Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13

Goals, Grades, Fears, and Peers. Introductory Essay for Special Issues on the Effects of School and Classroom Racial and SES Composition on Educational Outcomes

by Roslyn Arlin Mickelson - 2010

In this essay, Roslyn Arlin Mickelson introduces the set of three special issues about the effects of school and classroom composition on educational outcomes. The 22 articles in the set report new research on the relationship of racial and socioeconomic composition to math and science outcomes (Vol. 112, No. 4); to verbal achievement, discipline, and high school graduation (Vol. 112, No. 5); and to intergroup relations and adult life course trajectories (Vol. 112, No. 6). She suggests why the findings have implications for public policy and educational practice.

Public schools in the United States are almost as racially isolated today as they were 30 years ago and the majority of schools practice ability grouping or academic tracking in ways that correlate with students’ race and socioeconomic status (SES). The articles in this set of special issues examine these two organizational characteristics of schools and answer key questions: Does the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic mix of a classroom or a school make a difference for the educational processes that take place in them? If composition is related to student outcomes, is the return to pre-1980 levels of racial isolation germane to either educational policy or practice?

The April 2010 issue of Teachers College Record is the first of three special issues devoted to engaging these questions. The articles in the first issue (Vol. 112, No. 4) address the relationships between school or classroom composition and math or science outcomes. The articles in the second issue (Vol. 112, No. 5) focus on verbal achievement and other educational results. The third issue (Vol. 112, No. 6) reports research that examines how school or classroom composition shapes intergroup relations and a variety of other life course outcomes, including adult neighborhood and workplace diversity. Collectively, the articles report findings for almost every ethnic and racial group in the United States. While the majority of the authors utilize US data sets, several contributors analyze international data. The studies report academic outcomes that span kindergarten through high school graduation and college eligibility, as well as nonacademic outcomes that range from the intergenerational perpetuation of racial fears and stereotypes to issues of neighborhood social cohesion.

School racial composition has been a focus of public policy at least since the middle of the last century. Beginning with Brown (Brown v. Board of Educ., 1954), several decades of Supreme Court decisions (Ancheta, 2006b; Boger, 2002; Kluger, 1975), federal legislation, and executive branch policies were directed at creating schools that were not organized along racial lines. When federal court orders to desegregate eventually were implemented during the 1970s and 1980s, the nation made substantial progress toward dismantling racially segregated schools, especially in the South. In the late 1980s, however, desegregated schools in many areas began to resegregate (Logan, 2004; Orfield & Frankenberg, 2008). With the exception of those attending rural schools, levels of racial isolation for Blacks and Latinos/as have steadily increased during the last generation (Orfield, 2009).

Socioeconomic segregation, which is closely correlated with school racial segregation, also has intensified in recent years. Research clearly indicates students who attend schools with concentrated poverty are likely to do more poorly than otherwise comparable youth who attend schools with less poverty (Kahlenberg, 2001). There is widespread agreement among most researchers and policy makers that a school’s socioeconomic composition is intimately related to a host of educational outcomes, although there is little agreement about what strategies, if any, ought to be employed to address socioeconomic segregation.

There is also a broad consensus among researchers, parents, policy makers, and educators that racially diverse schools foster positive interracial attitudes and peer relations. There is less of a consensus about the effects of school racial and ethnic composition on educational outcomes. Some of this disagreement is understandable given the uneven quality of the social science research on the topic that was available until the late 1980s. A substantial body of early (pre-1990s) social science research shows positive, albeit small, effects of desegregation on minority student academic gains (Crain, 1984; Crain & Mahard, 1983). At the same time, many early studies failed to show a relationship between school racial composition and achievement (Cook, 1984; St. John, 1975). Some of this early research was rigorous by any standard, but not all the research on the topic from that era is valid or reliable. Many early studies assessed desegregation plans implemented in a single school district. A number of the early experimental studies were undermined by sample attrition, nonrandom assignment to experimental and control conditions, weak measures of key constructs, or incomplete or inappropriate implementation of the desegregation treatment—all threats to the internal validity of the research. Even when subjects in the experimental and quasi-experimental studies were randomly assigned to the desegregation treatment or control conditions, rarely were subjects randomly selected to participate in the study. In addition, the desegregation plan’s outcomes were evaluated within 1 or 2 years of its implementation—more often than not, far too soon to ascertain reliable results from the intervention.1 At best, early studies told us about desegregation effects in a particular community, but their results could not be generalized to the larger population. At worst, early studies told us very little about desegregation effects because of the mentioned threats to their internal validity.

