Desegration in American Schools

Brian L. Fife
This study examines the question of which type of desegregation plan most effectively reduces segregation in American public schools. It departs from previous research in that the author does not categorize desegregation plans simply as mandatory or voluntary; rather, he creates a choice-coercion continuum to account for more of the variation between diverse desegregation orders that have been implemented in urban America. The issue of measuring segregation is also addressed in a new way by Fife, who concludes that mandated desegregation techniques reduce the level of segregation to a greater degree than less coercive plans. This work is interdisciplinary and will be useful to scholars in political science, public policy, public administration, sociology, and education. It will also be of interest to education policymakers and administrators as it illustrates how applied public policy analysis can address issues and enhance decision-making processes.


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