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Racial Segregation in the Public Schools

Publication Abstract

Farley, Reynolds, and Alma F. Taeuber. 1974. "Racial Segregation in the Public Schools." American Journal of Sociology, 79(4): 888-905.

This paper presents data on racial segregation in public elementary schools in 60 cities for the 1967-68 school year. Wide variation was found among school districts in the fundamental demographic constraints confronting school systems seeking to desegregate. The percentage Negro among students varied from less than 5 to more than 90. Among instructional staffs the percentage Negro ranges from a low of 2 to a high of 84. Levels of racial segregation were typically high. The index ranged from a low of 39 in Sacramento to a high of 97 in Tulsa and Okalhoma City. The average level of school segregation among the 60 cities was 79. The task of desegregation for each city was estimated using an index that reflects both the degree of segregation and the racial composition of students. Cities in the South would have to permit an average of 32% of their students to shift schools compared with 26% in the North. Finally, the segregation of students of one race from teachers of another was determined. Teachers of one race are typically assigned to students of that race.

DOI:10.1086/225631 (Full Text)

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