Studies of school composition effects conducted since the late 1980s suffer from comparatively fewer threats to their internal and external validity. These studies tend to use survey research with representative national samples, and they are more likely to employ sophisticated measures of achievement, family background, school quality, and other important factors known to influence outcomes. Advanced statistical methods available in recent decades, in conjunction with better quality data, increase the capacity of social scientists to isolate the effects of school racial composition on outcomes apart from other influential factors, including school socioeconomic composition, student characteristics, teacher quality, and family socioeconomic status. The 22 articles that appear in the three special issues exemplify contemporary high-quality social science research on the topic. Together, they begin to answer the first question I posed at the beginning of this essay: Does the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic mix of a school or classroom make a difference for the educational processes that take place in them? According to these articles, the answer is yes.


The set of three special issues began with a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, sponsored by the American Sociological Association (ASA). During a session at the ASA’s 2004 annual meeting, civil rights attorney Julius Chambers2 exhorted sociologists to do more than simply celebrate the Brown decision’s 50th anniversary. He pointed out that although it was symbolically important to honor the sweeping influence of the decision on U.S. society, social scientists also had a responsibility to use their expertise to support the legal scholars and attorneys who continue to struggle for educational and civil rights. He called for sociologists to use their critical and analytic skills to research the effects of segregation and desegregation on academic outcomes in K–12 public schools (Chambers, 2004). Chambers zeroed in on educational rights attorneys’ needs for access to comprehensive and current social science research on the effects of attending a diverse or a racially isolated school. Although he did not specifically refer to the then-forthcoming Seattle (Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, 2007) and Louisville (Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Educ., 2007) voluntary desegregation cases that would be argued before the Supreme Court in 2007, he noted that the struggle for educational rights was continuing in the courts.


Kathryn Borman and I responded to Chambers’ challenge to social scientists. In 2005, the ASA’s Sydney Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Social Policy awarded us initial support for a project designed to survey and synthesize the state of social science knowledge about the effects of school and classroom composition on school achievement and related educational outcomes (henceforth, I will refer to this description as the topic).3 The ultimate goal of our Spivack Project was to provide scholars, education rights attorneys, policy makers, and the public with state-of-the-art knowledge about the effects of school and classroom composition on school achievement and related educational outcomes. We planned to disseminate the knowledge we gathered through a monograph on the topic and a variety of other policy and scholarly articles.

The core activities of the Spivack Project began with the surveying, synthesizing, and archiving of all relevant social and behavioral science research on the topic. We created an electronic database, the Spivack Archive, into which detailed two-page summaries of all relevant entries were placed. As of this writing, there are approximately 425 entries in the Spivack Archive. The entries draw from the previous five decades of desegregation and tracking research, although most research we summarize was produced during the last 20 years. Studies include qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies. A number of the entries are themselves literature reviews or meta-analyses. In December 2009, the surveying and synthesizing of the literature will end, and the Spivack Archive will be placed on the ASA’s Web site, where it will be available to the public.4

To frame the Spivack Project’s forthcoming monograph in the substantive and theoretical literatures, in early 2006, Kathy Borman, ASA deputy executive director Carla Howery,5 and I conducted hour-long phone interviews with 30 eminent senior social scientists, research methodologists, and legal scholars whose own scholarship has addressed the Spivack Project’s topic or issues related to it. We asked each person three questions: (1) What do we know about the effects of school and classroom composition on educational outcomes? (2) What do we still need to know? (3) What methodological approaches ought to be used in future research on these questions? Several months after the interviews, ASA hosted a 3-day Spivack workshop to which we invited a group of 22 prominent younger scholars whose research investigated aspects of the Spivack Project’s topic. Each invitee presented a working paper on his or her own research, after which the group discussed the working papers in light of the three questions posed to the interviewees.

