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ERIC Number: ED570432
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 48
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Integration Anomaly: Comparing the Effects of K-12 Education Delivery Models on Segregation in Schools
Scafidi, Benjamin
Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
To shed light on the actual impact of school choice on segregation, one has to understand the counter factual--the state of segregation under the current public education system. In the late 1960s and '70s, the trend in public school racial segregation followed the trend in neighborhood segregation. That is to say both improved as American neighborhoods and public schools became more racially integrated. However, beginning in the early 1980s, American public schools have continued to become more racially segregated, even as American neighborhoods have become more racially integrated among African Americans and others. Given the strong link between neighborhoods and public school attendance zones, this divergence is a puzzle and there is another pronounced trend that may have an impact on the quality of schools available to families-income segregation. The trends toward more income segregation across American neighborhoods have only accelerated since 2001. Like it or not, studies show a significant relationship between families' access to peer resources and their children's academic achievement. The increases in racial and income segregation in American public schools are likely problematic in terms of student outcomes given the substantial evidence regarding peer effects. In this report the author seeks to address the impact of school choice in this decades-long context of intensification of racial segregation among public schools and significantly increased income segregation across neighborhoods. The author analyzes new trends in school segregation, and reviews relevant studies on the effects of choice on integration. Based on the historical evidence on housing and school segregation and the myriad studies reviewed in this report, school choice design feature additions are recommended to maximize academic benefits to students, and to communicate concern for those who are worried about the increases in race and class segregation that has lasted in the American Public education system for more than three decades. Appended are: (1) Changes in Neighborhood and School Segregation in 215 Metropolitan Areas; and (2) Summary of Research Used to Make Recommendations about the Design of School Choice Programs.
Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Available from: Foundation for Educational Choice. One American Square Suite 2420, Indianapolis, IN 46282. Tel: 317-681-0745; Fax: 317-681-0945; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
Identifiers - Location: United States