Narrowing the Achievement Gap in a (Re) Segregated Urban School District

Research, Policy and Practice

Vivian W. Ikpa
C. Kent McGuire

A volume in the series: The Achievement Gap, Research, Practice, and Policy. Editor(s): C. Kent McGuire. Vivian W. Ikpa.

Published 2009

The interplay between sociopolitical forces and economic agendas becomes apparent when one examines the June 28, 2007 United States Supreme Court Decision, Parents Involved In Community Schools v. Seattle School District . In a reversal of the 1954 Brown Decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that public schools could not use race as a factor when assigning children to public schools. Given demographic shifts, globalization, economic instability, and ideological shifts, the reversal was expected. However, it is essential that policymakers, educators, and other stakeholders consider the impact of attending segregated schools on the achievement gap that continues to exist between minority groups and European Americans attending resegregated neighborhood schools.

This book will focus on the test score gaps between African American and European American students. The achievement gaps between these two groups will be analyzed will be presented and elaborated. Additionally, the authors will analyze how changes in school characteristics such as: racial composition; school composition; school expenditures, and socio economic level of neighborhoods affect achievement gap trends in the Norfolk School District. An examination of the achievement gap trends in an urban school district will serve to better inform public policy and school reform efforts.

The specific goals of this book are to describe the achievement gap between minority African-American students and European-American students in the Norfolk school district and to present strategies utilized by urban districts to narrow the gap. One unique feature of this book is that it provides a data-driven research-based analysis of the achievement gap between minority and European-American students.

Acknowledgment. 1 Introduction. 2 Urban Challenges and the Achievement Gap. 3 The Legal Battle to Desegregate Public Schools. 4 Virginia’s Massive Resistance to Desegregation. 5 Achievement Gap Research. 6 Achievement Gaps and Resegregation in Norfolk. 7 The Achievement Gap in the Resegregated Norfolk City Schools District. 8 Narrowing Achievement Gaps. References. Appendices.

"The authors fulfilled their purpose in writing this book. The topical organization of the book is excellent. The book provides a compilation of research regarding the achievement gap into one volume. School district officials may review the research to determine what recommendations and findings may be applicable to their school systems. As the authors intended, students enrolled in courses focusing on urban school leadership may also be able to reference this book." Veda Jairrels, J.D., Ph.D. Clark Atlanta University in Education Review