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Working Paper Series

Educational Consequences of the End of Court-Ordered Desegregation


  • Rucker Johnson, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley


  • Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper (March 2012)


The present paper combines this comprehensive data on the timing of court releases from desegregation
plans of more than 200 school districts that occurred since 1990 (obtained from Reardon et al.) with nationally-representative longitudinal micro data of children born since 1980 followed through 2009. Inparticular, I use the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and its Child Development Supplement (PSIDCDS) matched to children’s school and neighborhood characteristics and school desegregation policyvariables. Using an event study framework and difference-in-difference model, I examine the impacts of the termination of mandated desegregation plans on academic achievement outcomes, including cognitive test scores, high school graduation rates, educational attainment, and non-cognitive behavioral outcomes, separately by race. Preliminary results show that the increased allocation of school resources to those in high poverty, minority neighborhoods following the release of continued court oversight actually served to mitigate the potential negative impacts of resegregation on black student achievement (at least in the short-run).

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