Educational policy analysis archives

Educational policy analysis archives

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Educational policy analysis archives
Arizona State University
University of South Florida
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Tempe, Ariz
Tampa, Fla
Arizona State University
University of South Florida.
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Education -- Research -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 1, no. 7 (June 06, 1993).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c June 06, 1993
Merging educational finance reform and desegregation goals / Deborah M. Kaza-Thresher.
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2 710
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
1 773
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
4 856

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1 of 15 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 1 Number 7June 6, 1993ISSN 1068-2341A peer-reviewed scholarly electronic journal. Editor: Gene V Glass, Glass@ASU.EDU. College of Edu cation, Arizona State University,Tempe AZ 85287-2411 Copyright 1993, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES.Permission is hereby granted to copy any a rticle provided that EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES is credited and copies are not sold.Merging Educational Finance Reform and Desegregatio n Goals Deborah M. Kazal-Thresher Arizona State UniversityAbstract: Educational finance reforms and desegregation have both sought to address inequities in educational opportunities for minorities and low income families. The recent methods of addressing desegregation issues have tended to focu s on attaining racial balance rather than educational quality, however. This paper explores h ow desegregation goals can be merged with educational finance reform to more systematically a ddress educational quality in schools serving low income and minority populations. By moving towa rd centralized control over school financing, the inequity of school outcomes that are based on unequal school resources can be reduced. In addition, state determined expenditures when combined with desegregation monies, would meet the original intention of desegregation funds by clearly providing add-on monies for additional services for minority children, while at the same time, creating a better monitoring mechanism. Although the goals of desegregation are somewhat c ontroversial and subject to judicial scrutiny and interpretation, two consistently discu ssed goals are to increase interracial exposure through seeking more racially balanced schools, and to improve the quality of education available to minority students. One school of thoug ht has argued that by meeting the first goal minority communities have a better chance of realiz ing the second goal (Hawley, 1981). Yet state and district efforts to integrate their school popu lations racially has often overshadowed efforts to improve educational achievement and quality of prog ram for minorities. Complicating the matter is the fact that desegrega tion has been mandated through the courts rather than the legislature, resulting in a myriad of situational interpretations of what constitutes a desegregated school system. Often the emphasis by the courts has been on the success of districts in increasing racial balance, or interracial exposure, as the main criteria in meeting desegregation requirements. Districts, ther efore, have focused on whatever definition of racial balance the court has designated and have pr oceeded to meet that minimum, but typically no more.


2 of 15 Because implementation has tended to focus on raci al integration, it can be argued that the equally important goal of significantly improving t he overall quality of education available to minority populations has been inconsistently addres sed by most cities and districts attempting to desegregate. The central issue that still remains after more th an 30 years of desegregation efforts is how do we improve educational outcomes and economic opp ortunities for the majority of minority youth. Admittedly this is a complicated problem and can be attributed to many factors; 1) our history as a segregated society, which has affected not only schools but employment and political opportunities for minority populations; 2) the role of teacher/staff attitudes and expectations in schooling outcomes and opportunities; and 3) the in fluence of poverty and the persistence of intergenerational economic outcomes on the aspirati ons of minority youth, to name a few. It is also, in part, an issue of educational equity, and can be addressed by reforming educational finance systems. With this view in mind, it may be appropriate for desegregation advocates to direct their efforts to improving the level of reso urces and the quality of inputs into minority dominated schools as one of their main targets rath er than focusing on racial integration per se. In this paper I will discuss how educational finan ce reform can help to address the issue of educational quality and meet one of the major goals of desegregation. A desegregation case in one southwestern school district illustrates how fo cusing on racial balance inadequately addressed issues related to the quality of educatio n. It also provides an example of how districts seek to meet only the minimum required of them and have used desegregation funds to support programs with limited applicability. In this situat ion, it might be more beneficial to use the resources supporting desegregation programs to enha nce all programs that serve minority students. Through a merging of desegregation and fi nance reform goals we may be able to find a more permanent solution to enhancing the quality of education available to the majority of minority students. The paper will also discuss why this may be a fruitful direction to move at this juncture in time.What Is Quality Education? While most of the desegregation literature makes r eference to the importance of addressing the quality of education in minority sch ools, few actually define what they mean by the term. In this paper educational quality will re fer to three main elements of program; 1) the ability to attract and retain teachers with high ve rbal ability and high expectations for student performance; 2) exposure to breath of classes and d epth of content to enable the school population to perform at or above the national norm s on chosen achievement tests; and 3) to generate graduation rates above 74% and to have at least 40% of graduates pursue more education.(See Note 1 ) All these variables can be measured by comparing the performance of minority schools with the best of suburban schools serving high socioeconomic neighborhoods. If the schools serving minority populations were ab le to meet these standards, parents might be less likely to protest measures designed to reassig n attendance lines to ensure racial balance at all schools within a chosen parameter.Desegregation Research The research by social scientists on desegregation has been vast, and has focused on its effects and outcomes as well as the legal and moral justification for desegregated schools; in part, because of its social and political consequences. R esearchers have looked at the historical progression of judicial interpretation of Brown and its meaning (Taylor, 1981; Green, 1985), they have examined the impact of desegregation on achiev ement (Coleman, 1966; Winkler, 1975; Summers and Wolfe, 1977; Crain and Mahard, 1981), o n attitudes and race relations


