The New Politics of Diversity: Lessons From a Federal Technical Assistance Grant

Erica Frankenberg, Kathryn A. McDermott, Elizabeth DeBray, Ann Elizabeth Blankenship

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education distributed $2,500,000 via a competitive grant program, the Technical Assistance for Student Assignment Plans, to 11 school districts. The grants and their local effects provide an opportunity to examine the new politics of diversity in public education. Participants cited a wide range of conceptions of diversity, most of which were race-neutral. Some districts enacted policies deemphasizing their original diversity goals. Even in Technical Assistance for Student Assignment Plans (TASAP) districts, whose leaders presumably value diversity, diversity was not always a compelling goal when competing with priorities such as fiscal austerity, school improvement, and neighborhood school demands. Future federal efforts to increase students’ exposure to diverse peers should recognize that local conditions might create contrary political pressures for local policymakers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-474
Number of pages35
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 4 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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