) (This manual summarizes and consolidates important diversity and civil rights research for schools. It manual provides invaluable guidance for education stakeholders in suburban school districts — including school board members, parents, students, community activists, administrators, policymakers and attorneys — in promoting racially diverse, high-quality schools.)

 

A Super Brief School Segregation History:  

  • 1947 – In a precursor to the Brown case, a federal appeals court strikes down segregated schooling for Mexican American and white students. (Westminster School Dist. v. Mendez) The verdict prompts California Governor Earl Warren to repeal a state law calling for segregation of Native American and Asian American students.
  • 1954 – In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education overturns Plessy and declares that separate schools are “inherently unequal.” The Court delays deciding on how to implement the decision and asks for another round of arguments.
  • 1988 – School integration reaches its all-time high; almost 45% of black students in the United States are attending majority-white schools.
  • 2002 – A report from Harvard’s Civil Rights Project concludes that America’s schools are resegregating.
  • 2007 – In Parents Involved, the Supreme Court finds voluntary school integration plans unconstitutional, paving the way for contemporary school segregation to escalate.  (source: Tolerance.org http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-25-spring-2004/feature/brown-v-board-timeline-school-integration-us)

Segregation & Students of Color (some stats)

By the end of fourth grade, African American, Latino, and poor students of all races are two years behind their wealthier, predominantly white peers in reading and math. By eighth grade, they have slipped three years behind, and by twelfth grade, four years behind. (The Academic Achievement Gap: Facts & Figures http://www.tc.columbia.edu/news2/5183)

In Southern California, less than 50% of Grade 9 students in intensely segregated schools graduated on time. In schools educating a majority of white and Asian youth, 81% graduated on time. (Orfield, Gary, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, John Kucsera, (2011) Divided We Fail: Segregated and Unequal Schools in the Southland, UCLA Civil Rights Project. https://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/metro-and-regional-inequalities/lasanti-project-los-angeles-san-diego-tijuana/divided-we-fail-segregated-and-unequal-schools-in-the-southfield)

Achievement gaps appear as early as three years of age (Burchinal et al., 2011), grow as children progress through school (Fryer & Levitt, 2004), and continue well into the later school years, posing serious consequences for students’ overall educational attainment and long term economic prosperity (McKinsey & Company, 2009; Olneck, 2005).

Only one in 50 Hispanic and black 17-year-olds can read and gain information from specialized text (such as the science section of a newspaper) compared to about one in 12 white students. (The Academic Achievement Gap: Facts & Figures http://www.tc.columbia.edu/news2/5183)

By the end of high school, black and Hispanic students’ reading and mathematics skills are roughly the same as those of white students in the eighth grade. (The Academic Achievement Gap: Facts & Figures http://www.tc.columbia.edu/news2/5183)

African American students are three times more likely than white students to be placed in special education programs, and are half as likely to be in gifted programs in elementary and secondary schools. (The Academic Achievement Gap: Facts & Figures http://www.tc.columbia.edu/news2/5183)

Black students are only about half as likely (and Hispanics about one-third as likely) as white students to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 29.  (The Academic Achievement Gap: Facts & Figures http://www.tc.columbia.edu/news2/5183)

Latino children are now the most segregated, with the percentage increasing every year since the federal government began collecting data (Orfield, Gary, Erica Frankenberg with Jongyeon Ee, John Kuscera (2014) Brown at 60: Great Progress, a Long Retreat and an Uncertain Future. UCLA Civil Rights Project. https://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/integration-and-diversity/brown-at-60-great-progress-a-long-retreat-and-an-uncertain-future/Brown-at-60-051814.pdf)

The typical black or Latino student today attends school with almost double the share of low-income students in their schools than the typical white or Asian student. (Orfield 2012)

 

Segregation & Students Growing Up in Poverty (some stats)

The income achievement gap, defined as the gap between children who come from low-socioeconomic status (SES) families and high-SES families, is even worse than that between Black and White students; in fact, it is now twice that size (Reardon, 2011).

Students from low-income schools enter high school 3.3 grade levels behind students from higher-income schools. (Palardy, 2008).

In 2009, poor students (bottom 20 percent of all family incomes) were five times more likely to drop out of high school than high-income students (top 20 percent of all family incomes).   (Chapman, Laird, Ifill, & KewalRamani, 2011, http://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/indicator/2013/05/poverty-dropouts.aspx)

Controlling for an array of student and school factors, students who attend high socioeconomic composition (SEC) schools are 68% more likely to enroll at a 4-year college than students who attend low SEC schools. (Pallardy, Gregory (2013) High School Socioeconomic Segregation and Student Attainment, Am Educ Res J August, vol. 50 no. 4 714-754)

Teachers are likely to deal more harshly with problem students in high poverty schools, and rates of expulsion and student discipline are much higher in minority segregated schools. By contrast, in majority white schools, the first move might be to contact parents, not the police. (Orfield, Gary, Erica Frankenberg with Jongyeon Ee, John Kuscera (2014) Brown at 60: Great Progress, a Long Retreat and an Uncertain Future. UCLA Civil Rights Project. https://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/integration-and-diversity/brown-at-60-great-progress-a-long-retreat-and-an-uncertain-future/Brown-at-60-051814.pdf)

By the end of fourth grade, African American, Latino, and poor students of all races are two years behind their wealthier, predominantly white peers in reading and math. By eighth grade, they have slipped three years behind, and by twelfth grade, four years behind. (The Academic Achievement Gap: Facts & Figures http://www.tc.columbia.edu/news2/5183) 

Integration, however, IS Good (some stats)

For every year a black student attends an integrated school, their likelihood of graduating goes up 2 percentage points. (Johnson 2011).

