Ferguson, Ronald F., & Mehta, Jal
Why Racial Integration and Other Policies Since Brown v. Board of Education Have Only Partially Succeeded at Narrowing the Achievement Gap
Reviews previous literature to investigate why the achievement gap continues despite desegregation efforts.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
National Academies Press
Achieving High Educational Standards for All, pp. 183-208
- Post-segregation education policies include forced integration , Title I, Head Start, and the basic skills movement.
- Title I has demonstrated very limited positive impacts on achievement gaps.
- Head Start has demonstrated somewhat positive impacts on achievement gaps, although a â€œfade outâ€ occurs whereby the positive effect washes out over time.
- An emphasis on basic skills has not been shown to help diminish the achievement gap.
- Early research on the effects of desegregation overall showed little impact, while more recent research has shown significant increases in Black studentsâ€™ reading achievement, as well as positive non-academic outcomes.
- Concludes that it is not exposure to whites, per se, that creates these benefits for Black students, but their access to resources that are more prevalent in higher-proportion white schools.
- Ability grouping and tracking are not categorically bad for certain groups of students.
- Class size does seem to make a difference in terms of achievement, especially for minority students.
Ability Groups, Class Size, Desegregation, Tracking
Literature Review, Narrative Review
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Studies reviewed include Jencks and Mayer (1990), Phillips (2001), Wells and Crain (1997), Rosenbaum (1995), Hanushek (1986, 1997)