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ERIC Number: ED581772
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr-6
Pages: 168
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: 978-0-8077-5936-3
Discrimination in Elite Public Schools: Investigating Buffalo
Orfield, Gary, Ed.; Ayscue, Jennifer B., Ed.
Teachers College Press
School choice is an increasingly important part of today's educational landscape and this timely volume presents fresh research about the competitive admissions policies of choice systems. Based on their investigation of a unique civil rights challenge to school choice admissions policies in politically and racially divided Buffalo, New York, and the struggle to open its best schools to students of color, authors Orfield and Ayscue contend that without intentional effort, choice systems are likely to exacerbate problems of inequality and segregation. Focusing on issues that will continue to be contested in the courts and in the policy arena, the authors offer research-based recommendations for reducing barriers to enrollment and for creating competitive-admissions choice systems that will allow "all" students access to important educational opportunities. The book outlines specific steps school systems can take, including developing a district-wide diversity plan, providing more accessible information, conducting holistic admissions processes, expanding the availability of choices, and offering preparation programs to assist students long excluded from these highly competitive schools. The book also: examines the Buffalo Public Schools and their admissions process following a civil rights complaint filed by parents and community leaders; assesses admissions policies that unfairly exclude Black and Latino groups based on overreliance on a single test score; identifies policies and practices that can break down barriers to equal access and opportunity; and assists educators, parents, civil rights leaders, and community groups who are struggling to turn the power of choice toward equity. After a foreword, seven chapters are included: (1) Great Schools Perpetuating Inequality (Gary Orfield); (2) Buffalo's Choice Schools and the Civil Rights Issues (Jennifer B. Ayscue); (3) Buffalo History and the Roots of School Segregation: The Rise of Buffalo's Two-Tiered School System (Jenna Tomasello); (4) Segregation and Unequal Academic Outcomes in Buffalo's Criteria-Based Schools (Jongyeon Ee); (5) Clearing the Pathway: Recognizing Roadblocks to Entry into Buffalo's Top-Tier Schools (Brian Woodward and Natasha Amlani); (6) How to Make Competitive Schools of Choice More Accessible and Equitable (Jennifer B. Ayscue and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley); and (7) Research, Politics, and Civil Rights: What Happened to Our Recommendations (Gary Orfield and Jennifer B. Ayscue). The book concludes with a postscript entitled "What We Learned" (Gary Orfield and Jennifer B. Ayscue).
Teachers College Press. 1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 800-575-6566; Fax: 802-864-7626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Collected Works - General
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Parents; Community
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (Buffalo)