Poor students in integrated schools are four times more likely to finish high school and twice as likely to attend college as those who attend high-poverty-concentration schools (James Rosenbaum et al., cited in Kahlenberg, All Together Now, 33, see also Tegeler, Philip, Roslyn Arlin Mickelson & Martha Bottia (2010, updated 2011) What we know about school integration, college attendance and the reduction of poverty. Research Brief #4, The National Coalition on School Diversity. http://www.school-diversity.org/pdf/DiversityResearchBriefNo4.pdf ).

Low-income students attending more-affluent schools scored almost two years ahead of low-income students in high-poverty schools. (National Center for Education Statistics, NAEP Data Explorer, 2008 (on scores); and Christopherer Lubienski and Sarah Theule Lubienski, Charter, Private, Public Schools and Academic Achievement: New Evidence from NAEP Mathematics (New York: National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, January 2006).

Black and Latino students had smaller achievement gaps when they were not in high poverty environments (Ann Mantil, Anne G. Perkins, and Stephanie Aberger, “The Challenge of High-Poverty Schools: How Feasible Is Socioeconomic School Integration?” in The Future of School Integration, ed. Kahlenberg, 155–222)

The Black–White achievement gap is larger in the highest density schools than in the lowest density schools. (https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/subject/studies/pdf/school_composition_and_the_bw_achievement_gap_2015.pdf)

A school’s SES had as much impact on the achievement growth of high school students in math, science, reading and history as a student’s individual economic status (Russell W. Rumberger and Gregory J. Palardy, “Does Segregation Still Matter? The Impact of Student Composition on Academic Achievement in High School,” Teachers College Record 107, no. 9 (2005): 1999–2045)

Racially integrated schools are more likely to have stable staffs composed of highly qualified teachers than high-poverty schools (Massey, D. & Fischer, M. (2006). The effect of child- hood segregation on minority academic performance at selective colleges. Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol.29(1), pp:1-26 312) 

Integration and White &/or Middle Class Student Achievement

“White student achievement in schools with the highest Black student density did not differ from White student achievement in schools with the lowest density.” (School Composition and the Black-White Achievement Gap 2015, National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) US Dept Ed. https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/subject/studies/pdf/school_composition_and_the_bw_achievement_gap_2015.pdf)

“Virtually all studies of desegregation and achievement have found little or no change in achievement or other education outcomes for white children.” (Armor, David (1995) Forced Justice)

The most significant driver of academic achievement isn’t schools, teachers or classmates, but parents. Student background and socioeconomic status are more important in determining educational outcomes of a student. Additionally, differences in the quality of schools and teachers, has a small positive impact on student outcomes. (Coleman, James (1966) (Equality of Educational Opportunity “The Coleman Report”, National Center for Educational Statistics. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED012275.pdf )

 

Is Integration GOOD for White &/or Middle Class Students?

  • Increasing empathy
  • Reducing Prejudice and Stereotyping (both implicit and explicit bias)
  • Cross-cultural collaboration
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Effective communication skills

(see great overview of this research in the amicus brief, signed by 553 social scientists, for the Parents Involved court case. https://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/legal-developments/court-decisions/statement-of-american-social-scientists-of-research-on-school-desegregation-submitted-to-us-supreme-court/amicus_parents_v_seatle.pdf)

Graduates of socioeconomically diverse schools are more effective in the workplace and global markets.  (Page, Scott (2008) The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies. Princeton University Press)

What IS it that Makes Integrated Schools Better?

A complicated and, as far as researchers are concerned, still-undetermined set of factors explain this phenomenon – none of which posit that middle-class children are inherently smarter or in any way better than children who grow up in poverty. These include:

  • middle-class parent involvement in the classroom
  • middle-class parents holding teachers and administrators “accountable,”
  • teacher retention and experience (middle-class schools tend to have less turnover and more experienced teachers/Research consistently finds that the best teachers, on average, avoid high-poverty and high-minority
  • positive peer influence (in part due to life-expectations such as college, etc.)
  • amount of homework (middle class schools tend to have higher expectations of their students, at the very least in terms of homework quality and quantity),
  • degree of safety,
  • number of advanced classes offered (Rumberger & Palardy 2005 p. 2016)

For an excellent overview of this research, see:

  • Kahlenberg, Richard (2003) All Together Now: Creating Middle-Class Schools through Public School Choice, Brookings Institution Press.
  • Frankenberg, Erica and Gary Orfield (eds) (2012) The Resegregation of Suburban Schools: A Hidden Crisis in American Education, Harvard Education Press.

