Caldas, Stephen J., Bankston III, Carl, & Cain, Judith S.
A Case Study of Teachers' Perceptions of School Desegregation and the Redistribution of Social and Academic Capital
Manhattanville College; Tulane University
Teacher's perceptions of the core assumptions of school desegregation using data from a Louisiana district that was recently ordered to desegregate.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Education and Urban Society
Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 194-222
- 60% of all the teachers who taught the bused African American students felt the displaced students were better off in their predominantly White school, whereas only 17% of this same group of teachers answered "no" to this question.
- 11% of the teachers who taught the displaced students felt that the Other students in their classes were "better off" as a result of the court-ordered transfer of African American students.
- 65% of the teachers indicated "no that the mostly White students originally zoned for their schools were not better off sitting next to the bussed students".
- 46% of all teachers who had bused students in their classrooms answered "no" to the question if the advantaged to bussed children outweighed any disadvantages to the students originally enrolled in their schools.
- The most commonly mentioned problem centered on increased discipline problems associated with the bussed students.
- The second most commonly mentioned problem was the lowered educational background of the bussed students.
- The third most commonly mentioned problem was the lack of parental support.
- Only two teachers mentioned the benefit to all students of having multicultural school settings, where students were exposed to different cultures. Interestingly, these two teachers indicated they were African American.
- The teacher's perception were that the bussed students benefited from being removed from their neighborhood schools, whereas, the zoned middle-class students were harmed by the influx of low SES students in their classrooms.
- After decades of efforts at school desegregation in American society, the task of achieving schools that are equitable and effective for all students cannot be realized simply by redistributing students according to racial categories.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Busing, Desegregation, Perceptions, Social Capital, Teachers
Method of Analysis:
Teachers of the Lafayette Parish
Unit of Analysis:
- 172 surveys to teachers in the five predominantly White Lafayette elementary schools that received the 460 displaced African American students.
- 134 surveys returned were from teachers who taught the bussed students.