Caldas, Stephen J., Bankston III, Carl, & Cain, Judith S.
Social Capital, Academic Capital, and the "Harm and Benefit" Thesis: Evidence from a Desegregating School District
Manhattanville College; Tulane University
Re-examination of the Coleman social-capital hypothesis, with specific emphasis on the "harm and benefit" thesis.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
The End of Desegregation?, Chapter 6, pp. 122-148
- 60% of the teachers felt that the Black students were better off than before the busing.
- Only 11% felt that the White students were better off than before the busing.
- Most open-ended comments on the surveys were negative.
- 40% of the teachers indicating that busing had increased discipline problems.
- 25% indicating that the lowered educational levels of the bused students hurt the academics for all students.
- White enrollment in Lafayette Parish public schools decreased every year since the desegregation issue and the possibility of rezoning was raised in 1998.
- Overall, the district lost 3,292 White students over the period, a loss of 16.5% of the White population.
- Over the same period, the number of Black students increased by 778.
- Research does not suggest that the redistribution of middle class student social and academic capital can benefit the disadvantaged minority student, even in the short term.
- Two major issues brought to light by surveyed teachers are lack of parental involvement and transportation problems faced by parents of bused students.
- Even after the 2000 desegregation order, a majority of the displaced Black students elected to move from their majority White school into a new majority Black school.
Chapter in Book
Busing, Discipline, Segregation, Social Capital
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Uses data from one de facto segregated southern school system which came under reactivated court scrutiny in 1998 followed by a court order in 2000.
- District examined was Lafayette Parish School Board district.
- Study collected surveys from 172 teachers at five predominantly White schools that received 460 lower SES status than Black students who were ordered bused when their predominantly Black schools were closed in 2000.
- District included 30,000 in 1998, of whom 35% were Black.
- By 2002, there were 3,200 fewer White students.
- DV: Benefit to students (teachers' perceptions)
- IV: Busing, desegregation