no. 11_september 2021
In this issue of On Education we have invited scholars to reconsider fundamental questions about school segregation, such as: Why does segregation matter? What normative considerations are relevant when thinking about segregation? What are the effects of advanced school choice? How does segregation influence inter-ethnic friendships and social cohesion? What are recent trends with regard to the segregation of students with disabilities and newly arriving migrants? How should private schools be regulated?
I present a general framework for thinking about why educational segregation might matter from a normative perspective. The framework is presented through discussion of policies that permit schools to select their students.
Many profess a belief in the importance of school integration. In this essay I argue that the evidence tells against the sincerity of this belief.
Though in other countries caste is generally understood to name social stratification based on ethnic and/or religious affiliation, in the United States, racial and economic segregation in housing and education are the factors that trap one to the lower rungs of the social system in that nation. Significantly, these caste making levels of segregation are “cash making” for wealthy business concerns. In my earlier work, I have referred to this profit from segregation as, “segrenomics.” In this piece, I offer an example of the mechanics of these relationships relative to segregated schools, caste, and cash making in the city of Detroit, Michigan.
Parents’ selective school choices play a key role in exacerbating school segregation across the globe. As a result, numerous studies have investigated parents’ choice practices, while less attention has been paid to the role of the institutional context itself. Taking the introduction of free primary school choice in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, as an example, in this article, I seek to provide insights into the motivations behind the policy reform and its subsequent effects. The article illustrates how the new admission system changes not only the roles, motivations, and strategies of parents, but also those of primary schools. Consequently, the abolition of primary school catchment areas led neither to more equality in choice nor to a responsible competition between primary schools. Instead, it reinforces social divisions and symbolic differences between primary schools.
We investigate the extent of the segregation of Roma students in the Hungarian primary school system and discuss its consequences for actual inter-ethnic relationships within schools. Drawing on results from our previous research, we show that more exposure to members of the other ethnic group (less segregation) leads to more inter-ethnic friendships but also to more inter-ethnic hostility. Importantly, we show that Roma students with above-average academic achievement experience a lot more inter-ethnic friendship relationships than hostility without losing friends from their own ethnic group, and thus the positive effects of more exposure to non-Roma peers far outweighs its negative effects. We conclude that policies that aim at improving the academic performance of Roma students can bring additional benefits by improving their relationships in school.
The aim of this paper is to show that school segregation not only has an impact on school achievement, but also on more qualitative issues such as the perception of inequalities and the feeling of discrimination. I propose an explanation for why the feeling of being trapped in segregated, ‘disreputable’ public schools, a feeling which is shared among people from disadvantaged and immigrant backgrounds, as well as parts of the lower-middle class, has a deep impact on social cohesion. We will see how this encourages working-class people to think more in terms of discrimination (segregation as the result of an intentional process) rather than in terms of inequality, calling into question public schools’ capacity for guaranteeing equal opportunity. This is another way of analyzing how people facing an unequal context perceive injustice.
This article shows the historical continuities of segregated schooling of migrant children in Berlin from the 1960s to the present. My main argument is that segregated schooling can be understood as a result of an administrative denial of the fact of immigration. Instead of changing the system for the needs of a diverse student body, schools and school administrations develop instable adhoc regulatory practices of segregated schooling.
In this essay, I explore the reasons behind the persistence of segregated education of students with intellectual disabilities in Austria. Doing so, I critically interrogate three phases of the Austrian education system concerning the role of students with intellectual disabilities: (1) The rapid expansion of special schools in the 1960s and 1970s, (2) the rise of integrated education in the 1980s and 1990s and (3) the last two decades, which were characterized by budget cuts, school accountability policies and failed efforts to further the implementation of inclusive education.
In international comparison, the share of pupils enrolled in private schools is expanding and the access to private schools is socially unequal. There is a need for the regulation and control of private schools. Focusing on Germany, this contribution discusses how such a regulation might look like without endangering the freedom for the foundation and pedagogical operation of private schools.
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