3 of 15(McConahay, 1981; Schofield and Sager, 1983, Parson s, 1985), on interracial exposure outside of schools (Pearce, 1985;), on future education (Cr ain and Strauss, 1985), and on economic outcomes (McPartland and Braddock, 1981; Braddock a nd McPartland, 1989), among others. Generally, they have found that desegregation can i mprove achievement among minority students (but does not always do so), can have a positive im pact on racial tolerance and interaction both within and outside schools, and can influence more minority youth to attend college and improve their employment outcomes. Academic outcomes have been of particular interest to social scientists because it was one of the rationales for pursuing desegregated schools Here the findings have been mixed, but studies have turned up more positive than negative effects on minority achievement, and, in general, no effect on white achievement (Crain and Mahard, 1982; Longshore and Prager, 1985). The inconsistent results stem partly from methodolo gical problems in the earlier studies, making many of the findings suspect (Mahard and Crain, 198 3). Because of the decentralized nature of the impleme ntation process, social scientists have attempted to determine when desegregation has been successful and under what type of plans (see, for instance, Taylor, 1981; Hawley, 1981; Cra in and Mahard, 1982; Hartman and Maehr, 1984; Green, 1985; Metz, 1986; Rossell, 1985). From their meta-analysis, Crain and Mahard (1982) suggest two contextual features of desegrega ted schools that may enhance minority achievement. First, it has been found that black ac hievement improves most when blacks are in schools that are mostly white and includes students from higher SES backgrounds. Second, plans with a metropolitan scope show greater black achiev ement gains, perhaps because they reach more middle-class whites, which implies that succes sful desegregation is socioeconomic as well as racial (Longshore and Prager, 1985). Researchers have also documented the critical role of principal/teacher expectations and attitudes in the success or failure of desegregation programs, particularly with respect to improving achievement (Crain, Mahard and Narot, 1982; Genova and Walberg, 1984; Rubovits and Maehr, 1973; Hartman an d Maehr, 1984; Weinberg, 1985). Recently, the efficacy of voluntary versus mandato ry desegregation plans has been closely examined, especially as the popularity of choice in schools has increased. Voluntary desegregation plans are most associated with the co ncept of freedom of choice. These desegregation plans tend to rely on magnet schools as a primary tool to promote white enrollment in otherwise minority dominated schools. Although the concept of a magnet or "specialized" program has been around for many years (typically under different names such as alte rnative schools or vocational schools), magnet school programs have received considerable attentio n in the last few years, in part, because of their attention to educational program (Metz, 1986; Rossell, 1990). Since magnet schools only improve the quality of education for students who a ttend them, their value as tools by which educational quality can be addressed is limited; th ey do not affect educational resources and outcomes for the vast number of minority students o utside these programs. Their real potential is in being able to entice white students into predomi nantly minority schools, thereby encouraging racial balance voluntarily. Despite early criticism of voluntary desegregation plans, Rossell (1990) provides support for the position that these plans are more effective in bringing about higher levels of racial integration than mandatory desegregation plans over the longer run (after a ten year evaluation). Whether magnet schools yield greater achievement g ains for those students participating in them is still questionable and has not been conc lusively shown. While some of the earlier research on magnet schools supported this claim, th ese studies have been criticized for their lack of controls for selectivity bias and achievement pr ior to magnet school attendance (Mahard and Crain, 1983). More recent studies that have attempt ed to control for these problems have shown mixed results, with some supporting its positive im pact on achievement (Weber, McBee and Lyles, 1983; Blank, 1989) and others not (Jirtle, 1 986).


