11 SES 11 B, International Assessments and Teaching Improvement
School segregation refers to an uneven distribution of students in schools according to their personal or social characteristics (Bellei, 2013; Ireson and Hallam, 2001). In essence, it is possible to distinguish two basic types of school segregation: segregation by socioeconomic status and by ethnic-cultural status, which in turn can distinguish between the concentration of the immigrant population and the concentration of the ethnic or racial minorities in certain schools.
The study of school segregation has as its starting point the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States on Brown v Board of Education of Topeka in 1954. Among these early studies, perhaps the best known is the one conducted by James Coleman et al. (1966). Their results showed that the existence of schools for whites and schools for black’s student exacerbate the inequality between racial groups.
From the 80’s, school segregation studies have been focused on the socioeconomic characteristics of the families of students. One of the most influential studies is called “The Truly Disadvantaged” (Wilson, 1987). Wilson study the disadvantages of the concentration of disadvantaged families in some schools. Since then, there have been many researches that address socioeconomic segregation between schools, their evolution, and also its comparison between different countries (eg, Cheng and Gorard, 2010; Gorard and Smith, 2004; Orfiel and Lee, 2005; Stephan, 2013).
According to the literature, the magnitude of socioeconomic segregation is increasing in recent years (Gorard, 2010; Orfiel and Lee, 2005). In the United States, Reardon and Owens (2013) indicate that the increase of school segregation in public primary schools can be considered “modest” in the early 90s, but it has been exacerbated during the late 2000s. There is also evidence of this increase in England (Gorard, Hordsoy and See, 2013), Belgium (Dumay and Dupriez, 2008), or Chile (Elaqua, 2012), among others.
Latin American research on school segregation by socioeconomic status has been addressed very early form. We can highlight a few studies such as Elacqua (2012) and Valenzuela, Bellei and de los Rios (2010, 2014) in Chile, and Gasparini and others (2011) and Krueger (2011) in Argentina.
The research conducted by Valenzuela, Bellei and de los Rios (2010) analyzes the degree of school segregation by socioeconomic status of schools in Chile. The results confirm a condition of high school segregation (dissimilarity index of 0.51 in 1999, and 0.54 in 2008). Meanwhile, Gasparini and others (2011) document and analyze school segregation among students from different socioeconomic levels attending public and private schools in Argentina since 1986. According to their results, the degree of school segregation by level socioeconomic shown an upward trend since mid-1980 to the present (dissimilarity index of 0.34).
As we have seen, research in Latin America suffers the lack of global, and comprehensive research about school segregation. The kind of research that promote the debate, reflection, and suggests reforms of the educational administration and education policies in the Region. That is why in this study we estimated the magnitude of the effect of school segregation by socioeconomic status in Latin America.
Bellei, C. (2013). El estudio de la segregación socioeconómica y académica de la educación chilena. Estudios Pedagógicos, 39(1), 325-345. Cheng, S. C. & Gorard, S. (2010). Segregation by poverty in secondary schools in England 2005–2009. Journal of Education Policy, 25(3), 415-418. Coleman, J.S., Campbell, E.Q., Hobson, C.J., McPartland, J., Mood, A.M., Weinfeld, F.D., &York, R. (1966). Equality of educational opportunity. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. Duncan, O. & Duncan, B. (1955) A methodological analysis of segregation indexes. American Sociological Review, 20, 210–217. Dumay, X. & Dupriez, V. (2008). Does the school composition effect matter? Evidence from Belgian data. British Journal of Educational Studies, 56(4), 440-477. Elacqua, G. (2012). The impact of school choice and public policy on segregation: Evidence from Chile. International Journal of Educational Development, 32(3), 444-453. Gasparini, L.C., Jaume, D., Serio, M., & Vázquez, E. (2011). La segregación escolar en Argentina. Reconstruyendo la evidencia. Buenos Aires: CEDLAS. Glaeser, E. & Vigdor, J. (2001). Racial Segregation in the 2000 census: promising news. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution. Gorard, S. & Smith, E. (2004). An international comparison of equity in education systems. Comparative Education, 40(1), 15-28. Gorard, S., Hordosy, R., & See, B.H. (2013). Narrowing down the determinants of between-school segregation: an analysis of the intake to all schools in England, 1989–2011. Journal of School Choice, 7(2), 182-195. Ireson, J. & Hallam, S. (2001). Ability grouping in education. London: Paul Chapman Publishing. Krüger, N. (2011). The segmentation of the argentine education system: evidence from PISA 2009. Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, 11(3), 41-64. Massey, D. & Denton, K. (1994). Hypersegregation in U.S. metropolitan areas: black and hispanic segregation along five dimensions. Demography, 26, 373‐93. Orfield, G. & Lee, C.M. (2005). Why segregation matters: poverty and educational inequality. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press. Reardon, S.F. & Owens, A. (2013). 60 years after brown: trends and consequences of school segregation. Annual Review of Sociology, 40, 199-218. Stephan, W. (Ed.). (2013). School desegregation: past, present, and future. Nueva York: Springer. Valenzuela, J.P., Bellei, C., & de Los Ríos, D. (2010). Segregación escolar en Chile. In S. Martinic y G. Elacqua (Eds.), Cambios en la gobernanza del sistema educativo chileno (pp. 257-284). Santiago: UNESCO. Valenzuela, J.P., Bellei, C., & de los Ríos, D. (2014). Socioeconomic school segregation in a market-oriented educational system. The case of Chile. Journal of Education Policy, 29(2), 217-241. Wilson, W.J. (1987). The truly disadvantaged. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
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