ERIC Number: EJ1020264
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
School Diversity, School District Fragmentation and Metropolitan Policy
Holme, Jennifer Jellison; Finnigan, Kara S.
Teachers College Record, v115 n11 2013
Background/Context: Over the past several decades, the structure of school segregation has changed significantly. In the past, students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds tended to be separated into different buildings within school districts; increasingly, however, students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds are likely to be separated into entirely separate districts (Clotfelter, 2004). This growing problem of between-district segregation poses a unique set of challenges for districts and policymakers seeking to advance integration, as districts have administrative authority only over policies that cover their own boundaries. The changing configuration of school segregation, therefore, requires a better understanding of, and more creative solutions aimed at, this policy problem. Focus of Study: This article explores the dilemmas created by between-district segregation and school district fragmentation in terms of efforts to diversify schools. In our analysis, we examine four predominant approaches that have been used in city governance reform to address the problems of municipal fragmentation: annexation, consolidation, mobility programs, and metropolitan governance reform. Within each section, we examine the potential of each of these approaches as a solution to the problems associated with school district fragmentation. Data Collection and Analysis: We first review existing research to examine what is known empirically about between-district segregation, and the role of school district fragmentation as a contributing factor. We then review literature about policy efforts to address problems caused by fragmentation in noneducational domains. Conclusions: Each of the policy efforts discussed in this article offer insights as to potential policy directions to improve integration and address the costs of fragmentation. We conclude by considering the types of structures that could serve as potential vehicles for school districts to address the problems of fragmentation, and by discussing how regional cooperation between school districts can incentivized.
Descriptors: School Districts, School Segregation, Problem Solving, Educational Policy, Incentives, School Desegregation, Literature Reviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A