Sociology and School Busing Policy
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Discusses contributions sociology has made to school desegregation policy, and outlines current research and its implication for future desegregation policy. Public opinion polls have established the level of public support or opposition to busing policies: 75 percent of whites oppose school busing, 18 percent favor it. Only 40 percent of blacks favor busing, and 47 percent are opposed. At the same time polls reveal strong support for school integration among both blacks and whites, suggesting that latent racism is not the cause of antibusing opinions. Sociologists studying the educational consequences of desegregation have not been able to show significant or consistent gains in academic achievement for minority students in desegregation programs. Research on the phenomenon of white flight can have great impact on future desegregation policy. If it is determined that white flight can be attributed to court desegregation orders, then the courts might take this condition into account when fashioning a remedy. (Presented at American Sociological Association, New York City, September 1, 1976.)
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