Creation of new school districts in US may cause a new form of segregation

November 18, 2009

Although the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 overturned segregation within many U.S. metropolitan communities and districts, school districts were slow to change and have remained segregated between districts. A recent study in Law & Social Inquiry examines how the political process of creating new school districts in Southern communities changed the nature of segregation and seriously affected municipalities and districts now divided along racial lines.

A case in point is Jefferson County, Alabama, where boundaries served to maintain, to differentiate, and even to enhance the white, privileged nature of the population. Further, the creation of small, suburban districts made some underprivileged school districts more vulnerable to racial . Specifically, boundaries drawn in the last thirty years have locked Birmingham's school district (and Bessemer's, a smaller city) into a declining, poor, and majority population.

Author Erica Frankenberg points out, "This pattern of fragmenting districts is happening elsewhere, and it is important to fully understand the consequences. This issue is currently pending in some large districts across the country and could accelerate the current trend of school resegregation if metro areas subdivide into increasingly smaller units."

In creating separate districts, local political control is a contemporary way to maintain racial segregation in these communities, with few current or future prospects for overcoming boundaries that divide students and opportunities along racial lines.

More information: www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122685744/abstract

Source: Wiley (news : web)

Explore further: Calif. schools don't get kids moving

Related Stories

Calif. schools don't get kids moving

June 9, 2006

Just over half of California school districts that include elementary school students fail to provide an average of 20 minutes daily of physical activity.

Lake districts serve as prisms of environmental change

April 25, 2007

Two vastly different Wisconsin lake districts — one in a dynamic agricultural and urban setting, the other in a forested and much less developed region of the state — are proving their value as sentinels of regional environmental ...

Study: Larger school districts more strict

November 7, 2007

A study of Florida public school districts suggests the size of a district often determines whether students are punished under zero-tolerance policies.

Bird flu spread through India

January 17, 2008

Avian influenza among poultry in India spread to new districts as animal control officials struggled to contain the outbreak.

Recommended for you

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

Fractals patterns in a drummer's music

August 28, 2015

Fractal patterns are profoundly human – at least in music. This is one of the findings of a team headed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and Harvard University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.