Yun, John T., & Kurlaender, Michal
From School Desegregation to Diversity: A Close Examination of Segregation Trends and School Composition
Examine school segregation at the national, district and school level and how diverse students perceive their schools and classrooms.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
- On average, White students go to school with disproportionately high numbers of White students, making them the most isolated racial group.
- Segregation as measured by the information theory index appears to have increased slightly for White and Black students, but decreased for White and Latino students. In both cases, the share of segregation between districts is the larger component of the overall segregation when compared to the within district component. The overall decrease in segregation among White and Latino students appear to be completely due to decreases in the between district component of segregation, generally understood to represent residential segregation.
- When examining the national level data, there is some evidence that resegregation is occurring in the nation's schools.
- Although segregation during this time period was almost unchanged at the national level, many districts experienced extremely large changes.
- While the overall level of segregation among all students is low, the segregation between certain subgroups of students is quite high and changing rapidly. These nuances would certainly be hidden in a national or statewide examination, and yet are quite important to the decisions and tradeoffs that need to be made by local school leaders.
- A better understanding of how student racial perceptions interact with policy could help us further investigate why desegregation has fostered in some contexts and balkanization in others.
- Greater attention should be paid to supporting local decisions that will be dependent on good information about local segregation and a strong understanding of the complexities of how school segregation and school composition interact to create environments to support learning in diverse environments.
Composition, Diversity, Racial Composition, Segregation
Method of Analysis:
Seattle Public Schools
Unit of Analysis:
Country, School, School District
- Use two different measures of segregation: the exposure index (percentage of a particular race in the school of the average person of another race) and the information theory index (measure of how diverse individual schools are, on average, compared with the diversity of their surroundings).
- Uses Common Core of Data (CCD) produced by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) from 1987 to 2002.
- Also use the Diversity Assessment Questionnaire (DAQ) to measure students' perception of student exposure to people of different racial/ethnic groups. It was administered in the Seattle Public Schools in 2000.