Although the interviews and the workshop produced a broad array of findings, the participants in both endeavors agreed on several issues. First, the experts found that most of the previous research on the topic focused heavily on academic achievement and neglected the wider range of human experiences in and beyond schools (long-term outcomes such as educational and occupational attainment, and intergenerational perpetuation of racial stereotypes and fears). They encouraged a broadening of the scope of future research to embrace outcomes beyond achievement. Second, the experts agreed that although methodological rigor was essential for investigating the relationship between school composition and educational outcomes, prior research had privileged quantitative studies, especially experimental designs, at the expense of qualitative research. They called for more qualitative and multiple-methods designs in future research. Third, they noted that prior research almost always reported findings for Blacks and Whites and largely ignored Latinos/as, Asians, Native Americans, immigrants, and students from mixed-race backgrounds. They agreed that we need to examine the topic specifically with regard to these neglected subpopulations, particularly because the changing demographics of the U.S. population means that increasingly, students are neither Black nor White.

To begin to address the lacunae in the scholarly literature identified by our interviewees and workshop participants and the early trends we observed in the research we had archived up to that point, Kathy and I approached TCR’s Executive Editor Gary Natriello with a proposal to devote a special issue of the journal to the topic. He graciously agreed to our suggestion. Our plan was to edit a single issue, but when our final tally of publishable articles on the topic reached 22, Natriello agreed to print them in three sequential issues in Volume 112 as Numbers 4, 5, and 6.


In the next section of this introductory essay, I describe how Kathy and I edited the set of three special issues. We believe that it is important to describe for readers the ethical standards and scientific rigor with which we approached our responsibilities. Certainly all journal editors strive for independence, fairness, and scientific rigor. However, transparently describing our editorial process is necessary because of the highly contentious and political nature of debates about school and classroom compositional effects on educational outcomes.

The Supreme Court’s various opinions in the 2007 Seattle and Louisville voluntary desegregation cases are emblematic of the highly contentious and political nature of the debates on the topic. Taken together, the opinions illustrate the potential for the selective use of research to socially constructed social science  knowledge in ways that are consistent with a political or ideological position. In the various Parents Involved opinions, several justices expressed diametrically different interpretations of the social science research record on whether student body racial composition affects achievement and other outcomes. Justice Breyer referred repeatedly to the voluminous social science research record that shows positive effects of racial desegregation on educational outcomes to support his opinion that there are broad compelling interests in diversity and in avoiding racial isolation.6 Justice Thomas wrote that the scientific record is too ambiguous and contradictory to support a compelling interest in diversity.7

The treatment of social science research is much less definitive in the other opinions. Chief Justice Roberts’s plurality opinion did not cite any social science research or any of the social science briefs. However, he wrote that “the parties and their amici dispute whether racial diversity in schools in fact has a marked impact on test scores and other objective yardsticks or achieves intangible socialization benefits.”8 Neither Justice Kennedy’s opinion nor Justice Stevens’ dissent referred to any social science studies.9 Putting aside the question of how much the social science record did or did not contribute to the justices’ opinions,10 their conflicting views of the social science record suggest a need to clarify precisely what is known about the effects of school racial and SES composition on various educational outcomes.

We have additional reasons for describing our editorial procedures. Both Kathy and I have published empirical research and policy studies that have demonstrated the costs of racial and socioeconomic isolation and the benefits of attending schools that are diverse.11 Upon learning that we were editing a special issue on the topic, a colleague questioned whether the editorial process could be fair given our own policy predilections on the issue. We assured the person that it would be. Later, one of our reviewers wrote that if the rather weak manuscript under review had not been invited by the editors, the reviewer would have recommended against publishing it. We clarified for this reviewer that none of the manuscripts was invited. These candid comments from colleagues raise reasonable concerns about potential threats to the integrity of the editorial process and, hence, the scientific value of the contents of the articles we selected for publication.  The goal of describing our editorial procedures is to allay any readers concerns about the subjectivity of the process and the objectivity of the results of our efforts.


The special issues began with an open call for papers that was published in Teachers College Record for several months beginning in early 2007. The call was distributed widely on education and social science listservs. The call was also published in education and sociology newsletters. Fifty authors submitted manuscripts electronically through TCR’s Web site. Following the journal’s established editorial practice, we declined to send 14 manuscripts for blind peer reviews after conducting an in-house review of the initial submissions. The 14 either were not relevant to the special issue or were unlikely to survive the review process because they were methodologically weak and/or poorly written.


