Council for Social and Economic Studies P.O. Box 34143 Washington, DC 20043
Home Electronic Version
(Subscribers Only)
Prices / Subscribe
Recent Back Issues Sample Articles About JSPES

JSPES, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Summer 2003 )
pp. 177-215

Five Decades of Federal Initiatives Concerning School Desegregatory Effects: What Have We Learned?

Ralph Scott

This article describes miscalculations as well as deliberate deceptions of legal, social science, governmental, judicial, and media leaders in appraising and reporting the impact of mandated desegregation, or forced busing, on the lives of students, families, communities, and the nation. Two central themes are advanced. First, forced busing was constructed around the simplistic environmental assumption that children would significantly benefit from attending racially balanced schools and that complex biophysical, environmental, emotional, genetic, and neurological influences warrant short shrift. Further, it is argued that little has been learned from the failure of school desegregation and that contemporary intervention programs, including tracking ongoing forced busing programs as well as President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" initiative, will prove unproductive because they fail to recognize that the most fundamental forces of human learning lie beyond classroom reach.