4 of 15 One of the major problems facing desegregation eff orts today, though, is that school districts serving minority populations are becoming even more racially/ethnically isolated than they have in the past. Furthermore the racial/ethni c isolation of many large cities is also occurring along socioeconomic class lines. Whereas urban mino rity populations were likely to include all socioeconomic classes, inner cities are increasingl y becoming economic as well as ethnic/racial ghettos (Orfield, 1981, 1992). With this trend accelerating rapidly, efforts to d esegregate many urban schools are likely to become increasingly complicated, and the impact of the programs more uncertain, particularly if the focus remains on racial balance rather than overall educational quality and outcomes. Educational Finance Reform While desegregation policies have been supported b y federal funds, they have not been linked to educational finance reform efforts of the last 2 decades. Starting with Serrano v. Priest (1971), several state educational finance systems h ave been challenged in court. However, the Rodriguez case (Rodriguez v. San Antonio School Dis trict, 1973), cut off the use of the 14th amendment and federal protection with respect to fu nding inequities, even when district resources were linked to residence patterns by ethn ic or racial background. The Supreme Court ruled that education was not a fundamental right un der the U.S. Constitution, and that property wealth per pupil was not a suspect class. Thus, red ress for educational funding inequities have had to be found at the state level. The results of court challenges to many state fund ing schemes have been mixed and dependent on the type and breath of State education clauses (Odden and Picus, 1992). Robinson v Cahill (New Jersey, 1973) set the precedent for j udicial scrutiny by first focusing on the "education clause" in the state's constitution and its mention of some quality or efficiency dimension. However, despite court ordered overhauls of several state finance schemes (California, Texas, Kentucky, New Jersey, Arkansas, to name a few), the reliance on local property taxes for the vast majority of school syst ems creates a basis for inequality of funding that even state redistribution efforts cannot compl etely eradicate (Monk, 1990, Cohn and Geske, 1990, Odden and Picus, 1992). Although educational finance reform efforts have p aralleled school desegregation efforts to some extent, the two have never been formally co nnected. Yet when we examine the condition of schools for many minority students, funding issu es are at the heart of the lack of educational opportunities and the quality of education they rec eive. Despite the progress made since Brown in increasing access to higher quality schools for some minority children, hundreds of urban and rural districts serving predominantly minority popu lations suffer from a lack of funding and resources to make their schools comparable in quali ty to the better suburban, and predominantly white, school systems. (See, for instance, Kozol (1 991) for a moving discussion of the enduring impact of finance inequities on the quality of educ ation in four urban cities.) An example of how the courts could merge the probl ems addressed by desegregation with the problems of inequity of educational finance sys tems is provided by recent court cases in New Jersey and Kentucky. In Abbot v. Burke (1990), the New Jersey state supreme court ruled that the New Jersey school finance system was unconstitu tional for the state's 28 poorest school districts. The court based their decision on a clau se in the Robinson decision that required an educational system to produce educational outcomes sufficient to allow students to compete in the labor market. In the ruling, the court made spe cific reference to the poor achievement of low income and minority students concentrated in New Je rseys' urban school districts, and the need for skilled and well schooled workers in the curren t labor market. In Kentucky, the recent high court ruling in Rose v. Council for Better Education, Inc.(1989) shifted the focus of the funding inequit y debate away from per pupil expenditures per


5 of 15se to a consideration of per pupil expenditures acr oss all districts within the state. Furthermore, the court directed the state to address educational outcomes in its reorganization scheme. As a result, Kentucky devised a plan that was based on o utcomes, gave financial rewards and sanctions for schools meeting performance standards and placed resource decision making at the school level rather than district level. Odden and Picus (1992) argue that both the New Jer sey and Kentucky decisions suggest an evolution toward a new equal expenditure standar d: one that over time could implement systems focused on creating more uniform per pupil spending across all districts rather than between highest and lowest spending districts. In a ddition, the Kentucky decision specifically links reform of the State's educational finance sys tem with some standard of accountability in student outcomes. This could only be a positive dir ection for increasing the quality of education available to many minority students, particularly t hose concentrated in urban schools. Does Money Matter? Why should we be concerned with increasing the lev el of resources going to poor school districts, or equalizing per pupil expenditures acr oss districts? Indeed, one perspective heard lately, particularly from recent federal administra tions, is that we already spend as much or more than many countries do on our schools. Officials in both the Reagan and Bush administration publicly concluded that increasing expenditures wil l not solve the education crisis in America, and certainly not in our minority dominated schools This position, while popular, is misleading, howev er, because it assumes that all schools have comparable levels of resources, and that even when per pupil expenditures are similar, schools in different areas can actually deliver com parable programs. As the research on educational finance shows, average per pupil expend itures at the state or national level masks wide disparities at the district level (see Cohn (1 990) or Odden and Picus (1992), for a review of this literature). Furthermore, all schools do not s tart at the same point, some are in more pleasant surroundings, safer locations, and are newer than o thers; an issue of relevance when looking at differences between urban and suburban school distr icts (Kozol, 1991). Finally, assertions by educational reformers, supported by the last two ad ministrations, that increasing school resources is ineffective in improving school outcomes is not supported by the research on educational productivity. So how does money matter? While studies have found inconsistent evidence of a statistical relationship between per pupil expendit ures and achievement (Hanushek, 1986), results have been much stronger when examining teacher and instructional variables. Studies have measured teacher quality through teacher verbal abi lity, experience and education. Those that examine measures of teacher verbal ability (typical ly through verbal test scores) have almost unanimously shown an important relationship to stud ent achievement, even taking into account its differential impact by race and ethnicity. Stud ies that consider only teacher experience or educational levels have less consistently shown a s ignificant and positive relationship to student achievement, however, even here, evidence tends to support the importance of teacher experience in achievement. (Summers and Wolfe, 1977; Levin, 19 80; Hanushek, 1986; Strauss and Sawyer, 1986; Ferguson, 1992). Research has further shown that districts able to pay more to their teachers, attract teachers with higher verbal abilities and more expe rience (Levin, 1985; Ferris and Winkler, 1986; Murnane and Olsen, 1989; Ferguson, 1992). Whe n the results of teacher characteristics are combined with what we know affects the supply of te achers, there is solid support for the argument that money can make a direct and significa nt impact on educational quality, as measured by teacher quality and student achievement Studies have examined the effects of other instructional expenditures as well; for instance, t he impact of outdated materials, classroom


