Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2013 Issue »

    Educational Gerrymandering?

    Race and Attendance Boundaries in a Demographically Changing Suburb

    Genevieve Siegel-Hawley
    In this article, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley illuminates the challenges and opportunities posed by demographic change in suburban school systems. As expanding student populations stretch the enrollment capacities of existing schools in suburban communities, new schools are built and attendance lines are redrawn. Educational Gerrymandering? imageThis redistricting process can be used either to foster school diversity or to exacerbate racial isolation. Drawing on data from the U.S. Census, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and the school district, along with mapping software from Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Siegel-Hawley examines the relationship between overcrowding, racial isolation, and the original, proposed, and final high school attendance zones in a changing suburban district.  Findings indicate that school officials responsible for the rezoning process failed to embrace the growing diversity of the school system, choosing instead to solidify extreme patterns of racial isolation within high school attendance areas. The segregative impact of the district’s new attendance zones may be subject to legal scrutiny, a consequence that could—and should—discourage other school systems from adopting similarly harmful redistricting policies. 

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    Genevieve Siegel-Hawley is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research, which focuses on segregation, inequality, and opportunity in U.S. schools, along with policy options to promote an inclusive, integrated society, has appeared in journals such as the Teachers College Record and Wake Forest Law Review. Siegel-Hawley is also a research associate with the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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    Winter 2013 Issue

    Abstracts

    Educational Gerrymandering?
    Race and Attendance Boundaries in a Demographically Changing Suburb
    Genevieve Siegel-Hawley
    Pathways to College for Young Black Scholars
    A Community Cultural Wealth Perspective
    Uma M. Jayakumar, Rican Vue, Walter R. Allen
    “Who would they talk about if we weren’t here?”
    Muslim Youth, Liberal Schooling, and the Politics of Concern
    Reva Jaffe-Walter
    Thinking Otherwise About the Arts in Education—A Rejoinder
    Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández

    Book Notes