ERIC Number: ED456195
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Maximizing the Benefits of Student Diversity: Lessons from School Desegregation Research.
Schofield, Janet Ward
This chapter considers the implications for higher education of existing research on the effects of desegregation at the elementary and secondary school level. Research shows that school desegregation enhances the academic progress of African American students, increases suspension rates but cuts dropout rates among minority students, positively impacts long-term occupational consequences for African Americans, and breaks the cycle of racial isolation. Although some benefits are common outcomes of attending racially/ethnically diverse schools, the mere fact of having a diverse student body does not automatically lead to them. The specific nature of the educational situation and process significantly impacts a wide range of student outcomes. Desegregated schools have one of four orientations, each with important implications for students: business as usual, assimilation, pluralistic coexistence, and integrated pluralism. Integrated pluralism is the most likely to produce positive outcomes of desegregation. Research on K-12 desegregation underlines the importance of anticipating the possibility of resegregation and of implementing active policies to prevent it. The first three institutional approaches to desegregation are associated with resegregation. Factors conducive to achieving integrated pluralism include support of relevant authorities, cooperation toward mutually valued goals, and equal status for members of all groups. (Contains 37 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED546116
Note: In: Orfield, Gary, Ed., Diversity Challenged: Evidence on the Impact of Affirmative Action. Cambridge, Harvard Education Publishing Group, 2001. p99-109. See UD 034 365.