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Making the Unequal MetropolisSchool Desegregation and Its Limits$
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Ansley T. Erickson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226025254

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226025391.001.0001

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Busing Lived and Imagined

Busing Lived and Imagined

(p.210) Chapter Seven Busing Lived and Imagined
Making the Unequal Metropolis

Ansley T. Erickson

University of Chicago Press

Busing created substantial statistical desegregation in the Nashville schools it reached via 1971 court order. Decades later, many Nashville students remembered positive experiences and impact from desegregating schools, alongside at times painful unfairness in their schooling. Bus routes and construction plans shaped the spatial organization of their schooling, while efforts to attach schooling to economic growth marked the curriculum they experienced. The state and local emphasis on vocational education furthered “second-generation segregation” and continued inequality of educational opportunity and opened up new pathways for resistance to desegregation. Local education officials saw many white middle-class families withdraw from local public schools, and talk of “white flight” dominated local narratives about busing. Prioritizing “white flight” helped remake inequality by privileging those most likely to resist busing and minimizing the claims of the district’s most reliable constituents.

Keywords:   desegregation, white flight, busing, vocational education, comprehensive high school, students

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