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Integration and Diversity

Research in this section explores the impacts and benefits of racial and ethnic diversity in education, as well as resegregation trends and remedies in our nation's public schools.

Related publication: The Integration Report - a monthly bulletin focusing on school integration throughout the nation

Recent Integration and Diversity Research


Research Item Understanding Suburban School Segregation: Toward a Renewed Civil Rights Agenda
As shifting populations change suburban school enrollment, education policy trends formerly confined to urban districts have spread to suburban ones. Many suburban school districts have experienced growth in the charter school sector, as well as a rash of school closures. Suburban schools and districts reflect broader societal problems, paradigms, and possibilities. Yet, if our society is to advance equitable opportunity for all, children learning together in suburban schools must be part of the solution. In order to think clearly about what a renewed civil rights agenda entails given our complex and multiracial geography of inequality, we must understand the extent to which suburban school districts are segregated—and why. We also need to think deeply about policy responses to advance integration with equitable status for all children. This paper draws on federal enrollment data from the nation’s largest 25 metros from 2011-2020 to descriptively analyze suburban school enrollment and segregation at the school district-level, seeking to understand different district contexts and their relationship to student segregation.
Research Item Gentrification and Schools: Challenges, Opportunities and Policy Options
The rapid gentrification occurring in major cities may have a significant impact on California and the distribution of wealth and opportunity for its families, similar to the vast suburbanization that occurred during the baby boom era. The White flight from central city neighborhoods has far-reaching consequences, particularly in regard to school segregation, which became an often-intractable problem. However, there is substantial and growing evidence of the enduring benefits for children who attend diverse schools. This study aims to explore whether the return of White and middle-class families to gentrified areas in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego has the potential to help desegregate the schools or if it merely rearranges the geography of segregation for students of color, reinforcing racial inequality.
Research Item Racial Reckoning and the Role of Schooling: Exploring the Potential of Integrated Classrooms and Liberatory Pedagogies
Schools have long existed as a means of maintaining democracy in the United States and, given the centrality of race relations to the success of democracy, this paper suggests that schools can be called upon to address racism as well. As such, this paper looks to our rapidly diversifying nation and asks: “What would it take to move closer to meaningfully addressing the legacy of racism in the United States, and what role might schools play in this process?”
Research Item The School Voucher Illusion: Exposing the Pretense of Equity
This authoritative book examines the long-standing campaign that resulted in today’s school voucher policies.
Research Item NYC School Segregation Report Card: Still Last, Action Needed Now
Eight years ago, in 2014, The Civil Rights Project issued a report that raised awareness about the dire state of segregation in New York State and, in particular, New York City schools. That report spurred substantial activism, primarily led by student groups, parents, teachers, and administrators, which has been influential in the current integration efforts underway in NYC. This report serves as an update to the 2014 report, which analyzed data up to 2010. The analysis of recent data in this report reveals trends from 2010-2018 in school segregation at the state, city, borough, and community district level.
Research Item Dallas Diversity and Inclusion Study
The Civil Rights Project collaborated with the Southern Methodist University Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center (and with the Dallas Independent School District) to conduct a case study of several of the DISD schools that were created, expanded or restarted under district leadership, with the purpose of overcoming shrinking enrollment in the midst of the area's major housing development. Researchers studies a transformation, an innovation and a dual-language program to understand how these schools operate, how effective they are in attracting a diversity of students and what kinds of challenges the schools face.
Research Item Black Segregation Matters: School Resegregation and Black Educational Opportunity
This report shows that the segregation of Black students has increased in almost every region of the nation, and that Black students in many of nation’s largest school districts have little access to or interaction with White, Asian or middle-class students. The report documents substantial Black enrollment in suburban schools, but high levels of segregation in them. Several of the nation’s largest states, including California, New York and Texas, are among the nation’s most segregated in terms of exposure of Black students to their White counterparts. The study details how the national student population is changing and examines the basic patterns of enrollment, segregation and integration across the U.S. The analysis includes enrollment and segregation trends for the past several decades, nationally, by region, community type, and poverty level, and showing the most and least segregated states along multiple measures.
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