Desegregation Plans that Raise Black Achievement
A Review of the Research
Statistical analysis of 93 studies shows a positive effect of desegregation on black achievement, as well as test and IQ scores, with maximum gains occurring when (1) black students are desegregated in kindergarten or first grade; (2) desegregated schools are predominantly, but not overwhelmingly, white; and (3) desegregation occurs in a metropolitan plan. The last two findings suggest that the social class, rather than racial mix, of the school produces achievement gains. Where desegregation plans lead to especially high black elementary achievement, students show strong gains in reading and language arts, suggesting that successful desegregated schools concentrate on these basic skills. This review is limited to black students, but an analysis of data on multiethnic schools indicates that Hispanics also benefit from desegregation.