 

 

6 thoughts on “Resources…

  1. The data you provided above suggests there are no benefits to attending a segregated school, only costs, so what reason do you think explains the segregation phenomenon? Ignorance of the facts? Racism? Is it wholly irrational?

    Segregation is a fact in other countries as well, I am thinking not of Europe (which is like the US in certain ways) but homogeneous Asian or African societies. I don’t think the elites send their kids to the same schools as the middle-class and poor do. But it’s harder to make the case for racism in a homogeneous society. It’s also harder to make the case for systemic irrationality or ignorance when the phenomenon occurs across human societies. So I wonder what your theory is?

    This part alarmed me: “education stakeholders in suburban school districts — including school board members, parents, students, community activists, administrators, policymakers and attorneys — in promoting racially diverse, high-quality schools”

    Holy COW! I never realized there were so many “stakeholders” in education. But it makes sense. It seems like a really complicated, non-optimal way to run schools and provide education for students. At MOST I could see room for the following: students, parents, teachers and administrators (assuming the teachers aren’t also the admins, especially if the schools are run as businesses). But what are “community activists”, “policymakers” and “attorneys” doing in the mix? And why do they think they should have a say in the education solution I work out with my kids and their teacher (btw, do you include unions in the policymaker field or admins or what? Did you forget them?)

    Can you imagine having this many “stakeholders” in every other area of our lives and how dysfunctional it’d be to have so many people involved in making decisions that really shouldn’t be their business? What if we had 7 “stakeholders” involved in our nutrition, our career decisions, our social network building, etc? We probably have at least this many already in healthcare (doctor, patient, family, admins, lawyers, professional cartels — AMA, etc. — policymakers, drug companies… total chaos!!) Every time a new stakeholder gets added to the pile, the influence and choice of the existing stakeholders diminishes by the same amount. That seems like a problem to me. Maybe THE problem. What ARE all these folks doing here?

    It’s a shame education has to be so political! Or does it?

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    1. Interestingly, (to me, anyway) there might be a parallel to this “inflated stakeholder” phenomenon in history. If we think back to the economies of feudal Europe, you probably had a lot of stakeholders in your economic position in life that shouldn’t have been there: you, your family, your feudal lord, your king, the church, your guild (if a professional). That doesn’t seem like a great system for a lot of reasons, it’s a shame we’ve managed to recreate it in the US. I suspect its making the same contributions to the dysfunction of our educational system!

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    2. Hi Lion,

      You say “The data you provided above suggests there are no benefits to attending a segregated school, only costs, so what reason do you think explains the segregation phenomenon? Ignorance of the facts? Racism? Is it wholly irrational?”

      I say: I wish I knew all the answers here… What is the root cause of segregation? We could point to segregated housing patterns (but this might also be a the result of a desire for segregated schools), we could talk about how schools are funded, but yes, we also need to talk about very real racism (and classism, for sure).

      But no, it isn’t wholly irrational (though, we you phrase it as you did, it sure does seem insane :)).

      In short, segregated schools — if you’re wealthy in a wealthy school — offer some advantages. Segregated (usually white) wealthy schools simply have more stuff: musical theater, after school programs, less teacher turnover, more AP course offerings, organic gardens, college counselors, etc etc. And for those parents who are really truly worried about our children’s futures and need to stack their formal education with all of these things, these segregated schools bring some peace of mind. Being in the middle-class bubble is very comfortable and stable and, indeed, easier.

      (as I am sure you know, from having read my blog, that I am more than happy to trade many of these away for the very real benefits that integrated schools offer)…

      Of course, if you’re poor in a poor school, segregated schools offer no benefits [though of course there are some exceptional examples, but they are far from the norm]). Why do these continue to exist? Segregation is hard.

      We tried to desegregate for awhile there but many of the de-seg policies have been abandoned. Cries over busing, white-flight, etc have made top-down policies more difficult.

      Magnet programs have emerged as a way to desegregate; the very basic rationale behind magnets are that if we put a really good program (gifted, STEM, arts, whatever theme) in a lower-income neighborhood, middle class families will enroll. To a large degree, these have worked. But not enough (and for a complicated host of reasons)…

      So, thus, comes the purpose of my work — to organize from the ground up parents who are actively looking for and enrolling their kids in integrated schools. If we build our momentum, this can work in a way that our previous policy efforts have lagged.

      Ok… I am going to think about your other question re: stakeholders and get back to you tomorrow.

      (and I would love to hear your story — how did you come to be thinking about integrated schools?? you clearly have some interest and i’d love to know more … )

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  2. “So, thus, comes the purpose of my work — to organize from the ground up parents who are actively looking for and enrolling their kids in integrated schools. If we build our momentum, this can work in a way that our previous policy efforts have lagged.” — THIS IS EVERYTHING RIGHT HERE. The idea of mandated/forced integration clearly doesn’t work or won’t work because policy makers would never take the political risk. So it is up to the race/class/ethnicity that actually HAS the choice to make it- and obviously that choice doesn’t have to be the martyrdom/sacrifice/huge big offing mistake that we with privilege think it would be.

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