Tuesday, Dec 29 2020

Desegregation by controlling enrollment is the best option to improve the education of immigrants and Roma segregated in ghettoized schools.

Original posted by Gontzal Uriarte

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Scientific Articles

  • Campdepadrós-Cullell, R., Molina-Roldán, S., Ramis-Salas, M., de Botton, L. (2020). The Vic Model: From school redistribution to xenophobic voting. Political Geography, 83, 102254. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2020.102254

Explanation of the Post

Context: In the Basque Country (North of Spain) there has recently been a popular legislative initiative to avoid the segregation of students with low socioeconomic status that is ghettoized in certain public schools. The initiative is about preventing ghettoization through school enrollment.

I would like to know what evidence is available to affirm that this desegregation through school enrollment is an effective intervention to improve the academic lives of students with low socioeconomic status or marginalized ethnic minorities.

Other sources

  • https://www.ilpeskolainklusiboa.eus/es/lhe-eskola-inklusiboa/texto-completo-ilp/

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    In 1985, the USA NIE (“National Institute of Education”), after years of application of desegregation policies, carried out an analysis of 19 investigations on the improvement in school performance of black students in desegregated schools. The result, although positive the effects were very small (0.20) This is equivalent to two months of educational gain.


    There is scientific evidence that xenophobia increases when students are forcibly desegregated.

    Campdepadrós, R .; Molina, S .; Ramis, M .; & de Botton, L. (2020). The Vic Model: From school redistribution to xenophobic voting. Political Geography, 83. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2020.102254

    These policies contribute to the destruction or weakening of the educational communities of the centers as reported by Caldas and Banskton in the book “Forced to Fail. The paradox of School Desegregation”. The book explains the importance of cultural capital that a school can generate and presents it as one of the ways to solve the problem of segregation and the educational gap between blacks and whites.

    “Social capital is generated in the rich interactions built up between parents and children, and between networks of parents interacting with other parents at their children’s school and during school functions. This capital, which is generated in the home as well as in the school, benefits the whole community by establishing strong networks through which information flows freely. A healthy democracy needs as its foundation a well-informed, well-integrated citizenry. ” page 216

    Echoing a sentiment voiced more than a century ago by the great black sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois, Morris wrote, “We just might find that the solution resides within the ‘souls’ of Black people — rather than elsewhere.” page 207.

    In this sense, the international scientific community has shown that this line of work brings greater educational benefits to underprivileged populations. Increasing the number and quality of interactions in the educational community through the ‘learning communities’ project has shown to have much better effects than redistribution policies:


  3. Scientific Article:
    Notten, A. L. T. “Desegregation in schools–How can it be achieved?.” Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice 18.4 (2009).


    Mantil, A. (2022). Crossing district lines: The impact of Urban–Suburban desegregation programs on educational attainments. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 44(1), 127-148. doi:10.3102/01623737211030504


    This article shows evidence that the effect done by the desegregation programms such as the controlled enrollment of migrant, Roma, segregated and local children creates a mixed environments of different backgrounds helps the overall performance and socialization of the children disregarding their social differences.

    • Thank you for sharing this interesting research. However, when I speak of enrolment control I mean forced enrolment control and not voluntary desegregation schemes.


    Desegregation of immigrants and Roma segregated in ghettoized schools, or other students with low socioeconomic backgrounds or from cultural and ethnic minorities, by controlling enrollment, is a controversial topic in the scientific and educational community. There are different perspectives and opinions on whether this political measure and practice has positive or negative effects.

    However, after a review of the most cited JCR articles in the las 50 years focused on “school desegregation”, and the most recent competitive research in the field, and also some books of relevant authors on this topic, we can affirm that “Desegregation by controlling enrollment is NOT the best option to improve the education of immigrants and Roma segregated in ghettoized schools”.

    There is no research that has been able to demonstrate that student redistribution is the best measure to improve the education of segregated migrant and Roma students. Despite the existence of scientific evidence showing some improvements resulting from this measure, all research indicates that such improvements are always subject to other variables, and that the redistribution of vulnerable students through enrollment control has negative or unintended effects.

    Among the benefits, the scientific community highlights the following:

    – Reduction of segregated or ghetto schools.
    – Increase in diversity in schools.
    – Increase in educational and social opportunities for some students.

    Among the unintended or negative effects, the following are emphasized:

    – Resegregation of redistributed students in low-level classrooms or reduction of the curriculum for these students, increasing their risk of dropping out and academic failure.
    – Redistributed students often fail to achieve the same educational outcomes as non-redistributed students.
    – Increase in racism and stigmatization of redistributed students, an in bullying, as educational failure is associated with their culture or social situation.
    – Increase in stress and trauma among redistributed students and their communities due to denying their identity, forced changes in environment, loss of natural networks, etc.
    – Prejudice and stereotypes from teachers in receiving schools and non-vulnerable families, often leading to “white flight” (non-vulnerable students leaving for private or semi-private schools).
    – Emergence of other social problems, such as an increase in teenage pregnancies, reduced care, or health issues, as depression.

