Lessons from a Federal Grant for School Diversity: Tracing a Theory of Change and Implementation of Local Policies

Elizabeth DeBray, Kathryn McDermott, Erica Frankenberg, Ann Elizabeth Blankenship


In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education made grants to eleven school districts under the Technical Assistance for Student Assignment Plans (TASAP) program. The impetus for the program came from the Council of Great City Schools, which was concerned that school districts would respond to a recent Supreme Court decision by dismantling policies with integrative aims. We analyze the design of the TASAP program, its implementation by the USED, and how the grantee districts used the funds, and find that TASAP’s effects were mixed. Five districts represented examples of “successful” implementation, using the grant funds in ways that prioritized diversity. Six demonstrated “subverted” implementation, using funds in ways that met local needs but moved away from the diversity goal.


implementation; diversity; federal policy; politics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v23.1999

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