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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Urban Studies