Each of the remaining 36 manuscripts was reviewed by between three and five reviewers. Kathy and I selected reviewers so that at least one came from each the following three categories: (1) substantive expertise in the area of the manuscript’s focus, (2) methodological expertise that matched the paper’s research design, and (3) general broad research and substantive expertise about education and society.12

I managed the submissions because TCR’s electronic manuscript control system allows only one special issue editor to control the flow of manuscripts and their reviews. All blinded manuscripts and anonymous reviewers were identified by their numbers. Kathy and I jointly made editorial decisions about the manuscripts. Of the 22 articles that appear in the three-issue set, only one was accepted without revision. All of the others were revised extensively at least once, and several manuscripts were revised twice before we accepted them for publication.

Two exceptions to these practices involved manuscripts submitted by Geoffrey Borman and his coauthors. Because Geoff is Kathy Borman’s son, I handled his manuscripts in ways that did not compromise the integrity of the editorial process. Specifically, for Geoff Borman’s manuscripts, reviewer selection and editorial decisions were conducted jointly by TCR’s Executive Editor Gary Natriello and me. Kathy was informed of all our editorial decisions regarding Geoff’s manuscripts after the fact.


The appendix lists the names of the scholars who reviewed the manuscripts. A total of 123 scholars from six countries (Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States) generously gave their time and considerable expertise to this project. The reviewers took their responsibilities seriously. It was not uncommon for someone to return a review with multiple single-spaced pages of comments. Two reviewers reanalyzed the data set that the author used in order to check the author’s finding or to elaborate his or her own comment; others volunteered to review a revised version of the original paper. Without a doubt, the excellence of the 22 articles in the three-issue set is due in part to the careful, detailed, critical, and essential feedback the authors received from their reviewers. Kathy and I are grateful to the reviewers for their intellectual labors that contributed in no small part to the success of the special issues.


The first of the three issues presents seven articles that examine the relationships among math and science outcomes and school racial or socioeconomic composition. We devoted the first special issue to math and science outcomes because of the importance of the two subjects for individuals’ and the nation’s future.

The old chestnut that students learn to read so that they can read to learn captures the integral nature of literacy to all educational endeavors. The eight articles in the second issue focus on verbal achievement and other educational outcomes such as student discipline, ADHD identification, and high school graduation.  

Academic lessons are not the only ones students learn in school. We expect our public schools to prepare students for lives after high school, when they will be college students, workers in a globalizing economy, and citizens in a multiethnic democratic society. The seven articles in the third issue present research about school composition’s relationship to reducing or perpetuating interracial fears, hostilities, and stereotypes. The issue features articles on aspirations for and access to higher education, as well as studies that examine the effects of high school racial and SES composition on the levels of diversity in adults’ workplaces and neighborhoods.

The majority of the articles investigate school-level compositional issues, although several explore the effects of classroom composition on specific outcomes. The articles are primarily quantitative or mixed-methods studies. We encouraged authors to submit qualitative studies, but very few were submitted for consideration. We are disappointed that we could not publish more qualitative studies. In our view, the relative absence of qualitative research is the major shortcoming of the set of special issues. Nevertheless, as a whole, the manuscripts begin to address the weaknesses in the literature identified by the Spivack interviewees and workshop panelists. The foci of the research reported in the 22 articles extend well beyond achievement; they examine a range of outcomes for a wide array of student subpopulations, and they employ cutting-edge methods with extraordinarily good data sets.


Socioeconomic and racial disparities in educational outcomes have concerned educators, parents, and policy makers for decades. Although in recent years, minority and lower income students have made gains in mathematics and science performance, gaps remain, and they still correlate with students’ race and SES. Recent National Assessment of Educational Progress results show Asian and White students score higher than Black, Latino/a, and Native American youth in all grades. Stark socioeconomic differences exist as well; students from more prosperous families outperform youths eligible for free and reduced-price lunches (see Grigg, Donahue, & Dion, 2007; Grigg, Lauko, & Brockway, 2006; Perie, Grigg, & Dion, 2005).

