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Democracy Now? Race, Education, and Black Self-Determination

by Adrienne D. Dixson - 2011

Background/Context: The Supreme Court’s June 2007 decision on the Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No.1 (PICS) provides an important context for school districts and educational policy makers as they consider the role of race in school assignment. The PICS decision has been described as essentially “undoing” the 1954 Supreme Court decision in the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case that ended de jure racial segregation.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: Given the rhetoric that education in the United States is the “great equalizer,” this conceptual article considers how the PICS decisions impact notions of educational equity and self-determination for African Americans.

Research Design: This article provides a conceptual analysis of the PICS decision and educational equity.

Conclusions/Recommendations: The author recommends that despite the PICS decision, school administrators and policy makers continue to consider how race impacts school assignment to ensure that public schools are democratic institutions that are racially and educationally equitable.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 113 Number 4, 2011, p. 811-830
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15968, Date Accessed: 9/23/2021 11:21:09 PM

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About the Author
  • Adrienne Dixson
    The Ohio State University
    E-mail Author
    ADRIENNE D. DIXSON is an associate professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University. Her research examines educational equity, race, and gender in urban school contexts. Recent publications include: Dixson, A. D., & Dingus, J. E. (2008). In search of our mothers' gardens: Black women teachers and professional socialization. Teachers College Record, 110(4), 805–837; and Gafford, C. M., & Dixson, A. D. (2008). Black females in high school: A statistical educational profile. Negro Educational Review, 59(3–4), 163–180.
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