6 of 15equipment that facilitates teacher productivity and reductions in class size. These variables have also been found to have a positive impact on studen t achievement, although the findings have been more inconsistent across studies (Glass and Sm ith 1979; Glass, 1984; Hanushek, 1986). Ferguson (1992) argues that it is precisely because other studies fail to decompose how per pupil expenditures are allocated that a weak or nonexiste nt link to achievement has been shown. Lessons from the Southwest In some areas of the country, desegregation is sti ll resisted, but in subtle ways, such as in the way programs are designed, implemented and moni tored. In these circumstances, desegregation efforts are not as likely to succeed, even when attempted, and remedies for improving educational quality and outcomes may be m ore successful if addressed through educational finance reform. (See Note 2 .) A desegregation case from a metropolitan high scho ol district in the Southwest illustrates how focusing on racial balance can fail to seriousl y improve quality of educational programs delivered to the majority of minority students.1 Un der court order to desegregate, the district chose a voluntary desegregation plan that relied so lely on magnet schools to achieve racial balance. The district set up several add-on magnet programs at its most heavily minority schools (over 90% at the time of the court order, with near ly equal populations of Hispanic and African American students, and a much smaller population of Native American students). It has had success in meeting the required level of racial int egration determined by the courts after 7 years in place. The districts' success, however, is due p rimarily to the way the court determined the formula for racial balance. The court required only that the district meet racial balance with regard to the total district population of Anglo re sidents. Since the beginning of the court order, the percentage of Anglo population within the distr ict has continued to fall, allowing the district to be in compliance with the order with a relativel y low percentage of white students at its schools (about 16%). The district plan called for the magnet programs t o be parttime, and to co-exist with traditional educational programs on the same campus Thus, students enrolled in the magnet school programs spend anywhere from one-half to two -thirds of their day in traditional programs. An inter-district transfer program was established that allowed white students first chance at enrolling in the magnet programs of their choice, w ith minority students outside each school zone having an opportunity to transfer into specific mag net programs only after the quota for Anglo students was met. However, minority students in the attendance zones of each school could attend any magnet program located on their campus w ithout further entrance requirements. Therefore, magnet programs were open to any student who attended the school where they were located. At one high school studied in depth, two-thirds of the magnet students were non-transfer students, and of those about 60% were minority stud ents. However, only about one-third of the total student population at this same high school w ere enrolled in a magnet program. Almost all white students participate in one of the magnet pro grams, but the vast majority of minority students attending the high school do not. Meanwhil e, per pupil expenditures for the magnet school programs at the same high school have been t wice as high as those for the traditional school programs, depending on the year, and never l ess than 50% higher. Consequently, although some minority students are participating in higher quality programs through their magnet school enrollments, the majority of minority students are not benefiting from the additional resources dedicated to the magnet programs. In recognition of this, the court allowed the distr ict also to use part of their desegregation funds to attempt to improve program for minority st udents outside the magnet programs. The district chose to use the funds to give all teacher s at the high school a reduced schedule, with the


7 of 15intent of having teachers spend more time contactin g marginal students and their parents. The release time was also to be used to develop materia ls to improve their classes. A flaw in the plan, however, was that no monitoring mechanism was adopt ed that required teachers to be accountable for how they used their release time. T he program has been in place for four years, and as yet has had no consistent impact on non-magn et student performance at the school, although a slight lessening of the drop-out rate am ong regular students (non-magnet) has occurred (Kazal-Thresher, 1992). Besides a lack of teacher accountability, another r eason the additional resources dedicated to improving traditional school programs at the hig h school may have been ineffective has to do with how the district used the funds. While the dis trict has used desegregation monies to reduce teacher loads, they have also used them to support programs previously funded by the regular district budget: examples are their drop-out preven tion program, their ESL programs, and their remedial language and math programs. The district m aintains separate funding categories for these programs, but they are now heavily supported through the desegregation resources flowing into the districts coffers. The budget constraints this district, and state, have faced in the last fe w years only serves to complicate the matter. The sta te has reduced education funds for the last three years, while statewide district efforts to ra ise additional school revenues have been unsuccessful. Therefore, resources available for al l regularly funded programs have been shrinking. Consequently, while the programs funded by the desegregation budget are legitimate and worthwhile, there has been a shifting of fundin g responsibility and it is clear that the potential impact of these additional funds has been diluted. With regard to the impact of this desegregation pr ogram on student achievement and interracial interaction, both dimensions appear not to have been improved by the presence of the magnet programs on the campus and the increase in t he number of white students in attendance. Achievement has been higher among magnet students a t the high school, but not among those students in the regular programs, while contact and interaction between the various ethnic/race groups has been low outside of classroom experience s (Kazal-Thresher, 1992; Spencer, 1992). There is some evidence to suggest that the magnet s chools as they are set up simply "cream" off the best of both the minority and white students that already attended this high school (i.e. part of the non-transfer magnet school population). The investigators of this program are currently in the process of evaluating how much of this has occurred. The district also has not compared its magnet students performances against t heir pre-magnet school achievement records, nor have they adjusted the scores by race or SES: this, too, is under analysis by the research team. Both the district and school, howeve r, have claimed success in meeting desegregation goals since they are in compliance wi th the court ordered formula for racial balance, and they can point to improved achievement in their magnet schools. So what can we learn from this case? First, it is apparent that the peculiar nature of the desegregation programs implemented by the district creates additional problems. Because the magnet schools are part-time and add-ons, a high de gree of tension between the magnet school teachers and staff and the traditional school teach ers and staff has emerged. Funding disparities between the two programs are highlighted, even with the additional funds being poured into the traditional programs at the school. The use of a voluntary desegregation plan that reli es primarily on magnet schools is something we can learn from in a broader context. E ven if this district had made their magnet programs separate, full-time schools, the dispariti es in resource allocation between magnet and non-magnet schools within the district would have o ccurred, although, probably not as extreme. We are still left with the problem of the quality o f educational programs delivered to all those minority students not enrolled in the magnet progra ms. The districts' allocation of its desegregation fund s also has wider application. Many states are facing severe fiscal pressures that are resulti ng in significant budget cuts in public education.