Current efforts to reform schools seek simultaneously to eliminate these disparities (the goal of equity) while raising achievement and attainment (the goal of excellence). Reforms typically focus on improving curricula, enhancing teacher quality, manipulating school or classroom size, and implementing the reform triumvirate of standards, assessment, and accountability. Compared with much of the second half of the 20th century, when desegregation efforts were front and center to reform efforts, today, reformers pay much less attention to the role that school racial and socioeconomic composition has on educational outcomes. Policy makers and practitioners’ apparent retrenchment from addressing school racial and socioeconomic composition is shortsighted. The preponderance of the articles that appear in this set of three special issues demonstrates that compositional characteristics of schools and classrooms contribute to the persistence of race, ethnic, and social class gaps in achievement and attainment.

The articles in the set broaden the social scientific knowledge base regarding the organizational correlates of learning, intergroup relations, and the role of schooling in stratification processes. They also contribute to important policy debates that this nation has had for five decades. Is school racial and socioeconomic isolation harmful or benign? Should public policy respond to racial and socioeconomic [re]segregation of public schools? The findings reported in the special issues suggest that we are highly unlikely to close the racial and SES gaps in educational outcomes without policies that address school and classroom racial isolation and low-SES concentration.13

In the 2007 decisions in the Seattle and Louisville voluntary desegregation cases,14 the Supreme Court concluded that the ways in which both school districts used an individual student’s race as a component of their voluntary desegregation assignment plans were unconstitutional because the plans were insufficiently narrowly tailored to meet the Court’s standards for strict scrutiny. The decision limits the ways in which school districts are permitted to use an individual student’s race for school assignments. At the same time, five justices recognized the state’s compelling interest in creating diverse public schools and in overcoming the current racial isolation within them.15  In fact, Justice Kennedy’s opinion recommended a number of strategies that school leaders can employ to create diverse schools and avoid racially isolated ones without using individual students’ race for pupil assignment. It is likely that some educational leaders who seek an integrated school system will draw new pupil assignment plans guided by his suggestions. Many observers believe that it is also likely that the implementation of any new pupil assignment plans designed to create diverse schools may trigger legal struggles over whether the local districts’ strategies meet the Court’s standards for strict scrutiny.

The role of social science research in any future educational rights cases likely will be, as it has been before, varied and unpredictable. But the centrality of public schools to a democratic society, and to the lives of the millions of students who attend them, requires that jurists have the most current, comprehensive, and rigorous social science available to inform their decisions —if they choose to use it.

The articles in these three special issues illuminate the relationships between school and classroom racial and SES composition and critically important educational outcomes, including academic achievement, intergroup relations, and adult life course trajectories. The articles will most certainly contribute to the corpus of social science on which scholars, policymakers, citizens, classroom teachers, school boards, educational rights attorneys, and jurists can draw as they strive to reform U.S. schools so that every student has access to an excellent and equitable education.


1. See Mickelson (2008) for a more complete discussion of the differences between pre-1990 and post-1990 social science research on school composition effects.

2. Julius Chambers, clinical professor of law and director of the Center for Civil Rights, is the former director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) in New York City and former chancellor of North Carolina Central University. Mr. Chambers’ law firm and lawyers from the LDF successfully litigated civil rights cases and helped shape the contours of civil rights law by winning landmark United States Supreme Court rulings in such cases as Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971), the famous school busing decision, and Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971) and Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody (1975), two of the Supreme Court’s most significant Title VII employment discrimination decisions.  (See http://www.law.unc.edu/faculty/directory/details.aspx?cid=13.)

3. Since 2005, I have received additional support for this project from the Poverty and Race Research Action Council and the National Science Foundation.

4. The thrust of the findings from the articles in this set of three issues is consistent with the preponderance of articles in the Spivack Archive; also see Mickelson and Bottia (in press).

5. Carla Howery was instrumental in the development of the Spivack Project. She lost her battle with breast cancer in April 2009. She was a brilliant sociologist, a dynamic leader, a gifted administrator, and a wonderful colleague who shepherded the Spivack Project through its initial stages.

