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Date of Award
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
J. Marc Jantzen
First Committee Member
Kenneth L. Beauchamp
Second Committee Member
Juanita G. Curtis
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
James J. McIlwrath
THE PROBLEM: This study addressed the problem of what relationship exists between the racial mix of the elementary school, independent of social class mix, and the academic progress, interracial friendships, and attitudes toward school of educationally disadvantaged pupils. Also investigated was the problem of what relationship exists between the racial mix of the school, with social class mix controlled, and the parents' attitudes toward school.
THE PROCEDURE: One hundred seventy-six fourth and sixth grade pupils, classified as educationally disadvantaged under the terms of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Title I, were randomly selected from three schools in the Vallejo (California) City Unified School District to constitute the pupil sample. The schools, two of which were desegregated and practically identical in all relevant respects, were homogeneous in regard to the socioeconomic class span of their populations. Eighty-eight persons, the parents of alternate pupils, composed the parent sample. Academic progress was defined as the difference between the pupils' raw pre- and post-test scores on the arithmetic computation and reading sub-tests of the Metropolitan Achievement Tests. Analysis of the significance of the difference between the mean progress scores of the desegregated and segregated pupils and the various subgroups was by means of the Student's!:. test between independent means. Data concerning pupils' interracial friendships and the attitudes of pupils and parents toward school were collected by means of questionnaires administered in individual interviews by trained school aides of the same race as the respondent. The questionnaires had been developed by the investigator and his advisers over a period of years and were subjected to pilot test. The significance of the differences between the desegregated and segregated groups and the various subgroups was analyzed by use of the chi-square test.
FINDINGS: (1 ) There was no consistent significant difference between the academic progress in arithmetic and reading of the desegregated and segregated pupils; (2) Pupils in the desegregated schools showed a significantly greater tendency to form interracial friendships than pupils in the segregated school did; (3 ) Both pupils and parents associated with the desegregated schools were significantly happier about their schools than their peers were about the segregated school.
RECOMMENDATIONS: ( 1) Future research should focus on the social-psychological concomitants of desegregation and endeavor to identify those elements which tend to assure progress from desegregation to integration; (2) The validity of desegregation as an educational policy objective should be judged by reference to its affective rather than its cognitive benefits; (3) Desegregation research should accord primary emphasis to investigating socioeconomic variables; (4) Research concerning the academic achievement of disadvantaged pupils should concentrate on the effects of socioeconomic balance, rather than on racial balance per se, since authorities agree that racial balance has minimal, if any, impact.
Gunnarsen, Julius Walter. (1976). A study of the relationship between racial mix and academic progress, interracial friendships, and pupil and parent attitudes in the elementary school. University of the Pacific, Dissertation. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/3190