Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


This article challenges the narrow way in which the "consequences" of school desegregation have been defined - namely as measured by standardized test scores alone. This article serves as a reminder that in the early, pre-Brown cases, the Supreme Court argued that the purpose of school desegregation was to assure "wider association" for African American students who had been cut off from high-status educational institutions and the honor and social networks they confer. The bulk of social science research on school desegregation has ignored this rationale as researchers mostly examined students' test scores after only one or two years of school desegregation. This research not only missed the point of school desegregation, but also failed to capture all of the evidence that supported the Supreme Court's original rationale.