8 of 15Many districts are having to reduce their expenditu res for regular and special programs. At the same time desegregation monies from federal, state and special local tax programs have remained constant, or have increased, over the last few year s. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that districts would use a source of inc reasing revenues to support programs they are obligated to provide, which, at the same time, allo ws them to reduce their regular budgets. Districts are able to meet budget cuts while avoidi ng conflict over program reductions. In times of fiscal austerity, then, the potential for distri cts to inappropriately shift desegregation funds (i f not legally, then ethically) is increased, particul arly since detailed monitoring of district finances is difficult under the best of circumstances. Finally, the primary interest of this district is to comply with the court order, not to determine whether their programs are impacting the quality of education delivered to their minority students. It is not in any districts' best interests to explore too deeply how successful their programs are, because if flaws were found, it could lead to greater community dissidence. Without detailed information parent groups cannot m onitor district policies, and administration officials can point to the millions of dollars now poured into its minority dominated schools as an example of how it is attempting to improve both rac ial balance and educational programs for its minority populations. As stated earlier, there are many examples of deseg regation programs that have been successful, but there are also many that have not. This district falls in the latter category: a questionable program that will use precious resourc es to gain little in the way of improving the educational opportunities for thousands of Hispanic African American, and Native American youth. In an era of fiscal conservatism, these kind s of results are distressing because schools are increasingly coming under attack for their inabilit y to improve student performance despite their "rising" expenditures. It also creates the illusion that desegregation does not make a difference, when, in fact, poorly conceived and implemented pro grams are the culprits. Educational Finance Reform and Desegregation Goals What then are some alternative strategies to addres s quality of program in schools that largely serve minority populations? One possibility is to systematically link educational finance reform and desegregation programs, legislating fina nce systems that not only create greater finance equity across all districts but also specif ically target creating greater equality in educational outcomes for schools serving low-income and/or minority populations. Educational finance reform as a means of raising t he quality of education possible for minority students also has the added benefit of com ing out of the legislative arm of state governments. Although finance reforms have been ini tially won in the courts, the result has been legislated restructuring of state-wide education fi nance systems. This differs from desegregation litigation even though both originate in the court. In the early stages of desegregation in this country, education systems that had de jure segrega tion could be overturned in their entirety (particularly in the South). Now, however, desegreg ation litigation is typically fought at the district or city level, and does not mandate desegr egation for all schools within a state. Prospects for greater consistency in design, implementation a nd monitoring of desegregation plans are higher if we can move toward state legislated and m andated programs rather than local or district level desegregation controlled through the courts. Two issues stand in the way of desegregation effor ts today. First, the fiscal constraints facing all levels of government in this decade has framed the limits of public concern over desegregation and educational quality in minority a nd low-income communities. The current economic woes of the federal government are deep, s tructural and not likely to be solved in the short-run; consequently, funding from federal sourc es for desegregation is likely to be strongly disputed in this decade. Increased competition for federal resources is forcing an examination of


9 of 15entitlement programs, and educational programs are more vulnerable than others who have more vocal constituents. Moreover, the federal governmen t cannot increase the share of monies going to support desegregation programs without facing se vere pressures to spend monies on other social services as well, and it is not in a fiscal position to do so. Many states face the same situation, further hampering the possibility of a l arge influx of funding for desegregation programs that seriously address educational quality Secondly, the Reagan and Bush administrations erod ed the federal role in promoting desegregation by its lack of attention and pedagogi cal support for such programs. This decline in federal activism has seriously affected the progres s made in desegregating our nations schools and has resulted in a recent spate of judicial deci sions that allow a relaxation of what constitutes a desegregated school system (for example the 1992 DeKalb County, Georgia case and the 1986 Norfolk, Va. case1). The new Clinton Administration while committed to improving public education, has its attention focused on establishin g a national apprenticeship system, and improving access to higher education. As yet, it is unclear how much attention will be redirected toward promoting desegregated schools under his adm inistration. (See Note 3 .) At the same time, the conditions encouraging signif icant educational finance reform are quite good: as districts struggle to meet program o bligations and to provide some standard of educational quality, the prospect of greater equity in resources across all districts is enticing. Increasingly, state legislatures are considering th e concept of a state property tax to support all it s schools, eliminating district support through local property taxes. While not many have moved in this direction yet, funding disparities are likely to increase in this decade. Hence, the possibility of greater stability and equity of funding through total state control of school financing becomes increasingly more attractive. The mechanisms are al ready in place, since most states disperse additional funds to districts to ensure a minimum s pending base, compensate districts for special needs students, and provide funds for special progr ams. A Direction for Change I would argue that now is the time for finance stra tegists and desegregation proponents to formally come together to promote statewide control over school funding, and link it to site-based performance measures. The first item on the agenda would be to make a strong case for elimination of local property tax support for s chools, to be replaced by a uniform statewide tax specifically dedicated to funding schools. We h ave reams of evidence from court cases showing how difficult it is to equalize per pupil e xpenditures when district level resources are themselves so unequal. A statewide tax would elimin ate the primary source of inequity between school/district per pupil expenditures. The Hawaiian school system operates on such a schem e. It is considered a fully state funded program, with schools unable to vary their b asic per pupil expenditures either above or below the state determined level. This is a particu larly interesting feature to consider if we connect desegregation funds with state per pupil ex penditures because it would make the monitoring of desegregation monies very clear and d irect. In this instance, desegregation funds would clearly be additional resources flowing to th e school to improve educational quality for minority populations. Tying centralized funding to decentralized spending and performance measures would also facilitate two other recent trends in educational r eform: site-based management and greater accountability for school outcomes. If district lev el input into funding was bypassed, which is easy to accomplish if property taxes were statewide rather than local, state departments of education could turn per pupil expenditures directl y over to each school. Each school would then be responsible for site-based funding decisions, th ereby creating significant incentives for parents, teachers and school administrators to work together in promoting the school's mission.


