segregation (for example, a partial 9-12 or K-6), a comprehensive plan such as this might be more conducive to a successful mixing of racial groups.
During early integration efforts, workshops were held for teachers to prepare them for the upcoming merger. These sessions may have made an impact that contributed to good relations between the racial groups.
In explaining how school desegregation might work, Miller presents a "cognitive sophistication interpretation" as suggested by Glock. (13) This view emphasizes the role of cognitive complexity, sophistication, and cynicism in curtailing the development of prejudice and builds upon stereotypes which emphasize their substantial basis in truth. In addition to representing an explanantion of group difference by way of completion of self-fulfilling prophecies, prejudice more fundamentally rests on the perception that true group differences do exist. Miller says that cognitive sophistication promotes immunity to prejudice by enabling one to deal more effectively with the truth component of stereotypes. It allows one to discriminate between relative versus absolute differences, to reduce these overgeneralizations, and by increasing one's understanding of how differences arise to resist prejudicial responses to them.
Maybe Miller's explanation applies in this school system after fourteen years of contact between the races. The stereotypes of blacks expressed by whites in 1964 as being too different and socially unfit subsided in 1979 and 1984, and were replaced with more favorable descriptions of blacks. Allport's equal status within the contact situation, shared goals, and cooperative dependence in reaching their goals may be operating here toward improved racial attitudes.
The findings of Deutsch and Collins in integrated housing units and the soldier study in 1945 which concluded that stereotype-breaking contacts reduce prejudice seem to be supported by these data. Stephan and Rosenfeld suggest if desegregation has positive effects, it is probably that "more than a year or two" is required for them to evolve. (14) More than a "year or two" has passed--more than "mere desegregation" seems to be occurring in this high school.