How Does Parents Involved in Community Schools Matter? Legal and Political Influence in Education Politics and Policy
by Kathryn A. McDermott, Elizabeth H. DeBray & Erica Frankenberg - 2012
Background/Context: On June 28, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District #1 (PICS) that school districts not currently under court order for racial desegregation could not, under most circumstances, use race as a criterion for assigning students to schools.
Purpose: In this article, we analyze patterns of response to PICS within and outside the judicial system in order to determine where and how the decision has mattered. We examine post-PICS developments in Seattle and Jefferson County, Kentucky, the districts where the lawsuits began; post-PICS developments in the federal courts; and policy changes at the school district level, including both responses to court decisions and changes undertaken voluntarily by school boards, and in the federal government.
Research Design: This article is a secondary analysis of national and local media articles, legal filings, and policy documents.
Conclusion: The decision, interacting with other issues, has indeed affected school districts, both via the courts and via effects on politics and policy making. Four years later, although PICS has not had a sweeping national effect on which students attend which schools—making the situation not dissimilar to Brown’s initial effects—it has shaped the legal and political landscape in numerous school districts and has interacted with state and federal policy in ways that are still evolving.
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