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

Authors

  • Elizabeth DeBray University of Georgia
  • Kathryn McDermott University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • Erica Frankenberg Pennsylvania State University
  • Ann Elizabeth Blankenship University of Southern Mississippi

DOI:

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

Keywords:

implementation, diversity, federal policy, politics

Abstract

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.

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Author Biographies

Elizabeth DeBray, University of Georgia

Elizabeth DeBray is a professor in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration & Policy in the College of Education, University of Georgia.  She received her EdD from Harvard University. Her research interests are the politics of federal education policy, interest group politics, use of research evidence, and implementation of policies to support school-level diversity.  She is the author of Politics, Ideology, and Education: Federal Policy during the Clinton and Bush Administrations (Teachers College Press, 2006); and co-edited (with Erica Frankenberg) Integrating Schools in a Changing Society: New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation (University of North Carolina Press, 2011).  

Kathryn McDermott, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Kathryn A. McDermott is a professor of education and public policy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a political scientist who studies the connections between education policy and equity. Most commonly, she uses qualitative and case-study methodology. She is the author of Controlling Public Education: Localism Versus Equity (University Press of Kansas, 1999) and High Stakes Reform: The Politics of Educational Accountability (Georgetown University Press, 2011).

Erica Frankenberg, Pennsylvania State University

Erica Frankenberg is an associate professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests focus on racial desegregation and inequality in K–12 schools and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies. Recent book publications include Educational Delusions? Why Choice Can Deepen Inequality and How to Make Schools Fair (with Gary Orfield), The Resegregation of Suburban Schools: A Hidden Crisis in American Education (with Gary Orfield), and Integrating Schools in a Changing Society: New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation (with Elizabeth DeBray).

Ann Elizabeth Blankenship, University of Southern Mississippi

Ann Blankenship is an assistant professor of education law and policy in The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Educational Leadership and School Counseling. Her research focuses on teacher employment law and equality of educational opportunity in P–12 public schools.

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Published

2015-09-07

How to Cite

DeBray, E., McDermott, K., Frankenberg, E., & Blankenship, A. E. (2015). Lessons from a Federal Grant for School Diversity: Tracing a Theory of Change and Implementation of Local Policies. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 83. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v23.1999

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Articles