Racial and economic segregation and educational outcomes: one tale—Two cities

Temple University, USA
Applied Behavioral Science Review 01/1995; DOI: 10.1016/S1068-8595(95)80002-6

ABSTRACT This paper reports the research examining racial and economic segregation of public schools in Philadelphia and Houston. Three factors effect the racial and economic composition of public schools: (1) the economic and racial/ethnic segregation of urban neighborhoods; (2) private school attendance among higher status and white students; and (3) varying rates of participation in magnet school programs. The evidence suggests that magnet school programs may attenuate racial segregation while exacerbating economic segregation. An examination of the relative importance of racial and economic composition of schools upon student achievement indicates that the economic composition of schools is the more important determinant of achievement levels. Given the propensity of magnet school programs to exacerbate socioeconomic concentrations, these programs should be reformulated.

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    Social Problems 05/2003; 50(2):181-203. · 1.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on the problem of educational segregation within schools and shows how the continued use of categorical, “pull-out” programs exacerbates risks associated with poverty. It is suggested that educational segregation, as it disproportionately affects minority and poor children, is perhaps the civil rights issue facing the United States today due to increased diversity and worsening poverty in the inner cities. A strategy for systemic reform in schools is presented which is connected to the context of community as well as to efforts for long-term structural change. Reform recommendations are introduced that are linked to suggestions for collaborative political work and community organizing which could be used to effectively impact educational equity issues related to both segregation and poverty. Last, prospects for change during the remainder of the decade are analyzed with attention being directed toward the political mood of the mid-1990s and continued economic decline. It is suggested that contrary to pundits who see this period as one where radical change is almost impossible, we are currently facing a window of opportunity where the historical circumstances are ideal for significant reforms which could lead to increased educational equity for poor children and youth.
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