10 of 15 There are, of course, other ways to handle the adm inistration and monitoring of finance systems that are centralized. Districts could remai n the conduit through which state and desegregation funds flow, keeping in place much of the district level functions that exist now. The state could also allow districts/schools to var y per pupil expenditures above the state level. Using the concept of district power equalization as advocated by Coons, Clune and Sugarman (1970), the amount could be capped at some agreed u pon level that permits high aspiration districts and parents to add to the base. However, the variance between the base and the cap should not exceed the level set by judicial precede nt in previous finance reform cases. The point is that centralized control over school funding does not have to mean that states loose creativity in shaping their own finance syste ms. If the base per pupil expenditure figure is set high enough, however, it does mean much greater equity of school funding across districts and schools. A good place to start as the base woul d be to set it at a level that approaches current expenditures of a state's wealthy school districts. If we take the per pupil expenditures of, say, the 60th percentile as the base for all schools (depend ent on the general wealth of the state), this figure would be substantially higher than the per p upil expenditures in most minority and low income school districts. Other funds that are added to this base would have a much greater chance of increasing student performance than they do currently, and, as mentioned above, would be easier to monitor, thereby improving accountabil ity. Educational finance reforms that reduce funding in equities and are tied to site-based performance requirements serve both the goal of cre ating more equitable school finance systems and the goal of improving the quality of education in minority and low-income communities. Finance reform also has the advantage of bringing t ogether a larger constituency. Often desegregation is seen as a "special interest" polic y, in part because the issues have been framed as relating to race and/or ethnicity. While the benefi ts of desegregation are captured by many different groups, it is perceived as an agenda prim arily targeted at improving the education of African Americans. By linking inequities in educati onal financing to desegregation goals more than just minority schools benefit: all communities that cannot support educational programs comparable to higher socioeconomic communities gain from creating more equitable financing structures, particularly if the best public school systems are the models for the refinancing plans. Finally, finance reforms that also promote desegre gation goals are only part of a larger strategy for improving educational quality in distr icts serving a large proportion of minority students. Resource use in such districts should be targeted toward inputs that have a direct and significant impact on student outcomes. Spending mo ney per se will not guarantee better quality schools for minority populations, but spending mone y on areas that we know affects student achievement can raise educational outcomes. This is clear from many studies on the relationship between school expenditures and student achievement : inputs that directly affect instructional quality such as teacher quality, current materials, and supporting equipment that increase teacher productivity, can and do raise student achievement. In the final analysis, if we are ever going to sign ificantly improve intergenerational outcomes among minority populations, we need to pro vide access to better employment and higher earnings. Even though there is evidence of d iscrimination in labor markets, the link between education and work is strong. It is still t rue that men and women of all races and ethnic groups who increase their educational attainment ha ve greater employment opportunities and lifetime earnings, on average, than those who do no t.About the AuthorDeborah M. Kazal-Thresher has her PhD from Stanford University. She is currently at the University of Texas--Austin.


