Parents Say They Want School Integration But Their Actions Produce Greater Racial Segregation

A new report published by the Making Caring Common Project at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University finds that a large majority of parents across race, class, geographic region, and political affiliation favor substantially racially and economically integrated schools. That’s the good news. The bad news is that when parents have more control over where to send their children to school, their choices make schools more segregated.

Researchers conducted a large-scale national survey of U.S. adults and held numerous individual interviews and focus groups with a wide array of Americans to explore whether and how much parents value school integration and the factors that shape their thinking about sending their child to an integrated school. They found that while most parents expressed support for integration, the research also suggested that a complex mixture of concerns about school quality and a variety of unacknowledged racial and class biases may deter many parents from choosing integrated schools for their children.

The results indicate that many White, advantaged parents, for example, appear to make their decisions based on the number of parents like them at a school. Many parents make decisions based on school quality measures, such as test scores, that favor more advantaged school populations and commonly don’t reflect actual educational quality.

“Many parents don’t do the legwork to determine which schools in their district are actually high-quality and might work for their family,” said Eric Torres, a Ph.D. student at Harvard University and co-author of the report. “To get beyond their biases and misperceptions, parents need to actually visit schools, talk to people with education expertise, and get out of their bubbles. Talking to people from other classes and cultures can be particularly valuable.”

The full report – Do Parents Really Want School Integration? –  may be downloaded by clicking here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Virginia State University Receives Approval to Launch MBA Program

“I am confident this program will equip our diverse population of men and women with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to thrive in today’s ever-evolving world of business," said Emmanual Omojokun, dean of the Virginia State University College of Business.

Three Black Scholars Receive Faculty Appointments

The appointments are Erica Armstrong Dunbar at Emory University in Atlanta, Kimberly Haynie at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, and Kevin Vandiver at Virginia Theological Seminary.

Delaware State University Aviation Program Establishes Partnership with Endeavor Air

Through a new memorandum of understanding, students in the aviation program at Delaware State University will have the opportunity to enroll in a pathway program with Endeavor Air, ultimately leading to a priority interview with the airline company upon completion of required flight hours.

American College of Physicians Honors Bruce Ovbiagele for Advancing Diversity in Healthcare

Dr. Ovbiagele's academic career has been dedicated to eliminating local and global stroke disparities, as well as mentoring medical students and researchers from underrepresented groups.

Featured Jobs