After "Brown": The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation / Edition 1

by Charles T. Clotfelter
Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
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After "Brown": The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation / Edition 1

The United States Supreme Court's 1954 landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, set into motion a process of desegregation that would eventually transform American public schools. This book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of how Brown's most visible effect—contact between students of different racial groups—has changed over the fifty years since the decision.

Using both published and unpublished data on school enrollments from across the country, Charles Clotfelter uses measures of interracial contact, racial isolation, and segregation to chronicle the changes. He goes beyond previous studies by drawing on heretofore unanalyzed enrollment data covering the first decade after Brown, calculating segregation for metropolitan areas rather than just school districts, accounting for private schools, presenting recent information on segregation within schools, and measuring segregation in college enrollment.

Two main conclusions emerge. First, interracial contact in American schools and colleges increased markedly over the period, with the most dramatic changes occurring in the previously segregated South. Second, despite this change, four main factors prevented even larger increases: white reluctance to accept racially mixed schools, the multiplicity of options for avoiding such schools, the willingness of local officials to accommodate the wishes of reluctant whites, and the eventual loss of will on the part of those who had been the strongest protagonists in the push for desegregation. Thus decreases in segregation within districts were partially offset by growing disparities between districts and by selected increases in private school enrollment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691126371
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 02/27/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

List of Tables xi

Preface xv

Introduction 1

Chapter One

Walls Came Tumbling Down 13

Chapter Two

The Legacies of Brown and Milliken 44

Chapter Three

Residential Segregation and "White Flight" 75

Chapter Four

The Private School Option 100

Chapter Five

Inside Schools: Classrooms and School Activities 126

Chapter Six

Higher Learning and the Color Line 148

Chapter Seven

So What? 178

Methodological Appendix 201

Notes 217

References 245

Index 263

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