11 of 15 NotesElements of teacher quality have been discussed by Levin (1980, 1985), among others, while the importance of teacher expectations on stu dent achievement has been discussed extensively in the desegregation literature (see Ha rtman and Maehr (1985) for a review of several studies). Graduation and college attendance rates were taken from Hanushek (1986); he lists these ranges as national averages since 1970. I also recognize that, while educational resources are central in ensuring educational quality, funding alone cannot solve the quality pro blems facing many school districts serving minority populations. Resources provide the necessary base and the tools to make it more likely for schools to succeed in raising ed ucational quality. Equally critical is the role of teacher attitudes and expectations for achi evement and performance among minority students, and although I acknowledge its i mportance, it is outside the domain of this paper. 1. Specific data will not be presented in this discuss ion. The district in question has funded the research; therefore, the investigators are not at liberty to release the details of the district's program or its results until the project has been concluded. 2. Freeman v, Pitts, 112 S.CT. 1430 (1992) and Riddick v School Bd. of Norfolk, 784 F .2d 521 (4th Cir. 1986). 3.ReferencesAbbot v. Burke, N.J. 1990. No C-1983-80.Blank, Rolf K., 1989. Educational Effects of Magnet School. Paper presented at the Conference on Choice and Control in American Education, Univer sity of Wisconsin, Madison, May. Braddock, Jomills, and James McPartland, 1989. Soci alpsychological Processes That Perpetuate Racial Segregation: The Relationship Bet ween School and Employment Desegregation. JOURNAL OF BLACK STUDIES 19:267-89.Cohn, Elchanan, and Terry Geske, 1990. THE ECONOMIC S OF EDUCATION (3rd Edition). Cambridge: Pergamon Press.Coleman, James S. et al., 1966. Equality of Educati onal Opportunity. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.Coons, John, William Clune, and Stephen Sugarman, 1 970. PRIVATE WEALTH AND PUBLIC EDUCATION. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Crain, Robert L. and Rita E. Mahard, 1981. Minority Achievement: Policy Implications of Research. In W. D. Hawley (ed.) EFFECTIVE SCHOOL DE SEGREGATION. Beverly Hills: SAGE Publications.Crain, R. L. and Rita E. Mahard, 1982. Desegregatio n Plans that Raise Black Achievement: A Review of the Research. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corp oration. Crain, R. L., Rita E. Mahard and R.E. Narot, 1982. MAKING DESEGREGATION WORK: How Schools Create Social Climates. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Press.


12 of 15Crain, R.L. and Jack Strauss, 1985. School Desegreg ation and Black Occupational Attainments: Results from a Long-Term Experiment. Baltimore: Joh n Hopkins University, Center for Social Organization of Schools.Ferguson, Ronald, 1991. Paying For Public Education : New Evidence on How and Why Money Matters. HARVARD JOURNAL ON LEGISLATION (Summer).Ferris, James, and Donald Winkler, 1986. Teacher Co mpensation and the Supply of Teachers. THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL JOURNAL, (March) 86: 388-403.Freeman v. Pitts, 112 S. Ct. 1430, DeKalb County, G A (1992) Genova, William J. and Herbert J. Walberg, 1984. Enhancing Integration in Urban High Schools. In D. E. Bartz and M. L. Maehr (eds), ADVANCES IN MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVEMENT. (Vol ume 1) Greenwich: JAI Press.Glass, Gene V., 1984. A Meta-Analysis of Effectiven ess of Four Educational Interventions. IFG Project Paper, Stanford, CA: Institute for Research on Educational Finance and Governance, Stanford University.Glass, Gene V., and Mary Lee Smith, 1979. Meta-Anal ysis of Research on Class Size and Achievement. EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION AND POLICY ANAL YSIS 1:2-26. Green, Robert L., 1985. Desegregation. In R. Green (ed) METROPOLITAN DESEGREGATION. New York: Plenum Press.Hanushek, Eric A., 1986. The Economics of Schooling : Production and Efficiency in Public Schools. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC LITERATURE 24:1141-77.Hartman, Andrew and Martin L Maehr, 1984. In Search of A Remedy: Desegregation and Achievement Motivation. In D. E. Bartz and M. L. Ma ehr (eds), ADVANCES IN MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVEMENT. (Volume 1) Greenwich: J AI Press. Hawley, Willis D., 1981. Equity and Quality in Educ ation: Characteristics of Effective Desegregated Schools. In W. D. Hawley (ed.) EFFECTI VE SCHOOL DESEGREGATION. Beverly Hills: SAGE Publications.Jirtle, Nancy, 1986. The Effect of Magnet/Non-Magne t School Type on Middle School Student Achievement. Unpublished dissertation, University o f North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Kazal-Thresher, Deborah M., 1992. Magnet Schools an d Desegregation Goals: Economic Issues. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Americ an Educational Research Association, San Francisco, April.Kozol, Jonathan, 1991. SAVAGE INEQUALITIES: Childre n in America's Schools. New York: Crown Publishers.Levin, Henry, 1980. Educational Production Theory a nd Teacher Inputs. In Bidwell and Windham (eds) THE ANALYSIS OF EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTIV ITY, Volume II. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing.Levin, Henry, 1985. Solving the Shortage of Mathema tics and Science Teachers. EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION AND POLICY ANALYSIS (Winter) 371-82.


