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Controlling for outside influences beyond the racial composition of schools – including family characteristics like income and education, school level differences like class size and peer effects, as well as conditions in neighborhoods – ensures that the gaps in cognitive development described above are not a result of these other factors but, in fact, due to school composition.
Next, Robert Bifulco, of Syracuse University, Courtney Bell, from the Educational Testing Service, and Casey Cobb, of the University of Connecticut, reported on Connecticut’s inter-district magnet programs, which are specialized schools that provide students an opportunity to cross boundary lines to attend schools in various parts of a metropolitan area (see #12 regarding the Sheff case at https://theintegrationreport.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/issue-12/).
The lunchtime keynote address featured an inspired introduction by John Brittain, of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, followed by a speech from UNC-Chapel Hill Law School Dean Jack Boger.
Dean Boger spotlighted the continuum between two of our inalienable rights, emphasizing that recently school choice proponents have moved our country in the direction of liberty, without regard for equality.
Finally, Sheneka Williams and Eric Houk, of the University of Georgia, took a closer look at Wake County, North Carolina in their study and found that political will for SES integration is eroding in the district, challenging previous assumptions that SES-based plans would be more palatable to white parents than race-conscious assignments.The third panelist, Kristi Bowman, from Michigan State University, supplemented the legal discussion concerning the post- climate in the South with an analysis of a new and rapidly growing dimension of Latino diversity in the region.Two emerging changes will complicate issues of Latino equity and integration further.American schools are the “chief site of moral understanding, citizenship, and development,” he said, and urged a deepened commitment to pursuing the goal of diverse and quality education.The third group of researchers investigated socioeconomic (SES) integration, a policy on the rise since the courts began limiting race-conscious assignment plans in the 1990s. First, Richard Kahlenberg, of the Century Foundation, presented an overview of the history of the implementation of SES integration plans, along with an analysis of the various ways in which SES is used in such plans.