School desegregation after parents involved: The complications of pursuing diversity in a high-stakes accountability era

Erica Frankenberg, Sarah Diem, Colleen Cleary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Academic disparities among racial groups persist, which may be due in part to persisting school segregation. This study focuses on how student achievement affects diversity efforts within two urban-suburban school districts in the South experiencing demographic changes with a history of voluntary integration efforts: Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville, KY) and the Wake County Public School System (Raleigh, NC). We found that diversity and accountability intersected in different ways: in both districts there is a belief that diversity does matter, but with a divergence of opinion in its relative importance the details of how to accomplish diversity are contested. Our case studies are a cautionary tale of how the increased focus on achievement and accountability complicates efforts to pursue other long-held district goals. Instead of seeing diversity and improving student outcomes as separate, policymakers should re-evaluate how existing policies may unintentionally cause districts to end beneficial policies like desegregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-184
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies

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