6. Parents Involved, 127 S. Ct. at 2820-22, 2824 (Breyer, J., dissenting).

7. Justice Thomas selectively used social science studies or cited portions of studies that supported his opinion. For instance, Justice Thomas’s opinion cited findings from two articles that showed even in desegregated schools, Blacks are often resegregated by academic tracking (Mickelson, 2001; Parents Involved, 127 S. Ct. at 23 [Thomas, concurring]; Yonezawa, Wells, & Serna, 2002 ). But his opinion ignored the other findings in the very same articles that also demonstrated the academic benefits of attending a racially diverse school over and above the deleterious effects of tracking.

8. Parents Involved at 2755 (Roberts, J., plurality).

9. Id. at 2797-800 (Stevens, J., dissenting); Id. at 2788-2797 (Kennedy, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment).

10. Scholars from many disciplines have commented on the use of social science amicus briefs in educational rights cases. This lively debate is, however, beyond the scope of this essay (see, generally, Ancheta, 2006a, 2006b; Chesler, Sanders, & Kalmuss, 1988; Garfinkel, 1959; Lucas & Paret, 2005; Roesch, Golding, Hans, & Reppucci, 1991; Rustad & Koenig, 1993; Ryan, 2003; Schofield & Hausmann, 2004; Taylor, 1997).

11. See for example, Borman et al. (2004) and Mickelson (2001).

12. Jeff Frank, TCR’s Managing Editor, provided us with invaluable assistance throughout the process.

13. See Vigdor and Ludwig 2008 for a recent review of the literature on segregation and the Black-White test score gap.

14. Parents Involved, 127 S. Ct. 2738 (2007). (Roberts, J., plurality).

15. Parents Involved, 127 S. Ct. at 2788 (2007); (Kennedy, J., concurring); Id. at 2800 (Breyer, J., dissenting).


Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody, 422 U.S. 405 (1975).

Ancheta, A. (2006a). Civil rights, education research, and the courts. Educational Researcher, 35(1), 26–29.

Ancheta, A. (2006b). Scientific evidence and equal protection of the law. New Brunswick, NJ:  Rutgers University Press.

Boger, J. C. (2002). A quick look at the remedial responsibilities under the federal constitution for school districts found to have practiced de jure, or intentional segregation of their public schools—and at judicial consideration of the relation between continuing school segregation and private housing choices in formerly segregated school districts. Unpublished manuscript, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Law School.

Borman, K., Eitle, T., Michael, D., Eitle, D. J., Lee, R., Johnson, L., et al. (2004). Accountability in a postdesegregation era: The continuing significance of racial segregation in Florida’s schools. American Educational Research Journal, 41, 605–645.

Brown v. Board of Educ. I, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

Chambers, J. (2004, August). The legacy of Brown. Remarks of Julius Chambers, Esq. to the American Sociological Association, New York, New York.

Chesler, M. A., Sanders, J., & Kalmuss, D. S. (1988). Social science in court: Mobilizing experts in the school desegregation cases. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Cook, T. (Ed.). (1984). School desegregation and Black achievement. Washington, DC: National Institute of Education.

Crain, R. (1984). Is nineteen really better than ninety-three? In T. Cook (Ed.), School desegregation and Black achievement. Washington, DC: National Institute of Education.

Crain, R., & Mahard, R. (1983). The effect of research methodology on desegregation-achievement studies: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Sociology, 88, 839–854.

Garfinkel, H. (1959). Social science evidence and the school desegregation cases. Journal of Politics, 21, 37–59.

Grigg, W., Donahue, P., & Dion, G. (2007). The Nation’s Report Card: 12th-Grade Reading and Mathematics 2005 (NCES 2007–468). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Grigg, W., Lauko, M., & Brockway, D. (2006). The Nation’s Report Card: Science 2005 (NCES 2006-466). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Griggs v. Duke Power Co. 401 U.S. 424, 91 S. Ct. 849, 28 L.Ed.2d 158 (1971).

Kahlenberg, R. (2001). All together now: Creating middle-class schools through public school choice. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Kluger, R. (1975). Simple justice: The history of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America’s struggle for equality. New York: Random House.

Logan, J. (2004). Resegregation in American public schools? Not in the 1990s. Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research, University at Albany. Retrieved from http://www.s4.brown.edu/cen2000/noresegregation/noresegregation_report.pdf

Lucas, S. R., & Paret, M. (2005). Law, race, and education in the United States. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 1, 203–231.

