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Black Achievement, White Flight, and Brown’s Legacy

Education Next

Melnick’s book, The Crucible of Desegregation, discusses school desegregation in America but omits key topics in a recent article. It overlooks the failure of desegregation to raise Black and Hispanic achievement levels and the issue of white flight. Studies show no consistent effects of desegregation on Black students’ academic achievement. White flight undermines desegregation plans as it reduces white student presence. Courts’ failure to consider white flight is due to their undefined concept of school desegregation and tendency to follow precedent. Freedom of choice plans, allowing Black students to attend white schools, achieved greater interracial exposure than mandatory reassignment plans.

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