In June 2006, the U. S. Supreme Court agreed to review two related cases originating from school districts in Louisville, Kentucky and Seattle, Washington that involved voluntarily adopted racial integration plans. Concerned about the outcome of these cases, 553 social scientists submitted a social science statement to the Supreme Court summarizing the large body of social science research supporting the school districts' policies relevant to the Court's determination. The statement, reprinted here, supports three interrelated conclusions: (1) racially integrated schools provide significant benefits to students and communities; (2) racially isolated schools have harmful educational implications for students; and (3) race-conscious policies are necessary to maintain racial integration in schools. Because of the overwhelming amount of scholarly data, social scientists argued, as the lower courts had found, that the schools boards have a compelling interest to promote racial integration and prevent racial isolation through choice-based school assignment policies that consider race as a factor. On June 28, 2007, the U. S. Supreme Court struck down the school assignment plans on the grounds that the plans were not narrowly tailored to the interests that the school districts had asserted. In addition to affecting the ability of school districts to maintain racially diverse schools, the decision has broad implications for researchers who seek to help school districts in these efforts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Urban Studies