    In conclusion, scientific community demonstrates that, if the redistribution of vulnerable students is not accompanied by other measures, such as improving teacher training, implementing educational actions that follow the recommendations of the international scientific community and have demonstrated their social impact, changing the school’s organization, or providing social and economic support to vulnerable families, solely redistributing vulnerable students does not guarantee the success of these groups. In fact, it often leads to an increase in dropout rates and academic failure. In this sense, Schools as Learning Communities and the Successful Educational Actions approach have been shown in recent years as the most effective measure to guarantee the success of immigrant and Roma students who are in segregated or ghetto schools.


    Bifulco, R., Lopoo, L. M., & Oh, S. J. (2015). School desegregation and teenage fertility. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37(4), 591-611. https://doi-org.sire.ub.edu/10.3102/0162373715570940

    Brown, K. L. (2016). The ‘hidden injuries’ of school desegregation: Cultural trauma and transforming African American identities. American Journal of Cultural Sociology, 4, 196-220. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/ajcs.2016.4

    Diez, J., Gatt, S., & Racionero, S. (2011). Placing Immigrant and Minority Family and Community Members at the School’s Centre: the role of community participation. European Journal of Education, 46(2), 184–196. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-3435.2011.01474.x

    Díez-Palomar J., García-Carrión R., Hargreaves L., Vieites, M. (2020) Transforming students’ attitudes towards learning through the use of successful educational actions. PLoS ONE, 15(10): e0240292. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0240292

    Flecha, R., & Soler, M. (2013). Turning difficulties into possibilities: engaging Roma families and students in school through dialogic learning. Cambridge Journal of Education, 43(4), 451–465. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2013.819068

    Frankenberg, E., & DeBray, E. (Eds.). (2011). Integrating schools in a changing society: New policies and legal options for a multiracial generation. Univ of North Carolina Press.

    García-Carrión, R.; Padrós Cuxart, M.; Alvarez, P.; Flecha, A. (2020) Teacher Induction in Schools as Learning Communities: Successful Pathways to Teachers’ Professional Development in a Diverse School Serving Students Living in Poverty. Sustainability, 12(17), 7146; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177146

    Gatt, S., Ojala, M., & Soler, M. (2011). Promoting social inclusion counting with everyone: Learning Communities and INCLUD-ED. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 21(1), 37–47. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/09620214.2011.543851

    Girbés-Peco, S., Macías, F., & Álvarez, P. (2015). From a Ghetto School to a Learning Community: A Case Study on the Overcoming of Poverty through a Successful Education. International and Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Sciences, 4(1), 88–116. doi: https://doi.org/10.17583/rimcis.2015.1470

    Gómez-González, A., Tierno-García, J.M., & Girbés-Peco, S. (2022). “If they made it, why not me?” increasing educational expectations of Roma and Moroccan immigrant families in Spain through family education, Educational Review, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2022.2121265

    Khalfaoui, A., García-Carrión, R. & Villardón-Gallego, L. A. (2020). Bridging the gap: engaging Roma and migrant families in early childhood education through trust-based relationships. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal , 28(5).https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2020.1817241

    Macías-Aranda, F., García-Espinel, T., Valls-Carol, R. & González-García, J. (2020). From the ghetto to the university: the impact of Successful Educational Actions on the social and educational inclusion of the Roma people. In A. Arellano & MA Sotés (Eds.), Roma youth: educational challenges in the transition to adult life (pp. 65-112). Barcelona: Editorial Graó. ISBN: 9788418058325

    McPherson, E. (2011). Moving from separate, to equal, to equitable schooling: Revisiting school desegregation policies. Urban Education, 46(3), 465-483. https://doi-org.sire.ub.edu/10.1177/0042085910377431

    Morlà-Folch, T., Davis, A. I. R., Cuxart, M. P., & Valls-Carol, R. (2022). A research synthesis of the impacts of successful educational actions on student outcomes. Educational Research Review, 100482. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2022.100482

    Reardon, S. F., Grewal, E. T., Kalogrides, D., & Greenberg, E. (2012). Brown Fades: The End of Court‐Ordered School Desegregation and the Resegregation of American Public Schools. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 31(4), 876-904. https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.sire.ub.edu/doi/10.1002/pam.21649

    Ryder, A. R., Rostas, I., & Taba, M. (2014). ‘Nothing about us without us’: the role of inclusive community development in school desegregation for Roma communities. Race Ethnicity and Education, 17(4), 518-539. https://doi-org.sire.ub.edu/10.1080/13613324.2014.885426

    Shum, M., Gao, F., & Ki, W. W. (2016). School desegregation in Hong Kong: Non-Chinese linguistic minority students’ challenges to learning Chinese in mainstream schools. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 36(4), 533-544. https://doi-org.sire.ub.edu/10.1080/02188791.2015.1005048

    Tan, M. (2022). School socioeconomic desegregation and student academic performance: Evidence from a longitudinal study on middle school students in China. Social Psychology of Education, 25(5), 1135-1155. https://link-springer-com.sire.ub.edu/article/10.1007/s11218-022-09710-w

    Valero, D., Redondo-Sama, G. & Elboj, C. (2018). Interactive groups for immigrant students: a factor for success in the path of immigrant students. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 22(7), 787-802. doi: http://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2017.1408712

    Wells, A. S., & Crain, R. L. (1994). Perpetuation Theory and the Long-Term Effects of School Desegregation. Review of Educational Research, 64(4), 531–555. https://doi-org.sire.ub.edu/10.3102/00346543064004531

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