The Resegregation of Suburban Schools

The Resegregation of Suburban Schools A Hidden Crisis in American Education

Edited by Erica Frankenberg and Gary Orfield
Pub. Date: October 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-483-4
paper, 304 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-481-0
Price: $32.00

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“The United States today is a suburban nation that thinks of race as an urban issue, and often assumes that it has been largely solved,” write the editors of this groundbreaking and passionately argued book. They show that the locus of racial and ethnic transformation is now clearly suburban and illustrate patterns of demographic change in the suburbs with a series of rich case studies.


The suburbanization of American poverty is one of the most significant trends of recent times, and yet school systems are largely unprepared. Erica Frankenberg and Gary Orfield have assembled a terrific group of scholars who document growing school segregation and also outline some constructive and hopeful solutions. This is a compelling and important book. — Richard D. Kahlenberg, senior fellow, The Century Foundation

Almost all Americans agree that children should attend school with peers of other races and ethnicities—and few Americans want to take any action to create integrated schools. In fact, our country may be moving backwards. Frankenberg, Orfield, and their colleagues perform an invaluable service to all Americans by showing just what our country is doing wrong with regard to race and schooling, why it matters, and how we can do better. — Jennifer Hochschild, professor of government and African and African American studies, Harvard University

This important new volume explains why so much received wisdom about suburbia is simply wrong, why the front lines of educational opportunity and also of social and political change in our country lie in our increasingly diverse and unequal suburbs, and what kinds of policies and practices are urgently needed. A must-read not only for education specialists, but for planners and policy makers concerned about community vitality. — Xavier De Souza Briggs, associate professor of sociology and planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Erica Frankenberg and Gary Orfield make a compelling case that America’s racial and economic future will be determined in the hallways of suburban schools and on the streets of the communities they serve. Drawing on case studies of major metropolitan areas, this work makes clear that the problem is national in scope. The book is a call to action for educators, policy makers, and anyone else who cares about equality and opportunity in our schools and in our country. — Rachel F. Moran, dean and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor, UCLA School of Law

The volume highlights a critical issue in education policy and provides a useful contribution to our understanding of the policy implications of the changing demographics of suburbia more generally. — Juliet F. Gainsborough, Perspectives on Politics

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About the Editors

Erica Frankenberg is an assistant professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests focus on racial desegregation and inequality in K–12 schools, and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies. Prior to joining the Penn State faculty, she was the Research and Policy Director for the Initiative on School Integration at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. She received her doctorate in educational policy at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Gary Orfield is a professor of education, law, political science, and urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests are in the study of civil rights, education policy, urban policy, and minority opportunity. He was cofounder and director of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, and now serves as codirector of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago.

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Table of Contens

Other books in Race and Equity in Education

Making Black Girls Count in Math Education

Nicole M. Joseph, Foreword by Erica N. Walker

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Racial Opportunity Cost

Terah Venzant Chambers

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Not Paved for Us

Camika Royal, Foreword by Gloria Ladson-Billings