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ERIC Number: ED558740
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May-14
Pages: 120
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Segregation Again: North Carolina's Transition from Leading Desegregation Then to Accepting Segregation Now
Ayscue, Jennifer B.; Woodward, Brian
Civil Rights Project - Proyecto Derechos Civiles
North Carolina has a storied history of school integration efforts spanning several decades. In response to the "Brown" decision, North Carolina's strategy of delayed integration was more subtle than the overt defiance of other Southern states. Numerous North Carolina school districts were early leaders in employing strategies to integrate schools at a modest level. When the 1964 Civil Rights Act vastly expanded federal power, desegregation accelerated. In 1971, Charlotte-Mecklenburg gained national attention in the first Supreme Court decision mandating busing as a primary strategy to achieve school integration. By 2000, Wake County public schools became the first metropolitan school district to implement a class-based student assignment policy, shifting from a race-based student assignment plan. Yet despite initiating school diversification efforts for a generation, currently North Carolina has reverted back to neighborhood schools while concurrently adopting policies that deemphasize diversity. Today, the state's Latino enrollment, which has grown rapidly in the post-civil rights era, adds another important dimension to the story. Since racial and economic segregation are strongly related to unequal opportunity, these changes likely have important educational consequences. This report examines trends in school segregation in North Carolina over the last two decades. This report begins with an overview of the history of school desegregation in the state and in several prominent school districts in major metropolitan areas. The report then summarizes several decades of research highlighting the adversarial effects of segregation and the advantages of diverse learning environments. The next section describes the report's data and methods. The report analyzes enrollment patterns and several measures of segregation at the state level. After exploring trends at the state level, the report provides a similar analysis of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, Raleigh-Cary, and Greensboro-High Point metropolitan areas, as well as a discussion of the degree and type of racial transition occurring in the largest school districts in each metro. The report concludes with a discussion of findings and recommendations for those who seek to address segregation in North Carolina's schools. Additional metropolitan summaries documenting segregation trends in nine of North Carolina's metro areas also accompany this report. Appended to the report are: (1) Additional Data Tables; and (2) Data Sources and Methodology. [This report was written with the assistance of John Kucsera, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, and Gary Orfield. This is the sixth of thirteen in a series of special reports on public school segregation in Eastern states. These studies explore trends in enrollment and school segregation patterns from 1989 to 2010 at the state and regional levels, including various metro areas for each state.]
Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles. 8370 Math Sciences, P.O. Box 951521, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521. Tel: 310-267-5562; Fax: 310-206-6293; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of California, Los Angeles. Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Oklahoma
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education; Civil Rights Act 1964; Missouri v Jenkins