Does having residents from multiple jurisdictions make it more difficult for districts to maintain support for student assignment policies, particularly given population differences between city and suburban residents? Does a district’s ability to maintain political support for integration differ by whether the goals and means were race-conscious or race-neutral?
The â€œPost-Racialâ€ Politics of Race: Changing Student Assignment Policy in Three School Districts
Investigates whether changes in school-related behaviors, or changes in home environments, may have contributed to black students’ stalled progress.
This study examined whether school choice that is implemented through magnet schools affects the segregation of low-income students in school systems.
-The percentage of White students in Jefferson County private schools was lower in recent years when the new policies were implemented, although White students enroll in private schools at a disproportionately higher rate. The share of Latino students in Jefferson Country private schools during this period has also declined while remaining steady for Black students.
– JCPS’s percentage of White students declined, particularly among younger students, but the district retains a large share of White students, a steady share of Black students, and growing Latino enrollment. The percentage of economically disadvantaged students remained constant.
– The exposure of White and Latino students to Black students declined while Black isolation increased. In fact, the typical Black student had a higher percentage of Black students in their school than White students even though White students comprise a much higher percentage of the district’s enrollment.
– The exposure of FRL students to other low-SES students remained constant while the exposure of non-FRL students to these students increased substantially.
– Two trends emerge regarding segregation within JCPS. First, racial segregation has grown, although the picture is mixed and remains low compared to national trends. The percentage of students in minority concentrated schools rose while the exposure of White and Black students became more dissimilar— and segregative—over time. Latino students became more integrated with Whites and segregated from Blacks since 2006–2007. Second, economic segregation appears stable with mixed findings about whether it is increasing. The race/ poverty overlap remains fairly weak.
– Proximity-based plans often result in segregation when neighborhoods are segregated.
– The isolation for Black students is about 1 percentage point lower than proximity-based; differences for White and Latino students are smaller.
– under the controlled choice scenario, Latinos have higher percentages of Black students in their schools. White students have lower isolation but are still highly isolated, and for all three groups, even the ‘‘lower’’ isolation under this scenario still reflects relatively high isolation. White and Latino students are being assigned to schools with very different racial composition, on average, than are Black students.
– In comparison to the different assignments, the isolation of students in the school they enroll in is slightly more segregated than under the actual assignment.
– segregation is less pronounced for the existing controlled choice assignment in comparison to other potential assignment scenarios.
– While schools remain considerably diverse under this new generation of policies and are more diverse than if students were assigned under the simulated alternative scenarios, there is also evidence of growing racial segregation particularly for Black students; evidence is mixed regarding economic segregation but appears stable. JCPS segregation levels remain considerably lower than most large districts
-Black and Latino students are not concentrated in the same schools. Indeed, in JCPS, the burgeoning Latino enrollment has become more similar to White students in their exposure to other-race students, particularly White students, and more segregated from Black students.
-These findings suggest that this new generalized race-conscious policy might help navigate barriers to inequality, albeit perhaps not to the same extent as policies using individual student race/ethnicity.