Braddock II, Jomills Henry, & Eitle, Tamela McNulty
The Effects of School Desegregation
University of Miami
How the long-term outcomes of school desegregation may be affected by the short-term outcomes, or how the short-term outcomes may be interrelated.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Hanbook of Research on Multicultural Education
- Research on the effects of desegregation on student academic achievement, measured by standardized tests, seems to support the proposition that African American and Hispanic students learn somewhat more in schools that are majority White as compared to their academic performance in schools that are predominantly non-White.
- Research concluded that the daily exposure in the classroom to students of a different race was directly related to students' willingness to engage in voluntary interactions with peers of a different race.
- Desegregation can affect the occupational attainments of African Americans and other students of colors in two ways. First, school desegregation is positively related to the jobs and occupations to which African Americans aspire and have access. And second, school desegregation positively affects the resources that African Americans have available to seek a job.
- Taken together impressive evidence suggests that segregation is perpetuated from elementary-secondary schools to college and the workplace. Earlier desegregated schooling breaks this self-perpetuating cycle by making African American attendance at predominantly White colleges and being employed in interracial employment settings more likely.
- Results imply that earlier desegregation in schools foreshadows later desegregation in adult life.
- Most of the studies strengthen the argument that social psychological processes and social structural factors produce and reinforce desegregation across institutional settings and stages of the life cycle.
- Both theory and research suggest that the learning, socialization, and social networking experiences associated with school desegregation can have a major impact on adult outcomes, including social mobility and social integration.
- The model proposed in this paper posits that elementary-secondary school desegregation experiences may affect two broad categories of short-term student outcomes: socialization and personal development outcomes and academic credentials. Both socialization and personal development experiences and academic credentials influence postsecondary attainment and systemic or structural barriers to racial equity. Finally, both higher postsecondary attainments and systemic barriers directly affect adult career outcomes. Put differently, the effects of elementary and secondary desegregated school experiences on long-term outcomes are mediated through their effects on key intervening short-term outcomes.
- Overall, the findings indicate that one advantage of early desegregated education is that it may cumulatively produce the skills (academic, social and psyhocological) necessary for success and coping in desegregated situations, thus increasing the likelihood of future positive desegregated experiences.
- There appears to be growing agreement among researchers that the opportunity to learn with and from people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds can, under the right conditions, enhance students' academic achievement and cognitive development, increase cross-cultural competence, and promote dispositions and behaviors that will have economic and social consequences for individuals and communities.
Chapter in Book
Academic Achievement, Contact Theory , Desegregation, Intergroup Relations, Long Term Outcomes, Social Mobility
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Previously published research from the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's & 2000's.