Faculty & Research

Recent Publications - Journal Articles


The Life and Death of Desegregation Policy in Wake County Public School System and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Williams, S.M., & Houck, E.A.
Education and Urban Society, 45 (5): 571-588 (2013)

DOI: 10.1177/0013124513486290 Information about DOI

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The state of North Carolina is one of few states in the South in which two large districts committed to desegregating schools in the early 1970s. However, the state’s two largest districts, Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools (CMS) and Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) have experienced ups and downs in their policy commitment to desegregated schools. This article utilizes a cross-case policy analysis to examine levels of segregation in CMS and WCPSS over a 10-year period. In addition, the authors examine school finance data to determine whether district spending and local and federal contributions have an effect on student outcomes in CMS and WCPSS. The authors also compare district outcomes against the backdrop of student assignment policy within each district. Findings indicate that despite spending mechanisms, both districts have become more segregated over time and that the achievement gap has narrowed between the districts’ students.

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