Integration Defended: Berkeley Unified’s Strategy to Maintain School Diversity
The Warren Institute, in collaboration with The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, announces the publication of a year-long study of the Berkeley Unified School District’s (BUSD) integration plan. The authors, Lisa Chavez of the Warren Institute and Erica Frankenberg of The Civil Rights Project, conclude that BUSD is exemplary in its diversity goals and their implementation. The report illustrates how the BUSD assignment plan works and analyzes the extent to which the district is meeting its goals, and will be useful for districts that are thinking holistically about how to achieve diverse schools.
The BUSD integration plan is a particularly important model after the 2007 United States Supreme Court decision on voluntary integration plans and the California Appellate Court's decision upholding the BUSD assignment plan on the grounds that it does not violate Proposition 209, the 1996 ballot initiative that prohibits the preferential or discriminatory use of race, ethnicity or gender in public institutions. In addition, this study is timely given the U.S. Department of Education’s recent announcement to provide financial support to districts interested in designing student assignment plans that reduce racial isolation in their schools.
* Note: the report available for downloading contains a minor revision on page 18 and supersedes the previous version.