School Desegregation Plans That Work

School Desegregation Plans That Work

School Desegregation Plans That Work

School Desegregation Plans That Work


"School Desegregation Plans That Work can serve as an excellent planning guide for school districts that must formulate and implement a desegregation plan. Willie not only reviews the general history of desegregation and the litigation that brought it about, but he also provides reviews of desegregation efforts in four cities--Boston, Milwaukee, Seattle, and Atlanta.... These case studies are highly credible, because these sections of the book were written by personnel from the school districts involved. Chapter 5 is the best discussion of desegregation at the local level that [the reviewer has] encountered anywhere.... Disagree with Wille's thesis and his emphases if you will. But, if you are concerned with urban education, be sure to read this book." Phi Delta Kappan


In destroying the old and making way for the new, social change is both destructive and constructive. With reference to school desegregation, educational planners, analysts, and policy makers have been preoccupied with its destructive features and have given only limited attention to the constructive aspects of this revolutionary event. Whether the school desegregation struggle occurs in Pontiac, Michigan, Boston, Massachusetts, or Richmond, California, as sociologist Lillian Rubin said, "the response is the same--a cry of outrage and pain."

"We don't want our city to become another Boston" is the rallying call by public-spirited citizens across the nation. a litany of negative outcomes usually accompanies this declaration. the violence in Boston distracted the public from seeing many of the fine accomplishments of school desegregation.

One suspects that the citizens of any community would be pleased with a public school system that had "a rating process for appointment of principals . . . a personnel evaluation system, improved budget and personnel management . . . a citywide curriculum, the beginning of a systemwide testing program and a new alliance between the schools and business," and an organized data system. These are precisely what reporter Muriel Cohen found in her assessment of the school desegregation process in Boston ten years after litigation began in the federal court.

Moreover, in her article in the December 9, 1982, Boston Globe, Cohen reported that patronage in the school system had been substantially reduced and that parent councils had assumed a strong role in school decisions. the Boston School Committee, a public policy-making body once described as intransigent and now classified as progressive, has become more diversified with minority and majority members since the school-desegregation court order.

In addition to neighborhood attendance zones, a citywide magnet-school . . .

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