Mickelson, R. A. (2001). Subverting Swann: First- and second-generation segregation in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. American Educational Research Journal, 38, 215–252.

Mickelson, R. A. (2008). Twenty-first century social science on school racial diversity and educational outcomes. Ohio State Law Journal, 69, 1173–1227.

Mickelson, R. A., & Bottia, M. (in press). Integrated education and mathematics outcomes: A synthesis of social science research. North Carolina Law Review.

Orfield, G. (2009). Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society:  A 21st Century Challenge. Retrieved from http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/deseg/reviving_the_goal_mlk_2009.pdf.

Orfield, G., & Frankenberg, E. (2008). The last have become first: Rural and small town America lead the way on desegregation. The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, University of California, Los Angeles. Retrieved from http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/deseg/lasthavebecomefirst.pdf.

Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, 127 S. Ct. 2738 (2007).

Perie, M., Grigg, W., & Dion, G. (2005). The Nation’s Report Card: Mathematics 2005 (NCES 2006–453). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Roesch, R., Golding, S. L., Hans, V. P., & Reppucci, N. D. (1991). Social science and the courts: The role of amicus curiae briefs. Law and Human Behavior, 15, 1–11.

Rustad, M., & Koenig, T. (1993). The Supreme Court and junk social science: Selective distortions in amicus briefs. North Carolina Law Review, 72, 91–162.

Ryan, J. (2003). The limited influence of social science evidence in modern desegregation cases. North Carolina Law Review, 81, 1659.

Schofield, J., & Hausmann, L. R. M. (2004). School desegregation and social science research. American Psychologist, 59, 538–546.

Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971).


St. John, N. (1975). School Desegregation: Outcomes for Children. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Taylor, W. L. (1997). Introduction and overview: The role of social science in school desegregation efforts. Journal of Negro Education, 66, 196–202.

Vigdor, J. L., & Ludwig, J. (2008). Segregation and the test score gap. In K. Magnuson & J. Waldfogel (Eds.), Steady gains and stalled progress (pp. 181–211). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Yonezawa, S., Wells, A. S., & Serna, I. (2002). Choosing tracks: “Freedom of choice” in detracting schools. American Educational Research Journal, 39, 37–67.


Reviewers for Special Issues

Angelo Ancheta, Santa Clara University

Sonya Anderson, Independent Scholar

Hanna Ayalon, Tel Aviv University

Bill Ayers, University of Illinois, Chicago

Bruce Baker, University of Kansas

David Baker, Pennsylvania State University

Percy Bates, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Pamela Bennett, Johns Hopkins University

Judith Blau, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Katherine Bodovski, Pennsylvania State University

Martha Bottia, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Jerry Bracey, Independent Scholar and Writer

Andrew Beveridge, Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center

Carol Burris, Independent Scholar

Stephen J. Caldas, Hofstra University

William Carbonaro, Notre Dame University

Linda Chisholm, Human Sciences Research Council

Bridget Cotner, University of South Florida

Robert Croninger, University of Maryland

Robert Crosnoe, University of Texas, Austin

Beverly E. Cross, University of Memphis

Susan Dauber, Spencer Foundation

Scott Davies, McMaster University

Stephany DeScisciolo, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Donna Deyhle, University of Utah

Donna Eder, Indiana University

David Eitle, Montana State University

Tamela Eitle, Montana State University

David Embrick, Loyola University, Chicago

Ivan Evans, University of California, San Diego

George Farkas, University of California, Irvine

Walter Farrell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Michele Fine, CUNY Graduate Center

Glenn Firebaugh, Pennsylvania State University

Nilda Flores-Gonzales, University of Illinois, Chicago

Donna Ford, Vanderbilt University

Erica Frankenberg, Michigan State University

Patricia Gándara, University of California, Los Angeles

Greta Gibson, University of California, Santa Cruz

Elizabeth Glennie, RTI International

Jay Green, University of Arkansas

Kenneth Godwin, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Eric Hanushek, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Angel Harris, Princeton University