13 of 15Longshore, Douglas, and Jeffrey Prager, 1985. The I mpact of School Desegregation: A Situational Analysis. AMERICAN REVIEW OF SOCIOLOGY 11: 75-91. Mahard, Rita E. and Robert L. Crain, 1983. Research on Minority Achievement in Desegregated Schools. In C. Rossell and W. Hawley (eds) THE CONS EQUENCES OF SCHOOL DESEGREGATION. Philadelphia: Temple University Pres s. McConahay, John B., 1981. Reducing Racial Prejudice in Desegregated Schools. In W. Hawley (ed) EFFECTIVE SCHOOL DESEGREGATION. Beverly Hills: SAGE Publications. McPartland, James M. and Jomills Henry Braddock III 1981. Going to College and Getting a Good Job: The Impact of Desegregation. In W. Hawley (ed) EFFECTIVE SCHOOL DESEGREGATION. Beverly Hills: SAGE Publications.Metz, Mary Haywood, 1986. DIFFERENT BY DESIGN. New York: Routledge Kegan Paul. Monk, David, 1990. EDUCATIONAL FINANCE. New York: M cGraw-Hill. Murnane, Richard J. and Olsen R.J., (1989). The E ffects of Salaries and Opportunity Costs on Duration in Teaching: Evidence from Michigan. REVIE W OF ECONOMICS AND STATISTICS, 71:347-352.Odden, Allan, 1990. The Changing Contours of School Finance. White Paper, Policy Brief No. 15. Far West Laboratories.Odden, Allan, and Lawrence O. Picus, 1992. SCHOOL F INANCE: A Policy Perspective. New York: McGraw-Hill.Orfield, Gary, 1981. Housing Patterns and Desegrega tion Policy. In W. Hawley (ed) EFFECTIVE SCHOOL DESEGREGATION. Beverly Hills: SAGE Publications. Orfield, Gary, 1992. Contemporary Metropolitan Scho ol Segregation and Its Consequences. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Americ an Educational Research Association, San Francisco, April.Parsons, Margaret A., 1985. Parents' and Students' Attitude Changes Related to School Desegregation in New Castle County Delaware. In R. Green (ed) METROPOLITAN DESEGREGATION. New York: Plenum Press.Pearce, Dianna, 1985. Beyond Bussing: New Evidence on the Impact of Metropolitan School Desegregation and Housing Segregation. In R. Green (ed) METROPOLITAN DESEGREGATION. New York: Plenum Press.Riddick v. School Bd. of Norfolk, 784 F .2d 521 (4t h Cir. 1986), Norfolk, VA. Robinson v. Cahill, NJ, 1973. (Filed 1970) 62NJ 473 ,303, A. 2nd 273, cert.denied sub. nom. Dickey v. Robinson 414 US 976.Rose v. Council for Better Education, Inc., KY, 198 9. No 88-SC804-TG. Rossell, Christine H. 1985. What is Attractive Abou t Magnet Schools?. URBAN EDUCATION 20:7-22.


14 of 15 Rossell, C. H., 1990. THE CARROT OR THE STICK FOR S CHOOL DESEGREGATION POLICY. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Rubovits, P.C. and Martin L. Maehr, 1973. Pygmalion Black and White. JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 25: 210-218.Schofield, Janet W. and Andrew Sagar, 1983. Desegre gation, School Practices, and Student Race Relations. In C. H. Rossell and W. D. Hawley (eds) THE CONSEQUENCES OF SCHOOL DESEGREGATION. Philadelphia: Temple University Pres s. Serrano v. Priest, CA, 1971. 487 P. 2nd 1241.Spencer, Dee Ann (1992). The Effect of Magnet Progr ams on Student Integration: A Proxemic Analysis. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, April, 1992.Strauss, Robert P., and Elizabeth A. Sawyer, 1986. Some New Evidence on Teacher and Student Competencies. ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION REVIEW 5(1):41 -48. Summers, Anita and Barbara Wolfe, 1977. Do Schools Make A Difference?. AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW 67(4):639-52.Taylor, William L., 1981. Brown in Perspective. In W. Hawley (ed) EFFECTIVE SCHOOL DESEGREGATION. Beverly Hills: SAGE Publications.Weber, Larry J., Janice K. McBee and Joseph H. Lyle s, 1983. An Evaluation of Fundamental Schools. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of t he American Educational Research Association, Montreal, April.Weinberg, Meyer, 1985. Improving Education in Deseg regated Schools. In R. Green (ed) METROPOLITAN DESEGREGATION. New York: Plenum Press.Winkler, Donald, 1975. Educational Achievement and School Peer Group Composition. JOURNAL OF HUMAN RESOURCES 10(2):189-204.Copyright 1993 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesEPAA can be accessed either by visiting one of its seve ral archived forms or by subscribing to the LISTSERV known as EPAA at (To sub scribe, send an email letter to whose sole contents are SUB EPAA y our-name.) As articles are published by the Archives they are sent immediately to the EPAA subscribers and simultaneously archived in three forms. Articles are archived on EPAA as individual files under the name of the author a nd the Volume and article number. For example, the article by Stephen Kemmis in Volume 1, Number 1 of the Archives can be retrieved by sending an e-mail letter to LISTSERV@a and making the single line in the letter rea d GET KEMMIS V1N1 F=MAIL. For a table of contents of the entire ARCHIVES, send the following e-mail message to INDEX EPAA F=MAIL, tha t is, send an e-mail letter and make its single line read INDEX EPAA F=MAIL.The World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is Education Policy Analysis Archives are "gophered" at


15 of 15To receive a publication guide for submitting artic les, see the EPAA World Wide Web site or send an e-mail letter to and include the single l ine GET EPAA PUBGUIDE F=MAIL. It will be sent to you by return e-mail. General questions about ap propriateness of topics or particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, Glass@asu.ed u or reach him at College of Education, Arizona Sta te University, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. (602-965-2692)Editorial Board Syracuse UniversityJohn CovaleskieSyracuse UniversityAndrew Coulson Alan Davis University of Colorado--DenverMark E. Thomas F. Alison I. Arlen Gullickson Ernest R. Aimee Craig B. Howley u56e3@wvnvm.bitnet William Richard M. Jaeger Benjamin Thomas Dewayne Mary P. Les Susan Bobbitt Anne L. Hugh G. Richard C. Anthony G. Rud Dennis Jay Robert Robert T.


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