Annette Hemmings, University of Cincinnati

Melissa Herman, Dartmouth College

Frederick M. Hess, American Enterprise Institute

Stephen Heyneman, Vanderbilt University

Kenneth Howe, University of Colorado, Boulder

Lea Hubbard, University of San Diego

Luis Huerta, Teachers College, Columbia University

Jonathan Jansen, University of the Free State

Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation

David Kaplan, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Mindy Kornhaber, Pennsylvania State University

Peter Kuriloff, Pennsylvania State University

Hugh Lauder, University of Bath

Reggie Lee, University of South Florida

Pepi Leistyna, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Amanda Lewis, University of Illinois, Chicago

Robert Linn, University of Colorado, Boulder

Pauline Lipman, University of Illinois, Chicago

Martin Lipton, University of California, Los Angeles

Rachel Lotan, Stanford University

Sarah Lubienski, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Catherine Lugg, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Xin Ma, University of Kentucky

Nancy Madden, Johns Hopkins University

Daniel McFarland, Stanford University

James McPartland, Johns Hopkins University

John Meyer, Stanford University

Heinrich Mintrop, University of California, Berkeley

Stephanie Moller, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Jerome Morris, University of Georgia

George Noblitt, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Pedro Noguera, New York University

Carla O’Connor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Aaron Pallas, Teachers College, Columbia University

Pamela Perry, University of California, Santa Cruz

Meredith Phillips, University of California, Los Angeles

Stephen B. Plank, Johns Hopkins University

Suet-Ling Pong, Pennsylvania State University

john a. powell, The Ohio State University

Jeanne Powers, Arizona State University

Robert Ream, University of California, Riverside

Sean Reardon, Stanford University

Carolyn Riehl, Teachers College, Columbia University

Cornelius Riordan, Providence College

Christine Rossell, Boston University

Beth C. Rubin, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Sir Michael Rutter, University College London

Larry Saha, Australian National University

Kenneth Saltman, DePaul University

Salvatore Saporito, College of William and Mary

Fran Schwartz, Partners for School Change

Janelle Scott, University of California, Berkeley

Mara Sapon Shevin, Syracuse University

Yossi Shavit, Tel Aviv University

Selcuk Sirin, New York University

Mary Lee Smith, Arizona State University

Stephen S. Smith, Winthrop University

Joseph Soares, Wake Forest University

Stephanie Southworth, Clemson University

Robert Sternberg, Yale University

Larry Suter, National Science Foundation

Christopher Swanson, Editorial Projects in Education Research Center

Rosemary Traore, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Karolyn Tyson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Will Tyson, University of South Florida

Angela Valenzuela, University of Texas, Austin

Jacob Vigdor, Duke University

Herbert Walberg, University of Illinois, Chicago

Vanessa Siddle Walker, Emory University

Maika Watanabe, San Francisco State University

Elliot Weininger, SUNY Brockport

Kevin Welner, University of Colorado, Boulder

Amy Stuart Wells, Teachers College, Columbia University

Geoff Whitty, Institute of Education, University of London

Greg Wiggan, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Brian Williams, Georgia State University

Charles V. Willie, Harvard University

Doug Willms, University of New Brunswick

Robert Wood, Mathematica

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 112 Number 4, 2010, p. 961-977
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15686, Date Accessed: 5/20/2022 12:43:35 AM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools

Related Media

Related Articles

Related Discussion
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Roslyn Arlin Mickelson
    University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    E-mail Author
    ROSLYN ARLIN MICKELSON is professor of sociology and public policy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has published widely on minority educational issues, desegregation and achievement, tracking, gender and education, homeless students, and educational policy. With funding from the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation, Mickelson has investigated school reform in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools since 1989, chronicling the consequences of the district’s transformation from a desegregated to a resegregated school system. Her most recent publications include “Class and Race Challenges to Community Collaboration for Educational Change,” School/Community Journal, 18(2), 29–52, 2008, with Linwood H. Cousins, Brian Williams, and Anne Velasco; and “Twenty-First Century Social Science Research on School Diversity and Educational Outcomes,” Ohio State Law Journal, 69, 1173–1228, 2008. Currently, Mickelson is writing a monograph synthesizing social science research on the effects of school and classroom composition on educational outcomes.
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue